Internet Librarian 2011, Day 1: Developing a mobile presence: mobile web, usability, and devices

Developing a mobile presence: mobile web, usability, and devices

Ebsen Fjord, Nate Hill, Joel Shields

Dissemination with iPads – Ebsen

Boss wanted to spend some money on iPads … They first needed to figure out what they were going to do with them.

Goals for using iPads

  • Strengthen staff knowledge
  • Use as facilitator for interaction in the physical space
  • Educate our patrons
  • Be a tech-savvy library

What did we do?

  • 30 iPad2’s
  • Staff members knowledge and competences
  • Apps from apples AppStore – didn’t want to develop their own things, but just use what was already out there
  • The physical library


  • Playing with music
  • Jane Austen reading club
  • Read the daily news on the iPad
  • Angry birds tournament
  • Book reviews on YouTube
  • Workshops

Playing with music

  • Playing instruments, working with sounds, chords, sheet music and mixing
  • 2-3 iPads with relevant apps
  • 1 iPad with musicquiz

Jane Austin

  • English language reading club for expats
  • iPads with Jane Austin manuscripts, books, analysis, and more
  • They found reading aids, etc – besides just the book

Workshops – patrons exchanging knowledge with each other

Handling and security
Patrons check them out like a book
Some are mounted in a kiosk


Nate Hill

San Jose – lessons learned

Scan Jose – historic photos used in a new way

Using google location API for gis stuff

Connected to layar –

Do as I say, not as I’ve done


  • It’s a moving target – platforms change fast
  • Staff changes – completely changed
  • Learned the tech on the fly
  • Content and communication – its not just technology, it’s storytelling. It’s hard!

Used storyboards for interaction prototyping


Joel Shields

Developing a Mobile website for your library

How did I start?

Started by using mobile sites and realizing how not friendly for mobile they were

Created a wish list for the site

App or not – a consideration

  • 4 major platforms, each written in a different language, different developers fees, etc
  • So went with a web app – absolute control, your own standards,and it works on all devices

Used LAMP, written in php

iwebkit – simple framework of help build a mobile interface

Some catalogs have mobile versions too – he used an XML feed, did a bit of development work, and made a mobile version

Audience – targeting students. – demo version

You can log in and make it personal – basically using the catalog account stuff

Now what?

  • Beta testing – find interested people who want to help
  • Advertise
  • Prove it – track use though google analytics

A few things to keep in mind

  • Brevityisthe squalor mobile design
  • Make the URL familiar and easy to typed a mobile device
  • Don’t overdo it
  • Merit personal
  • Ok to leave things out
  • Make it look good
    Plan for the future- leave room for growth
  • Advertise
  • Track usage