I gave a presentation on the Handheld Librarian Online Conference on Feb. 17, 2010 with the title of “Mobile Access to Licensed Databases in Medicine and Other Subject Areas,” with my colleague, Marissa Ball. (Unfortunately the archived recording is not available for the public and I can’t even access it…) We also gave the same presentation in DCLA (Dade County Library Association) Fair on Mar. 31, 2010. While we had almost four hundred attendees in the online presentation, we had the audience of a dozen librarians at the local DCLA fair. We loved having presentations with librarians in a virtual as well as a physical space. The experience was interestingly different.
In the presentation, we focused on the current status of mobile access to licensed databases. It is worthwhile to look at what is happening in medicine regarding mobile resources because mobile devices were introduced in medicine much earlier than in other areas and are more widely used. There exist more database vendors in medicine and health sciences that offer mobile resources, and medical and health sciences libraries are more familiar with offering and supporting mobile resources for library users. In medicine, the use of a mobile device and mobile resources also provides unique benefits by bringing up-to-date information at the point of care to help healthcare practitioners to make an informed clinical decision. Interestingly, however, there seem to be no such unique benefits from using a mobile device or mobile resources in humanities or social sciences that are comparable to those found in medicine. Hence, the question is if mobile resources and devices will eventually play a unique role in teaching, learning, and research activities in areas that are not practice-based as they are in medicine. we expressed an optimistic view on this question since mobile devices can allow students to learn, teachers to teach, and researchers to research using mobile devices in a way that is completely different from the way they currently do using desktop computers.
What do you think? Here are the presentation slides and also a very inspiring presentation by Dr. Ivor Kovic in Mobile Monday in Amsterdam.