Lisa Carlucci, Director of design think do, put together this year's Library Journal Virtual Tech Summit "Power to the Patron". The event included a keynote, three panels, and a tweet-up #ljtechsmt. I was the twitter moderator for the keynote, first panel, and assisted with the tweet-up. This entry is focused on the first panel and the tweet-up.
The first panel, moderated by Cody Hanson, was Mobile Apps: What Do Users Need?
Nate Hill, Web Librarian doing design and development work at the San Jose Public Library, talked about the Scanjose.org project. Scanjose is a walking tour of San Jose using images from the library collection. It is best experienced when using it on a mobile device or a tablet in San Jose, CA. For this project, Hill had to decide if they wanted to create a native mobile app or just have it work in a web browser. Working in a browser meant they can could do what they already knew what to do. HTML5 and Drupal 7 were used, and jQuery mobile was also used for easy to use buttons. This project allows the library to engage people in a new way
Rebecca Ranallo, Internet & Media Services Manager for the Cuyahoga County Public Library, talked about CCPL Mobile. The library decided to go moble to support its mission: be most convenient public library. CCPL mobile is partnership with Boopsie. The app was also developed because the current library website is pretty inflexible. A great thing about the CCPL app is it allows you to check out materials via mobile device right there in the stacks. CCPL stopped security stripping materials as they found it was cheaper to replace missing items than security tag everything in their collection. Since implementing the app, they've seen a significant increase in use of digital materials. Approximately 4300 customers (predominately iPhone and Android) are using the app. Popular uses: catalog search, self checkout, digital media, library locator, my account. CCPL advertised the availability of the app via library website and social media: purchased Google ads and created QR codes.
Michael Whitchurch, chair of the Learning Commons Department in the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young, was the next panelist. Whitchurch started by asking participants where they've seen QR codes. Next he ask when should we use QR codes in libraries? What is the Value Add? Value add included things like event details (lecture announcement poster), independence (audio tour, activity that allows for participation flexibility), an actionable task (reserving a room). Where should you put QR codes? Point-of-need, location specific information. Sign positioning is key, near signs with similar information. Why use QR codes? Convenience (quicker), simplify a task, url duplication. Have a purpose beyond "hype" for your QR code, use when and where appropriate for the reason. Whitchurch also suggested visiting the Library Success wiki on QR Codes.
Dan DeSanto, Information and Instruction Services Department at the University of Vermont, was the final panelist. He discussed the Long Trail digital collection. He created an app using USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) headings. GNIS provides standardize latitude/longitude points to create graphical access point. The app is still very much in development. Building/designing using Xcode 4, and collaborating with the Computer Science department on its development. DeSanto likes working with apps because: extensibility, ability to put multiple collections in one app. He also likes working with apps because libraries create acces to digital collection at "point of interest".
After tweeting this session, I took a break to get away from the computer and eat lunch. I popped back later to catch the end of the final session and participate in the tweet-up.
For me, one of the true "power to the patron" things mentioned was CCPL no longer using tattle tape in their print materials.
During the tweet-up, one of the best questions I saw asked was posted by Stephanie Chase @acornsandnuts:
For the post-
#ljtechsmt crowd: if you could point a non-librarian to one bk/blog/wbste/resource dscr what libraries are about, it would be...
I'd be really interested in what titles you'd suggest.
Overall this was a pretty thought-provoking event. I appreciated the opportunity to interact with others around these topics and services. As always, I learned many new things.