Thursday, January 08, 2009

Moving the Library to the Mobile

We increasingly have a ‘mesh’ of entry points: PC and phone, of course, but also DVRs, cameras, navigation systems, and consoles. We increasingly use a range of shared network level ‘cloud’ services: for search, for social networking, for content and information, for communication. Providing service in this environment is very different than in one where the model assumes a personal desktop or laptop as the place where resources are accessed and used and the institutional Web site as the place where they are delivered.

A couple of thoughts from a long and thoughtful piece by Lorcan Dempsey that sets out some of the issues for the library of the future.

As a growing proportion of library use is network–based, the library becomes visible and usable through the network services provided. On the network, there are only services. So, the perception of quality of reference or of the value of particular collections, for example, will depend for many people on the quality of the network services which make them visible, and the extent to which they can be integrated into personal learning environments. Increasingly, this requires us to emphasize the network as an integral design principle in library service development, rather than thinking of it as an add–on. The provision of RSS feeds is a case in point. Thinking about how something might appear on a mobile device is another.

From First Monday.

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