Mobile Technology Applications In Emerging Library Computer Science Essay

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Today's students and professionals live in a 24/7/365 digital world. They conduct their lives in an integrated, mobile, just-in-time, and point-of-need fashion. School, work, and home lives are no longer distinct and segregated facets of daily living. Libraries around the country are responding to the call for accessing information on mobile technology. Mobile library services are still lacking and insufficient to meet the increasing needs of various users. This paper provides an overview of the development and application of mobile technology in libraries. It presents the service contexts and issues for the future application and access in the mobile library field. This paper categorizes real world examples. It identifies the new mission for building high quality mobile library services and discusses the future of mobile library architecture. It also presents a summary of key aspects of mobile library projects and suggests major areas for future planning and development. Finally it envisions the future of mobile library technology.

Knowledge of the World in My Hand: Mobile Technologies

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Mobile phones: When one thinks of mobile technologies, the first device that comes to mind has to be the cell phone or the smart phone. Beginners to the Smartphone in the library may want to consider a mobile-based website, a stripped-down design that reads well on small screens. These sites do not require too much web design knowledge (remember that well-designed mobile sites do not have complicated code or scripting languages) and can be designed in-house. Librarians can also consider the Smartphone app, either as a stand-alone app (University of Notre Dame's Hesburgh Libraries) or as part of a university app ( Duke University). Companies such as Boopsie, the designer of the American Library Association's conference apps, stand ready to make an app that can do anything for your users-from searching the catalog to patron account information to basic library information. Many library resource providers, such as Westlaw, EBSCO, Science Direct, and Reworks', have mobile apps or mobile sites that you can offer to your more wired students.

The smart phone is not the only phone portal to mobile outreach. Librarians who notice more traditional cell phones on campus should consider text reference for their mobile outreach programs. With Google Voice, AIM Hack services (five- or six-digit numbers popular for mobile phone donations), and library-based options such as MyInfoQuest and Mosio's Text a Librarian, you can set up a text reference service that can help you handle ready reference questions (or even more complicated questions) quickly and easily.

MP3 players: Mobile devices should not be limited to phones. Are you seeing library users with distinctive white wires extending from their ears? Chances are they are using an iPod or other MP3 player-mobile devices you can use in your library for audio and/or video tours. With them, students can explore the library at their convenience, concentrating on the parts of the collection most relevant to their needs.

E-readers: Despite being available for decades, the general public has only become aware of e-readers in the last 5 years, primarily due to the popularity of Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook. The latest generation takes content delivery to new levels, allowing for wireless browsing, purchasing, and delivery of content to these devices. There are still limitations, such as monochrome screens, difficulty with various file formats, and restrictive content licensing, but despite these drawbacks, users will bring e-readers to the library and will want to use them for their studies.

One area of digital content that academic libraries have already had a major presence in has been electronic reserves. This can be an easy place to start supporting e-readers on campus. Offering electronic reserves in a variety of formats improves the usability of the reserves system. The primary challenge that exists in this area is that unless the electronic reserve content is in a layout that can easily be converted to an e-reader format, it can be difficult to make it clearly readable. As conversion software improves and more content is born digitally, more libraries will support e-readers for reserves.

Tablets: Tablets such as the iPad are still primarily a consumer item today and are outside the price range many feel is acceptable for a gadget. As more enter the market, prices will drop, and they will become more commonplace. Tablet PCs will be used to consume media as more of it is digitized and made available online for download and streaming. This means that activities such as searching databases, downloading articles, and perusing the catalog will likely be done through tablets, either through apps or tablet-formatted websites. The overall utility of tablets also makes them an ideal device for accessing a variety of documents, including eBooks'. Their ability to play audiovisual materials and their web connectivity could signal a new form of academic text that is both immersive and interactive. As many tablets currently on the market are based on revised versions of Smartphone operating systems, they will have the same capabilities as Smartphone's and will run many of the same apps.

