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My Recent ALA TechSource Workshop Slides

I have recently given an ALA TechSource Workshop on “Improving Your Library’s Mobile Services.”

  • Did you know that now we spend 38 % of our Internet time on mobile?
  • And we spend more time with our smartphones than with our partners.

If you are interested in the changes that are taking place in the mobile Web and libraries, check out the slides below!

LITA Mobile Computing IG Meeting at ALA Midwinter 2011

I am very excited about the LITA Mobile Computing IG Meeting at ALA Midwinter 2011. If you are interested in mobile devices and libraries, please join for the lively and informal discussion. Great presentations and discussion topics are already lined up. Bring your own topic to discuss with peers and colleagues with same interests! Add your thoughts and suggest more topics here at:

LITA Mobile Computing IG Meeting at ALA Midwinter 2011

When: Sun. Jan 9 1:30pm – 3:30pm (Pacific Time)

Where: SDCC 31a

Come and join us for the exciting, lively, and informal discussion about libraries and mobile devices at the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego! In addition to covering the following presentations and discussion topics, we will also discuss what everyone is working on and other topics brought for discussion.

Presentations and Discussion Topics

  • “A rapid ethnographic study of the iPad on a campus bus” – Jim Hahn (University of Illinois)
    : This short presentation will describe the results of a rapid ethnographic study of 10 students using an iPad on a campus bus. Presentation will include fail-points to use as well as unexpected use. Discussion of frequently searched for terms as well as the significance of user context will be included. Tentative ideas for apps to develop as a result of student search data will be discussed.
  • “Putting the fun back in mobile websites: launching an OS book recommender” – Evviva Weinraub & Hannah Rempel (Oregon State University)
    : Building on the success of our mobile site, including a fully mobile catalog, and our well received historical walking tour, Beaver Tracks, OSU Libraries Mobile Team went looking for a fun project to work on.  Recognizing that many students (not to mention faculty, staff and our own librarians) often want diversionary reading, we began working on an open source mobile book recommender tool. We will describe how we selected the content to include in our book recommender database, some details of how the book recommender tool was built, the process of choosing a design, and a demonstration of the features of the book recommender tool.  Our planned go live date is January 7, 2011.
  • “Creating a mobile site with zero budget” – Tiffani Travis (California State University)
    : Is there a simple way to connect users to vital library info and links to mobile versions of products other than creating a full-blown mobile website? This presentation will share the experience of quickly creating a “free” mobile site using LibGuides and WordPress, both of which auto-format their sites for smart phones.
  • “Brainstorming ideas about great library-centric apps”
    : This will be a brainstorming session for library-centric mobile apps that go beyond searching the catalog or looking up building hours. How can we leverage the existence of the mobile platform to provide a truly transformative experience of the library?  Your input may be used to inform suggested development tasks for the competition and overall guidelines to the “Apps for Libraries” development competition planned by Tod Colegrove (University of Nevada, Reno).
  • “Mobile usability and assessment”
    : Has anyone done or is anyone planning to do a usability study or assessments and also the accessibility (for people with disabilities) for a library’s mobile website or apps? We will discuss also how we can measure success in regard to the mobile web (e.g. feedback, environmental scanning, survey, etc.).

Mobile Devices and a Sensor Revolution

Have you heard about the emerging Internet of Things? I have been meaning to write about this for a while now but was unable to find time.  This term refers to the new and expanded Internet by real-world objects that are connected to the Internet and feeds the massive amount of new data to the Web through its sensors  such as a smartphone equipped with a camera, mic, a touchscreen.

The New York Times article, “The Coming Data Explosion” that ran on May 31 reports the coming data explosion that will result from the Internet of Things. The article also talks about “a sensor revolution”  quoting Marissa Mayer: “today’s phones are almost like people,” in that they have senses such as eyes (a camera), ears (a microphone) and skin (a touch screen).”  The result of ubiquitous smartphone use is that more and more data will be uploaded and made available to the web. Remember all the photos you take with your cellphone and upload to  TwitPic, pictures you draw with your fingers and post to Flickr, and video recordings  you make and upload to Facebook?  If you thought that was cool, now wait until you see a nanosensor that can sense all of these below.

* Vibration
* Tilt
* Rotation
* Navigation
* Sound
* Air flow
* Light
* Temperature
* Biological
* Chemical
* Humidity
* Pressure
* Location

With this kind of a nanosensor, your cellphone is also a thermostat, GPS, air flow detector, molecule reader, etc.  Can you imaging what kinds of applications will come out taking advantage of this type of nanosensors that detect multiple senses?  I have previously posted on this blog about a cool medical iPhone/iTouch app called Pocket CPR that gives you immediate sensory feedback to a CPR procedure you perform holding your mobile device. If I am pressing a patient’s heart not fast enough, it will tell me to go faster; if I am not pressing hard enough, it will tell me to do so. Even though this app is pretty rudimentary utilizing only the simple movements of up-and-down and the speed of a device, there is something marvelous about it. I think that is because the way the device is used in this case offers us experience that is entirely new to us.

The sensor revolution has the potential of transforming a mobile device into a de facto default device for our day-to-day interaction with the web.