Mobile devices and Connections
As a Community Technology Specialist, one of the main responsibilities of my job is to help patrons with technology questions. In the past year, I noticed that about 80% percent of the questions I answer are about mobile devices. In the article by Kristine Lu Growth in mobile news use driven by older adult, states that “more than eight-in-ten U.S. adults now get news on a mobile device (85%), compared with 72% just a year ago and slightly more than half in 2013 (54%).” Lu, K. (2017). I believe that this trend is going to continue to increase over time because as more people get comfortable with using mobile technologies. Libraries need to embrace the mobile technology community and create content that caters to their needs.
Libraries put a lot of effort and resources into creating physical programming, however, there is not enough thought placed towards the virtual space. In the article by Michel Stephens Serving the User When and Where They Are: Hyperlinked Libraries, he says “The hyperlinked library model flourishes in both physical and virtual spaces by offering collections, activities, training, and events that actively transform spectators into participants.” Stephens, M. (2015). The person-to-person method of engaging patrons still works but if libraries want to grow their audience they need to move into the virtual space. Libraries need to innovate in order to serve the user when they need help and where they need the service.
Its time for libraries to start thinking of custom made virtual programming and interactive apps with newsfeed to engage users. In connection, libraries need to rethink the role of the librarian and hire new staff accordingly. There continues to be a major gap with the staff and knowledge with technology. As technology advances and patrons seek to social distance due to changes in the world, libraries will need to adapt quickly and pivot their hiring strategies. It will no longer be enough to have one technology expert per library, instead, there will need to have teams that can support the demand and changes. Technology and innovation move fast and libraries should too if they want to better serve their communities.
Lu, K. (2017). Growth in mobile news use driven by older adults. Retrieve