Category Archives: iPhone

“Why the QR Code is Failing”

Aaron Schmidt shares a quote by way of John Gruber:

People will not adopt a technical solution that serves to replace a manual task, if that solution is less efficient than the manual task it replaces. How could we think that QR codes for marketing would work any better than CueCat? Did we not learn the first time?

Click through and read Sean X Cummings full article – he offers some interesting ideas for making QR codes useful.

My question – has any library or information organization actually researched successful use and adoption?


I got an iPhone this past month, and I’ve been slowly digging into the vast library or apps that the phone offers.  A lot of things have grabbed my attention, but nothing perhaps so much as Historypin.  From Wikipedia:

Historypin is an online, user-generated archive of historical photos and personal recollections. Users are able to use the location and date of an image to ‘pin’ it to Google Maps Where Google Street View is available, users can overlay the historical photograph and compare it with the contemporary location. 

When I use Historypin, all that I can think about is how libraries should be jumping all over this and using it to create a unique glimpse into their community.  I’ve talked before about how I believe the path forward for public libraries is in encouraging our communities to create unique content (1, 2, and 3) and here is a tool that allows us to do this.

Here’s what I’m imagining from my point of view as a teen librarian: what if I got a handful of teens interested in photography, a few digital cameras or iPod touches, and we had a program where we headed out into the city for a half hour taking pictures.  We could then come back into the library and, using the library’s wifi and the Historypin app, upload the photos and catalog our city at that moment in time.  What’s even better is that Historypin encourages users to snap pictures of old photographs and upload them to Historypine (see the above image for an example).  Say that your library has an extensive local history collection (sort of like the one at my library).  Wouldn’t it be great to mobilize some volunteers to digitize photos and upload them to Historypin?  The library could even partner with local tourism organizations to give people with mobile phones a walking history tour of the city.

You can download Historypin for iOs and Android devices here:
Or try it online here:


(many thanks to Nate Hill for turning me onto this awesome site)

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor



Thomas Brevik on iPad

Thomas and I have worked together at Internet Librarian International 2008 and back in the day doing a podcast or two about Library 2.0. He’s one of the good thinkers in LIS who I wish I had more of a chance to sit with and talk. Glad to see his take on the iPad this morning.

For libraries the iPad will have little immediate impact. What it probably will do, if it is a hit in the marketplace, is that it will fuel reader demand for e-books. I predict that it will be a slow development, but maybe too fast for many librarians. When the demand for e-books is for Nora Roberts latest romance novel, rather than some science fiction blockbuster or main stream popular science non-fiction, and the person wanting the e-book is the harassed mother with three kids running around her at the library desk, then e-books will have arrived in the library. This could happen if the iPad really hits it off with the public.

For libraries there are two main challenges:

1. How do we get content from the library to the iPad and similar devices, and can libraries use iBook or the AppStore as a delivery method? I think there will be several opportunities, and that binding libraries to a cooperation with Apple to get in through the iBook store probably will be difficult and even counterproductive. There are at least two avenues to go, either create an international LibraryBook app (open source of course), that will work on any operating system, or cooperate with the creators of any of the open source apps that are out there to deliver books through them. Both avenues has their pros- and cons, but I believe that to secure a future for the library brand it would be a good idea to develop a special library app.

2. Will the iPad and iPad like devices  change the media habits of readers? Very likely. The iPod and iPhone has both changed a lot of behaviour and expectations from library users, and how other devices are viewed and used. I expect to see increasing demand for content on tablets from readers and probably pressure on the library to deliver certain types of content, i.e. ebooks.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on an iPad and try it out in my library.

So am I – to try it out with my students and colleagues at Dominican.

LIS768 Group Projects Day 2

The New Digital Divide

This group explored the New Digital Divide.

Mobile Devices & Libraries Experts Speak at ALA

Libraries had better prepare for an explosion in the capacity of mobile devices as well as the transformative increase in user capacity and expectations. This was the message conveyed by a panel yesterday at the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference on Libraries and Mobile Devices: Public Policy Considerations.

After all, explained Jason Griffey, assistant professor and head of Library Information Technology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, cell phones are the most popular and ubiquitous information device worldwide; in 50 countries, cell phone penetration (phones/person) exceeds 100 percent.

