Category Archives: Location & Mobile

Library on Wheels – Blogging Gold from Char Booth

Please do not miss:

Just a snippet demonstrates Char Booth’s evidence-based, grounded approach to library outreach and technology:

the mobile shift: not exactly news

Now, down to project business. Mobile platforms and services have become one of the most handily bandied-about concepts in libraryland over the last few years, and for very good reason. Recent research from ECARPIL (pdf), and Pew (among others) documents a mobile shift in personal and academic connectivity, communication, and access among learners. My own research for the Council of Chief Librarians of California Community Colleges in 2011 examined in part the receptivity of participants to mobile library functionality, which resoundingly confirmed mobile trends. Figure 27  shows mobile library interest among smartphone/web-enabled mobile device owners, which represented 56% (N=1,453) of our five-campus survey population (CCL LTES Final Report, p. 36).

Chart showing mobile device receptivity, CCL LTES 2011 Project report

In all categories, a majority of respondents indicated they were very or fairly likely to use mobile library content, research, and support options from their device, significantly higher than other technology applications such as location-based services and social media (with the exception of a Facebook and YouTube). See Figure 26 (ibid., p 34).

Chart showing receptivity to social, etc. library technology services, CCL LTES 2011 Report

“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?

Scanning Library Cards on Smartphones from the Swiss Army Librarian

Don’t miss:

Patrons also use these apps for their library card numbers, and some libraries aren’t sure how to handle the library-card-on-smartphone situation. It hasn’t really come up in my library, but I know our traditional scanners won’t read barcodes off a smartphone screen. So, I thought I’d do some research to find out what it would take to accommodate these patrons.

The reason it doesn’t work is because traditional barcode scanners are designed to read laser light reflected off a solid surface. Smartphone screens are emitting light, so an entirely different technology is needed.

The scanners that can read barcodes on smartphones are called CCD scanners (what that stands for is less important than a short description or a compare/contrast between CCD and traditional laser scanners).

After learning this, I started looking around at the different models and costs of CCD scanners. I stumbled across a Quora post mentioning a company called FaceCash* whichsells scanners for $30. That’s cheap enough for experimentation, so I contacted Aaron Greenspan (FaceCash founder) and bought one.

And it worked. I plugged it into a computer’s USB port, held it up to an iPhone with a library card displayed on it, and Beep, the scanner read it just like it should. I’m always shocked when tech things work right out of the box. And happily, the scanner also reads** regular barcodes too.

So now, for just $30, my library can accommodate those patrons who make their lives easier*** through mobile technology.

I have started to carry more and more of my cards in my iPhone. Make sure to read the whole post and comments for some good information and interesting discussion about this shift.

Kista Idea Lab Mobile Music Walk

The bold emphasis is mine:

A World Music Walk in the multilingual, multitalented and multitechnological Kista

Kista is like no other place – share a multi-special experience with us, where the mobile technology opens doors to the world music!

Join us on a fascinating journey where the world’s musical diversity meets the technical innovation that is so unique to Kista. Nowhere else in the world are so many world-leading innovation companies gathered side by side with a unique variety of musical, linguistic and cultural skills.
The Mobile World Music Walk is about getting to know the possibilities with the new mobile technology together and discovering the storytelling behind the living world music.

Mobile Music Walk
– on
– on

Thursday, November 25th 11am to 12:30pm
Sunday, November 28th 11am to 12:30pm

We meet up at the Kista library for a technical introduction. Then we start walking with our cell phones in our hands!

Read more about the music walk on
Kista World Music Festival’s website
Kista Idea Lab’s project blog

The Mobile World Music Walk is a cooperation project between
Kista Idea Lab
Kista World Music Festival
Mobile Life Centre

I’m impressed with this initiative from Sweden. What a great way to tie the library to an event and show off some merging technologies.