m-Libraries Conference 2009, Second International m-libraries Conference

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Why m-libraries? Making the Case for Innovation

Joan K Lippincott

Last modified: 2009-06-18


Many academic librarians have thought about developing services targeted for users with mobile devices, but in actuality, many have held off on implementation. It seems that both planning for services for mobile devices and then implementing a plan are not a high priority for many academic libraries at the moment. This talk will focus on three rationales for bringing mobile services to a higher priority level for academic libraries.


The motivating factors are: recognizing and addressing a significant shift in how our user communities do academic work; staying ahead of the curve as other units of the campus decide on mobile platforms and licenses; and, understanding the strategic value of being seen as an innovator in this area. It is important for librarians to understand the ways in which faculty and students are using mobile devices in conjunction with teaching, learning, and research, and not just in their social interactions; there are opportunities for increased availability of scholarly content that is compatible with mobile devices, and there are opportunities for working with user created content. As campus bookstores license content for e-book readers and information technology units choose standard equipment for “clickers,” will libraries be part of the decision-making process or will they find out, after the fact, that the choices they make in these areas are not compatible with other campus units? How can the library stay relevant as our users increasingly bypass our physical collections; are services for mobile devices part of the answer? These issues will be explored in this presentation.


The talk will be aimed at both library administrators, who must commit resources to the development of services for mobile devices, and to those librarians who may need to make a case to senior administrators to convince them of the value and importance of these innovations.


Full Text: Power Point Presentation