Mobile Info Environments (Blog assignment #4)

Utilization of mobile technologies is essential for any modern library today. Coming back to the idea of meeting patrons where they are, using mobile tech to engage with patrons is essential to this concept because right now, almost everyone is mobile – almost. That last part is important, and I’ll come back to that later in this post.

Jan Holmquist, in his MOOC on mobile technology, tells us that the mobile technologies in the library “must be used in a meaningful way.” That is to say that in developing strategies for using these technologies, librarians need to think about why they are using them, not just that they are using them. How does a new mobile outreach program engage patrons in new ways? Who are we reaching that we didn’t before? What benefit does this new initiative bring to the library and its patrons? And, what are the pitfalls, roadblocks and concerns in implementing these technologies?

“It’s about making conversations happen and connecting with people,” Holmquist goes on to say. This is the cornerstone of the hyperlinked library and the heart of what we are learning through this course – we are learning how to create connections to the library, within the library, and among those who use the library.

To circle back to the issue of almost everyone being mobile:

Something that’s been on my mind more and more throughout the course is the digital divide. The more I learn about all the exciting new technologies libraries are debuting, the more concerned I am at how these developments might be outpacing underserved communities. Having yet to work inside a library, I may be overstepping here, but I would caution when library staff are making choices about what technologies to implement, to take deep consideration of who might be left out – especially when transitioning a service to a purely mobile platform. It will be essential in the coming years to ensure that our technolust isn’t further marginalizing already marginalized communities and that we take great care to keep all services inclusive.

References

Holmquist, J. (2013). MOOC. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJFU8Vb2i7KwdDjZwceGOhRlb6LuuYMQV

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3 thoughts on “Mobile Info Environments (Blog assignment #4)

  1. Completely agree with this: “I would caution when library staff are making choices about what technologies to implement, to take deep consideration of who might be left out – especially when transitioning a service to a purely mobile platform.”

    It is curious how the techno-phobic among us do not recognize that when we withhold or restrict technologies for the sake of keeping the library a sacred quiet space… we are denying access to entire generations of people.

    This is illustrated by a conversation I shared this week about why DVDs are important to the collection. Sometimes I tire of repeating my stance that individuals learn in many ways, and DVDs have a role in learning. Really?

  2. My thought on this is that the library should be the place for people to learn about and experience technologies of all kinds – because it really is part of our life literacies. So I might be on another part of the continuum on this – but I see your point about mobile applications.

    This reading from Module 5 explores this idea:

    http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2017/04/lj-in-print/libraries-in-balance-office-hours/

    • I definitely agree that the library should be a place to learn and explore new technologies! In fact, it’s especially important to those who do not have access to these technologies through other means. I think a big part of helping to bridge the digital divide is outreach efforts. This way, librarians are making sure that anyone and everyone has the chance to learn, and that as many people as possible – especially those who are difficult to reach – know about these services.

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