Internet Librarian – Day 4: The Mobile Web

Trends in Mobile Tools and Applications for Libraries
Megan Fox, Web & Electronic Resoures Librarian – Simmons College

I missed a similar session at a previous conference. Wanted to hear about how our resources are displayed in all kinds of settings. Fox has got a broad perspective on the topic and had all kinds of tips and gadgets.

Notes from the presentation:

Mobile tools – PDAs, cell phones, ipod
Mobile information needs – on a flight, stuck in traffic

The market
75% of all US adults have mobile phone service
90% of college students

The Devices
smartphones are the device of choice – nokia, samsung
-camera, calculator, phone, web browser, radio, interactive gaming
-large screens (relatively speaking) and keyboards
- other devices, UNPC, sony reader

The future network – 3G, even faster wireless to allow for streaming – think video conferencing on the bus
-not yet available in US, but taking off in Japan

The mobile web
- formatting content is the challenge – optimize for web
- limit images, simplify html, mobile css stylesheets, avoid device intensive programming languages (large javascript files)

Library mobile web options:
- hours pages
- quick lists
- library catalog search (Sirsi and Innovative)
- ready reference on the go – Handango, answers.com
- ebooks – mobipocket (U of Alberta has directions on downloading netLibrary into PDAs)
- databases (Ovid and LexisNexis have some mobile partnerships)
*Los Angeles public has ipods and smartphones, Thomas Ford Memorial, Duke Freshman Reading project – Billy Collins reading his poetry in a podcast

*check IMDB and New York times for examples of optimized web; convert web pages on the fly can be another option

Third party sites – google mobile optimizer, skweezer
- convert your sites for mobile “transcoding”

Mobilize your content with an RSS feed – simple format for display
Mobilize your mashups – Frucall (compare prices), RealTime Traffic

Drawbacks to mobile web:
1. Cost
2. Comfort with small size
*people are using the devices to text message because it’s much cheaper

Content via SMS – texting: more acceptance
Communicating with mobile users

Next generation prefers the texting environment – we need to get in their network
- check altarama.com.au
- extending ready reference or library record lists
- JOOPZ web texting – fill out simple web form and translate to text message

LibriVox – auidobook version of project Gutenberg
Expected n 2007 – PVR (personal video recording on your mobile)

What’s next?
*problem with data entry
- communicate using images “photo to search”
- voice recognition
- taking advantage of GPS – location interaction, geotagging
- face recognition for security

full url for presentation – web.simmons.edu/~fox/pda

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