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Tablets can also provide on-the-spot reference services. Pilot programs in various libraries have shown that the tablet provides convenience in accessing the library's resources while away from the reference desk and is a novelty that draws students' attention. The design of the recent generation of tablets-lighter weights, slimmer profiles, and multi touch interfaces that elim­inate the need for peripherals-makes roving reference even easier. However, the lack of Flash web technology on many tablets does provide a barrier to accessing some websites, especially video sites.

Electronic textbooks: One of the next great digital frontiers being tackled is that of academic texts. Earlier attempts at electronic textbooks generally had mixed results, often due to lack of content in electronic format or discomfort with reading from a screen. Changes are on the horizon that suggests that these issues may have been corrected. E-readers and tablets have new features that allow students to highlight and add annotations to the text, just as they would with paper texts. They give students the capability to link to additional information.

Mobile Library Services

Libraries can provide a wide array of mobile services to interested users:

Mobile online public access catalogs (OPACs)-Libraries are providing access to their OPACs via mobile-optimized websites. The New York Public Library Mobile Beta site supports a mobile OPAC and allows users to browse library locations and hours (see http://m.nypl.org/).

Mobile applications-some libraries have developed mobile applications for Smartphone's. The District of Columbia Public Library, for example, has developed an iPhone application that includes a mobile OPAC and the ability to place items on hold, and also provides information on hours and locations of local libraries (see http://dclibrarylabs.org/projects/iphone/).

Mobile collections-Third-party content providers are partnering with libraries to deliver audio books, e-books, audio language courses, streaming music, films, images, and other multimedia that can be used on mobile devices. The Overdrive service is supported on numerous mobile devices and has developed an application for BlackBerry Smartphone's (see http://www.overdrive.com).

Duke University has created a free iPhone application called Duke Mobile, containing a wealth of information on digital library resources, including extensive access to the library's digital photo archive and other collections

(see http://itunes.apple.com/app/dukemobile/id306796270?mt=8).

Mobile library instruction-Some libraries are offering library instructional materials and resources via mobile platforms. For example, East Carolina University's "Research First Aid" is a series of podcasts for library researchers on the go (see http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/laupuslibrary/researchfirstaid.cfm).

Mobile databases-PubMed for Handhelds is a mobile web portal for the National Library of Medicine (see http://pubmedhh.nlm.nih.gov/).

Library Short Message Service (SMS) notifications-Many libraries use SMS for a variety of purposes, including notification for items available for pickup, due date reminders, information on availability of library materials, provision of call numbers and locations, and others (see http://cpl.org/?q=node/12258).

SMS Reference-Some libraries are offering "text-a-librarian" services ideal for simple questions that can be answered with a brief response (see http://www.library.yale.edu/science/textmsg.html).

For more information, visit M-Libraries, Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki (http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=M-Libraries).

Mobile applications for learning

Classics-23,469 Books to Go. Large collection of free classic literature packaged in an elegant and intuitive interface. Authors include Aristotle, Charles Dickens, Plato, and Oscar Wilde. By Spreadsong, Inc., Classics works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://spreadsong.com.

Dropbox. Store, sync, and share files online and across computers. Access your Dropbox, download files for offline viewing, and sync photos and videos to your Dropbox from your mobile device. Dropbox works with iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry. Access: https://www.dropbox.com/anywhere.

Evernote. Create text, video, and audio memos. All content within Evernote is searchable, including text within snapshots. Notes can be synchronized to Mac, PC, and Web. Evernote works with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Palm, and Windows Mobile. Price: Free. Access: http://www.evernote.com/about/download/.

History: Maps of the World. This app by Seung-Bin Cho showcases high-resolution historical maps of the world from the 4th to the 20th centuries. Features include category/era views and keyword search. History: Maps of the World works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/history-maps-of-world/id303282377.

