Several articles in this issue focus on library use of mobile technologies.
Here are direct links to four articles. Three dealing with mobile and the fourth about archiving web material using the the Memento protocol. Memento is an award winning “technical framework” that can help make finding and accessing older web content easier.
1. ISBN and QR Barcode Scanning Mobile App for Libraries
Graham McCarthy and Sally Wilson
This article outlines the development of a mobile application for the Ryerson University Library. The application provides for ISBN barcode scanning that results in a lookup of library copies and services for the book scanned, as well as QR code scanning. Two versions of the application were developed, one for iOS and one for Android. The article includes some details on the free packages used for barcode scanning functionality. Source code for the Ryerson iOS and Android applications are freely available, and instructions are provided on customizing the Ryerson application for use in other library environments. Some statistics on the number of downloads of the Ryerson mobile app by users are included.
2. Using Web Services for a Mobile OPAC
by Denis Galvin and Mang Sun
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the creation and intended evolution of the Rice University mobile online public access catalog (OPAC). The focus of the article is on how SirsiDynix’s Symphony Web Services can be used to create a mobile OPAC.
3. iRoam: Leveraging Mobile Technology to Provide Innovative Point of Need Reference Services
by James MacDonald & Kealin McCabe
The University of Northern British Columbia’s Geoffrey R. Weller Library can boast of a healthy and stable reference service. While statistical analysis reveals that patron use of this service is on the decline, this is not unlike current trends experienced by many libraries today. The library averages a total of 6300 reference transactions per year, a significant number for a small, research-intensive university serving 3500 FTE. The unanswered question is why are the numbers dropping? One theory is that providing research and reference assistance in a traditional manner is affecting the number of transactions. Reference service is traditionally provided in a stationary manner, whereby patrons are required to visit the reference desk of their own volition. Recognizing that a stationary librarian cannot reach a stationary patron, UNBC library began an innovative roaming reference pilot project in September, 2010. Combining the power of wireless networks, tablet computing and chat services, 5 librarians provided point-of-need, face-to-face and virtual reference services during peak reference hours over the fall 2010 semester. This article outlines the project and technologies employed to make it happen (iPad, apps, instant messaging widgets and wireless networks).
4. Implementing Time Travel for the Web
by Robert Sanderson, Harihar Shankar, Scott Ainsworth, Frank McCown, Sam Adams
This article discusses the challenges and solutions discovered for implementing the Memento protocol in a variety of browser environments. It describes the design and deployment of the client technologies which have been developed: a web application that functioned as a browser, an add-on for FireFox called MementoFox, a plugin for Internet Explorer and an Android-based client application. The design and technical solutions identified during the development will be of interest to those considering implementation of a Memento based platform, especially on the client side, however the interactions are also important for building conformant server-side systems.