I know it’s way past IL2009, but I want to publish these last few notes.
The rest of the mobile/handheld track was like attending a MLM meeting. All these presenters showed how YOU TOO can achieve mobile market penetration for your library services, and demonstrated some very slick applications. Many were developed by academic libraries to entice students to use library services. We don’t have enough of that demographic group captured in the public library setting yet. And yet, I walked out of the sessions all pumped up with a MISSION to learn about mobile applications, CONVINCED that a mobile library world is inevitable, and that we’d better be READY with the supply when our public announces its demand.
Numbers were liberally sprinkled throughout the presentations, but basically showed that cell phone use is still a very small part of library service, ranging from 0.05% to 11% of patrons. It is growing, though, and the trends indicate that in a few years, virtually everyone will have a smart-phone.
The general advice dispensed was to know how our patrons are using their phones, what they do on their phones, and then decide which library services should be adapted for mobile.
But the projects were prime! Shoutbomb works with your ILS (III’s Millennium was specifically mentioned, and that’s what we’re using) to send notifications via SMS to patrons’ cell phones.