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Going Mobile: Putting your library in the hands of your patrons

October 24, 2010

>Ronalee Ciocco, Director of User Services & Jessica Howard, Reference & Web Services Librarian Gettysburg College

Ronalee and Jessica talked about how they have developed their mobile web site and the content for it.

1/3 of current U.S. population currently uses mobile phones — and more and more are using to access the Internet.

Currently, less than 1/2 percent of library ‘hits’ are via mobile devices at Gettysburg

Library Success Wiki has lots of examples of library web sites – they looked at these sites; some of the concerns they identified:
-response time, esp. with lots of images
-text is so small, hard to read
-didn’t want to make entire site available on the mobile site; small number of choices preferred

Gettysburg College had used (free) iWebKit to create a CSS for college mobile pages, also developed an iPhone app aimed at prospective students, and the library was able to tap into that.

They asked themselves, ‘What do our users want?’
They surveyed users in spring and fall 2010, asking them what library resources or services they wanted to access, what device they are using, and who they are

Got about 28 responses, not a lot, mostly students
1/2 used iPhone/iPod Touch
1/4 used Blackberry
1/4 used Android, Palm, or other device

Survey results — what users want:
-top choices: library catalog & renewing items
-surprise choice: databases

Start small — just one or two large, interdisciplinary ones
Testing other mobile databases/tools
Track use of those they’ve implemented

Tracking usage of particular resources

Mobile marketing
-doing a homepage redirect, if users have a mobile device
-traditional PR campaign
-marketing plan — marketing committee

They are considering using LibGuides for their mobile web page, but need to evaluate it.

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