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iSSRN. Created by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), iSSRN provides access to more than 260,000 research papers in the social sciences and humanities from scholars worldwide. Articles can be e-mailed or viewed on the device. iSSRN works with iPhone and iPod touch. Price: Free. Access: http://ssrnblog.com/2009/11/19/ssrns-iphone-app-issrn-is-available/.

Library of Congress (LOC). Official app for LOC offers a virtual tour of the Main Reading Room, Great Hall, and Thomas Jefferson's Library, as well as exhibition highlights. Includes photos, video, and audio. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/library-of-congress-virtual/id380309745.

Meebo Mobile. Chat with friends or even monitor your library's chat service while on-the-go. Meebo aggregates multiple chat accounts into a single, easy-to-use interface. Meebo Mobile works with iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. Access: http://www.meebo.com/meebomobile/.

OECD Factbook 2010. Created by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, this app presents current economic, social, and environmental statistics. The data is organized into 12 categories, such as Population and Migration, Production and Income, Labour, Science and Technology, and more. Each category offers a range of specific sub-topics with data organized into tables. OECD Factbook 2010 works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://www.oecd.org/publications/factbook.

Periodic Table Explorer. By Paul Alan Freshney, this app contains in-depth information about all of the elements in the periodic table, including their compounds, physical properties, isotopes, spectra, and reactions. Also includes images of each element. Periodic Table Explorer works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://freshney.org/apps/pte.htm.

Planets. This app by Q Continuum uses current location to display detailed view of the sky. Provides location of the sun, moon, and planets; star and constellation maps; and future and current moon phases. Viewing options such as the sky in 2D, 3D, and planet visibility are available. Planets works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://www.qcontinuum.org/planets/.

Shakespeare. This application by Readdle offers the full-text of 40 Shakespeare plays, 6 poems, and 154 sonnets. Includes a searchable concordance. Shakespeare works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://readdle.com/shakespeare.

TED. This app by TED Conferences contains the entire TEDTalks library of more than 700 video presentations. Ability to sort by recency, popularity, tags, or themes. Save talks for offline viewing. TED works with the iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ted/id376183339.

USA Factbook Free. Features facts about all 50 U.S. states, maps with state names, U.S. Anthem with lyrics, U.S. Documents (including the Declaration of Independence), and more. By ADS Software Group, Inc. USA Factbook Free works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/usa-factbook-free/id305888083.

WordWeb Dictionary. Extensive English dictionary and thesaurus that includes more than 285,000 words, phrases, and derived forms. A separate audio version is also available for $1.99. By WordWeb Software, WordWeb Dictionary works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://www.wordwebsoftware.com/WordWebiPhone.html.

Discovering and downloading mobile applications

AppBrain. Discover Android apps via search, rankings, and categories. Install apps from the Web with the Fast Web Installer app. Access: http://www.appbrain.com/.

Appolicious. Browse applications for most mobile devices, including Android and iPhone. Read app reviews and find lists of the best apps. Access: http://www.appolicious.com/.

App Store. Find applications in categories such as games, business, education, productivity, and entertainment. Apps can be downloaded wirelessly to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/mobile-softwareapplications/.

App Store HQ. Browse all apps, search by category, read the latest app reviews, and more. The App Store HQ covers Android, iPhone, iPad, and Web apps. Access: http://www.appstorehq.com/.

Getjar. Browse applications by category or device type. Compatible with most major platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and iPhone. Access: http://www.getjar.com.

Mimvi. This mobile apps search engine discovers iPhone, Android, and Blackberry apps. Type a category in the text box and Mimvi will return a list of related apps. Icons represent each app's native device. Access: http://www.mimvi.com.

Mobile Web sites

In addition to or in place of mobile applications, some companies and organizations also develop mobile versions of their Web site that are better optimized for viewing on mobile devices.

Encyclopedia Britannica Mobile. Offers a search box and a list of suggested searches. Results include full-text entries with enlargeable images. Access: http://i.eb.com/.

MedlinePlus Mobile. Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus Mobile provides information about specific diseases, conditions, and wellness issues. The site also contains prescription drug information, medical dictionary, and current health news. Access: http://m.medlineplus.gov.

