Mobile Library Home Page 6

Superpatron reports on Duke University’s mobile home page for the library:

Mobile Library Home

Available Computers
Contact Us
Loan Periods

7 Phone: (919) 660-5880 (Perkins Reference)

Main Library Home Page (not formatted for mobile devices)

If you click through to “Available Computers” you get real time status of free/busy computers in their labs.

This is what they write about it on their library blog:

Key points about our pilot:

  • Compact display: information optimized for the very small screen space available on handheld devices — every pixel counts.
  • Compact file size: patrons often pay a fee for each byte transmitted to their device, and handheld devices often have very slow connection speeds — every byte counts.
  • Tightly focused content: the content we provide is closely tied to the tasks people are most likely to undertake on a handheld device — context counts.
  • Optimized Navigation: navigation is optimized for handheld devices (e.g., using access-keys for keypad navigation).

I’m very interested in this. Have any TTW readers developed a mobile homepage for their libraries?

6 thoughts on “Mobile Library Home Page

  • lukethelibrarian

    Thanks for linking to this — we’ve been looking at doing something like this for our library at UT Health Science Center San Antonio. It’s helpful to see what others have done, especially when they’ve done it as well as the Duke site.

  • Steve Watkins

    We put together something similar a while back, optimized for simple WAP/WML phone browsers, then tried adding a script that attempts to identify what type of browser the user has on her/his device and choosing either the WML display or a stripped-down HTML version that was originally intended for a Facebook widget. I was also able to create a Z39.50-based, stripped down interface to our Voyager catalog that’s fully searchable via the mobile interface as well, even on those plain WAP browsers. The landing page is at and be forewarned that the script doesn’t always identify browsers correctly and sometimes displays raw WML code. And there is a Firefox plugin called WMLBrowser that will let you view and use that version if you don’t have a phone with a WAP browser.

    –Steve Watkins
    California State University, Monterey Bay
    steve_watkins AT

  • Steve Watkins

    Oops, I forgot to say in my previous comment that there is a direct link to the WML version of our mobile interface at that you will need the Firefox plugin or a WAP phone browser to view. It is much more optimized to meet the four key points that Duke has laid out in regard to their interface design.


  • John Wohlers

    WE have had a WML based (precursor to XHTML Mobile) interface to the library’s website since 2005. It doesn’t get a lot of heavy use, but we do have some usage. Patrons can use their cell phones to check the library hours, and the status of their main library account, and their ILL materials. They are also able to cancel holds (never have gotten placing a hold working), and to renew materials.
    I hope when time permits I can create a XHTML-Mobile version as well and take advantage of the benefits of that more modern platform. The landing page for the library usually does a decent job of detecting mobile browsers and pointing them to the mobile page. Just in case it doesn’t though,

  • Walter Betts

    The TCU Library has had a site customized for small screen devices since November 2006. This site provides basic library information (hours, contacts, directions) as well as a basic version of our catalog.

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