Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mobile iPhone App For Public Libraries

Public libraries might seem to be very 20th century, but they still provide a service to many communities everywhere.  They have provided free wi-fi and computer access for sometime, but apart from that nothing much has changed to bring libraries into the 21st century, until now.  Vancouver public library (Canada), is probably one of the first to really embrace new technology, by launching a mobile App for the iPhone.

Now you can browse the library's catalog on your Apple mobile device in a very user friendly format and find the location of the book .  The App has a GPS functionality map to locate exactly where the nearest library is to you, with the book you selected. Basic website access to library catalogs has been available for a while, but it is hardly attractive nor user friendly.

What has also been a missed opportunity, are reader reviews.  Why not encourage your borrowers to write reviews on the books they have loaned?  Well now you can write and review books with this new App.  If we're going to pay for a public service, it makes sense to make it as functional, accessible and enjoyable as possible.  Maybe such an App might encourage other community interaction on a very local level, whether it's to announce children's reading events, or book review meet-ups or any other special events the Library could host.  Just by making such an App available, let social interaction naturally bring people together.

The next feature to add would be the ability to read electronic books, with a mechanism of expiration that automatically deleted the download from your device after the permitted loan period.  Now that would bring libraries into the mobile digital age.

The App is free in the iTunes store.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Sociable

 
Business Issues Today Copyright © 2009 Blogger Template Designed by Bie Blogger Template