WorldCat Mobile. Search the WorldCat catalog for books, movies, music, games, and more. Results include items available at local libraries. Access: http://www.worldcat.org

Creating mobile Web sites, OPACs, and applications

Android Developers. Resources for creating Android applications. Includes developer's guide, tutorials, and videos. Access: http://developer.android.com

AirPac (Innovative Interfaces). Offers a mobile version of the Innovative Interfaces (III) library catalog. Includes features such as cover images, integrated library locations with Google Maps software, request and renew items, and more. Contact Innovative Interfaces for pricing. Access: http://www.iii.com/products/airpac.shtml.

Boopsie. Specializing in public and academic libraries and universities, Boopsie can deliver mobile applications that are compatible with all Web-enabled phones. Contact the site for a price quote. Access: http://www.boopsie2.com/.

Create an iPhone Optimised Website using JQTouch. Freelance Web Designer and Developer Matthew Leak outlines one way to create an iPhone-friendly version of a Web site. Coding examples are included in this tutorial. Access: http://www.tuttoaster.com/create-an-iphone-optimised-website-using-jqtouch/.

Library Anywhere. Created and sold through LibraryThing, Library Anywhere is a mobile catalog for any library. Includes mobile Web and apps for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android. Prices range from $150 annually for schools to $1,000 annually for universities (additional fees may apply). Access: http://www.librarything.com/forlibraries.

MobileTuts+. Tutorials for all mobile developers, regardless of platform. Topics include techniques for building mobile apps and mobile Web sites. Access: http://mobile.tutsplus.com/.

MobiSiteGalore. Build a mobile Web site in less than 60 minutes. No technical or programming knowledge required. Packages range from basic (cost: free) to unlimited (cost: $24.99 per month). Access: http://www.mobisitegalore.com.

MoFuse. Build a mobile version of an existing Web site or blog with the MoFuse (short for Mobile Fusion) content management platform. Plans range from $7.95 per month to $199 per month. All accounts come with a 14-day risk-free trial. Access: http://mofuse.com/.

Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0: Basic Guidelines. Created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), this document specifies guidelines for developing Web-based content for mobile devices. Access: http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/.

W3C MobileOK Checker. Validate mobile-optimized Web sites for compatibility with current Web standards. Results include severity, category, and description of the error along with best practices for fixing issues. Access: http://validator.w3.org.

Examples of mobile library Web sites

Adelphi University Libraries Mobile (AU2GO). Offers library hours, library staff contact information, a link to the library's blog "biBLIOGraphy," and more. Access: http://m.adelphi.edu/library/.

Albertsons Library, Boise State University. Simple text navigation offers various ways to find the library and its contents. An interesting feature is the inclusion of a "Find in Our Building" category, which lists call number locations and popular locations such as study rooms and computers, each linked to an animated floor map. Access: http://library.boisestate.edu/m.

North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries. Elegant interface with icons representing categories such as room reservations, group finder, and Webcams. Another interesting feature is the ability to view the number of available library computers. Access: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/m/home/?browse=iphone.

PENNLibraries, University of Pennsylvania. A multitude of information at your fingertips, such as mobile versions of databases, image search, library video clips, and more. Access: http://www.library.upenn.edu/m/.

University of California Riverside Libraries. Glossy icons designate many useful categories, including research guides, library workshops, and links to the library's social media profiles. Access: http://m.library.ucr.edu.

Virginia Tech University Libraries. A simple but effective layout offers important information, such as library hours, contact information, catalog search, and library maps. Access: http://m.lib.vt.edu

History and development of mobile applications and Web sites

Libraries to Go: Mobile Tech in Libraries. Comprehensive Slideshare presentation that reviews how libraries can use and develop mobile technologies. Access: http://www.slideshare.net/ellyssa/libraries-to-go-mobile-tech-in-libraries-presentation.