By the end of 2010, he continued, 90 percent of the world’s population will have access to a cell-phone signal. Right now, more than 60 percent of people have a cell-phone subscription, and three-quarters of them use text messaging. That total, 2.4 billion people, is twice the number currently using email.

Further, more people are now accessing the web through mobile devices such as a smartphone. New examples include the always-on Kindle and the growing number of netbooks.

Read the whole article. It provides great coverage of a dynamic session and much food for thought. Griffey, Eli Neiberger and Tom Peters make up the ultra-hot panel of experts assembled to talk about mobile devices and libraries.

The Cell Phone Police

Don’t miss Dominican GSLIS Alum Leah White’s article in LJ:

So what do the survey results tell us? “A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t stop a face-to-face conversation between patrons, then you have no justification for stopping a technology-mediated conversation,” observed one library worker. “If you would stop a face-to-face conversation (e.g., in a Quiet Zone), then naturally cell phones would fall under the same policy.”

Library users voiced strikingly similar opinions. Users agreed that cell phone conversations should be kept to a minimum and should be conducted respectfully. Most respondents said they understood the need to monitor cell phone use in libraries but opposed banning their use outright. “Certainly, if I can use my phone to access the catalog, why ban its use altogether?” one library user noted. “It’s more of a conduct or ‘disruptive behavior’ issue than anything.”

Pew: The Mobile Difference–Typology.aspx

  • 8% of adults use mobile devices and broadband platforms for continual information exchange to collaborate with their social networks
  • 7% of adults actively use mobile devices and social networking tool, yet are ambivalent about all the connectivity
  • 8% of Americans find mobility lighting their information pathways, but have comparatively few tech assets at home
  • 16% of adults are active conduits of content and information for
  • 61% are anchored to stationary media; though many have broadband and cell phones, coping with access is often too much for them
  • DCPL iPhone Application

    Run don’t walk to checkout the new DCPL IPhone App for the catalog:

    Aaron writes:


    iphone details photo2 

    Hurrah for alternative OPAC interfaces! I’m very pleased to let you know that the DCPL iPhone app went live last night. You can download it from the iTunes app store here. Functionality in this version includes:

    • searching for library materials
    • seeing an item’s cover and reading a summary
    • placing a hold for pickup at the location of your choice
    • finding the hours, locations and phone numbers of DC public libraries

    If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, please download it try it out. We’d love to know what you think and what we can do to make it better. You can leave feedback through this form.

    To my knowledge, this is the first iPhone application put out by a library. A big congrats to DCPL CIO Chris Tonjes who assembled a great team, and a big thanks to Brian Farmer for his coding skills, Bill McClendon for his knowledge of the SirsiDynix backend and Gilbert Luwaile for testing. You can read more about all of them at the DCPL Labs Staff page.

    iPhone App Review: Charlie for Flickr


    Charlie for Flickr, originally uploaded by mstephens7.

    When the App store launched, I tried the Flickr apps available – including one or two that I purchased. But recently I’ve been using Charlie, a new app developed by Graham Savage, for my Flickr surfing/commenting. The app is available in the store for $2.99:
    Disclaimer: I beta tested Charlie for Graham these past few weeks and offered feedback about various features. What Graham created from the get go is a fluid, easily navigated, and usable interface to checkout what’s happening at Flickr. The start screen gives me access to all the things I want: My photos (to see if recent uploads made it), recent comments (to see what folks are saying about my images), comments I’ve made (to see if folks have responded to my requests to use and cite their images in my talks), recent photos from my contacts and more, including a snazzy search feature.
    The navigation impresses me. Drill down on a comment or favorited photo and you can follow a commentor to their own photos easily.  Images display full screen and allow the pinch and zoom actions. The explore option takes you right into the most recent Explore entries. Two or three minutes with the interface, and navigation become intuitive and rather fun.
    If you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch, I would recommend this app. I did have a beta copy but I bought my own this week when it went live. I have a set of screenshots here and you can access the app here:
    A note about the name of this outstanding app. Graham and his partner John had Charlie, a beautiful female Labrador for many years. I think it’s a fitting tribute for such a beautiful lab. You see her picture on the app’s splash screen.
    Well done Graham!