Cell phones are a part of our everyday lives, “for many, they have become the primary point of access to digital and a remote control for life” (Deloitte, n.d.). Yet, do library professionals know how important that is and how it can impact their library? Today, libraries are able to communicate with its patron virtually whether it be an online catalog or social media post.
One of the aspects I found interesting in this week’s module was that according to a study done in 2012, people used apps on their phone more compared to browsers by 0.20% (Enis, 2013). It would be interesting to see if another study was done today how many people are actually using apps instead of browsers on their cell phones. After I read this article, I decided to see if any of the libraries in my area were using apps. I found out that my county library has an app and was created in 2011 and I just found out about it today. Probably because I personally, prefer using the actual website. Now, just because libraries decide to create an app doesn’t always mean it’s the easiest to use. The app might have bugs which will cause it to not operate correctly or it might not be user friendly. Nonetheless, if a library does not have an app the library should make sure their website is not only user friendly but mobile friendly as well.
“For higher education institutions focused on this age group [18-24 years old], that means their digital infrastructure will need to support the latest technologies and platforms. But is also points to opportunities including greater use of mobiles for taking payments and administrative transactions” (Deloitte, n.d.). When I read the Deloitte (n.d) article and how undergraduates would be willing to use their phones to make payments for things, my mind went immediately to library fines. This I think would be a great opportunity for academic libraries to get their students to pay for their fines, especially in the library where I work at since we only take cash or check.
Lastly, I agree with Stephens (2015), when he stated that:
Exploring the hyperlinked library model as a mobile platform for discovery, interaction, and participation is just one facet of the rich and varied possibilities for our future. Delivering easy-to-use, unique, and just-in-time services to the palm of a user’s hand, however, may be one of the most important goals we take on as information professionals (p. 190).
The library is no longer just a physical space but a virtual space as well. Library professionals need to accept it and and grow as technology advances.
Enis, M. (2013). Mobile evolution: How apps are adapting to a new device ecosystem. The Library Journal. Retrieved from http:www.thedigitalshift.com
How do today’s students use mobiles? Retrieved from http://www.deloitte.com
Stephens, M. (2015). Hyperlinked libraries. In Hirsh, S. (2015). Information services today: An introduction. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.