Library in Your Pocket: Strategies and Techniques for Developing Successful Mobile Services. Mobile site developers from North Carolina State University Libraries share techniques for creating and promoting mobile services. Access: http://www.educause.edu/Resources/LibraryinYourPocketStrategiesa/195003.

M-Libraries-Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki . Includes listings of libraries that offer mobile Websites (with and without OPACS) and publishers who offer mobile versions of databases. Access: http://libsuccess.org/index.php?title=M-Libraries.

Spectrum>Mobile Learning, Libraries, and Technologies. This blog documents topics relating to mobile technologies. Posts include information about specific mobile applications as well as their general usage in libraries. Access: http://mobile-libraries.blogspot.com/.

Mobile applications for learning

Classics-23,469 Books to Go. Large collection of free classic literature packaged in an elegant and intuitive interface. Authors include Aristotle, Charles Dickens, Plato, and Oscar Wilde. By Spreadsong, Inc., Classics works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://spreadsong.com.

Dropbox. Store, sync, and share files online and across computers. Access your Dropbox, download files for offline viewing, and sync photos and videos to your Dropbox from your mobile device. Dropbox works with iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry. Access: https://www.dropbox.com/anywhere.

Evernote. Create text, video, and audio memos. All content within Evernote is searchable, including text within snapshots. Notes can be synchronized to Mac, PC, and Web. Evernote works with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Palm, and Windows Mobile. Price: Free. Access: http://www.evernote.com/about/download/

History: Maps of the World. This app by Seung-Bin Cho showcases high-resolution historical maps of the world from the 4th to the 20th centuries. Features include category/era views and keyword search. History: Maps of the World works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/history-maps-of-world/id303282377.

iSSRN. Created by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), iSSRN provides access to more than 260,000 research papers in the social sciences and humanities from scholars worldwide. Articles can be e-mailed or viewed on the device. iSSRN works with iPhone and iPod touch. Price: Free. Access: http://ssrnblog.com/2009/11/19/ssrns-iphone-app-issrn-is-available/.

Library of Congress (LOC). Official app for LOC offers a virtual tour of the Main Reading Room, Great Hall, and Thomas Jefferson's Library, as well as exhibition highlights. Includes photos, video, and audio. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/library-of-congress-virtual/id380309745.

Meebo Mobile. Chat with friends or even monitor your library's chat service while on-the-go. Meebo aggregates multiple chat accounts into a single, easy-to-use interface. Meebo Mobile works with iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. Access: http://www.meebo.com/meebomobile/.

OECD Factbook 2010. Created by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, this app presents current economic, social, and environmental statistics. The data is organized into 12 categories, such as Population and Migration, Production and Income, Labour, Science and Technology, and more. Each category offers a range of specific sub-topics with data organized into tables. OECD Factbook 2010 works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://www.oecd.org/publications/factbook.

Periodic Table Explorer. By Paul Alan Freshney, this app contains in-depth information about all of the elements in the periodic table, including their compounds, physical properties, isotopes, spectra, and reactions. Also includes images of each element. Periodic Table Explorer works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://freshney.org/apps/pte.htm.

Planets. This app by Q Continuum uses current location to display detailed view of the sky. Provides location of the sun, moon, and planets; star and constellation maps; and future and current moon phases. Viewing options such as the sky in 2D, 3D, and planet visibility are available. Planets works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://www.qcontinuum.org/planets/.

Shakespeare. This application by Readdle offers the full-text of 40 Shakespeare plays, 6 poems, and 154 sonnets. Includes a searchable concordance. Shakespeare works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://readdle.com/shakespeare.

TED. This app by TED Conferences contains the entire TEDTalks library of more than 700 video presentations. Ability to sort by recency, popularity, tags, or themes. Save talks for offline viewing. TED works with the iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ted/id376183339.

USA Factbook Free. Features facts about all 50 U.S. states, maps with state names, U.S. Anthem with lyrics, U.S. Documents (including the Declaration of Independence), and more. By ADS Software Group, Inc. USA Factbook Free works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/usa-factbook-free/id305888083.

WordWeb Dictionary. Extensive English dictionary and thesaurus that includes more than 285,000 words, phrases, and derived forms. A separate audio version is also available for $1.99. By WordWeb Software, WordWeb Dictionary works with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Price: Free. Access: http://www.wordwebsoftware.com/WordWebiPhone.html.

Discovering and downloading mobile applications

AppBrain. Discover Android apps via search, rankings, and categories. Install apps from the Web with the Fast Web Installer app. Access: http://www.appbrain.com/.

Appolicious. Browse applications for most mobile devices, including Android and iPhone. Read app reviews and find lists of the best apps. Access: http://www.appolicious.com/.

App Store. Find applications in categories such as games, business, education, productivity, and entertainment. Apps can be downloaded wirelessly to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Access: http://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/mobile-softwareapplications/.

App Store HQ. Browse all apps, search by category, read the latest app reviews, and more. The App Store HQ covers Android, iPhone, iPad, and Web apps. Access: http://www.appstorehq.com/.

Getjar. Browse applications by category or device type. Compatible with most major platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and iPhone. Access: http://www.getjar.com.

Mimvi. This mobile apps search engine discovers iPhone, Android, and Blackberry apps. Type a category in the text box and Mimvi will return a list of related apps. Icons represent each app's native device. Access: http://www.mimvi.com.

Mobile Web sites

In addition to or in place of mobile applications, some companies and organizations also develop mobile versions of their Web site that are better optimized for viewing on mobile devices.

Encyclopedia Britannica Mobile. Offers a search box and a list of suggested searches. Results include full-text entries with enlargeable images. Access: http://i.eb.com/.

Medline Plus Mobile. Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus Mobile provides information about specific diseases, conditions, and wellness issues. The site also contains prescription drug information, medical dictionary, and current health news. Access: http://m.medlineplus.gov.

World Cat Mobile. Search the WorldCat catalog for books, movies, music, games, and more. Results include items available at local libraries. Access: http://www.worldcat.org/m.

Creating mobile Web sites, OPACs, and applications

Android Developers. Resources for creating Android applications. Includes developer's guide, tutorials, and videos. Access: http://developer.android.com

Air Pac (Innovative Interfaces). Offers a mobile version of the Innovative Interfaces (III) library catalog. Includes features such as cover images, integrated library locations with Google Maps software, request and renew items, and more. Contact Innovative Interfaces for pricing. Access: http://www.iii.com/products/airpac.shtml.

Boopsie. Specializing in public and academic libraries and universities, Boopsie can deliver mobile applications that are compatible with all Web-enabled phones. Contact the site for a price quote. Access: http://www.boopsie2.com/.

Create an iPhone Optimized Website using JQTouch. Freelance Web Designer and Developer Matthew Leak outlines one way to create an iPhone-friendly version of a Web site. Coding examples are included in this tutorial. Access: http://www.tuttoaster.com/create-an-iphone-optimised-website-using-jqtouch/.

Library Anywhere. Created and sold through LibraryThing, Library Anywhere is a mobile catalog for any library. Includes mobile Web and apps for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android. Prices range from $150 annually for schools to $1,000 annually for universities (additional fees may apply). Access: http://www.librarything.com/forlibraries.

MobileTuts+. Tutorials for all mobile developers, regardless of platform. Topics include techniques for building mobile apps and mobile Web sites. Access: http://mobile.tutsplus.com/.

MobiSiteGalore. Build a mobile Web site in less than 60 minutes. No technical or programming knowledge required. Packages range from basic (cost: free) to unlimited (cost: $24.99 per month). Access: http://www.mobisitegalore.com.

MoFuse. Build a mobile version of an existing Web site or blog with the MoFuse (short for Mobile Fusion) content management platform. Plans range from $7.95 per month to $199 per month. All accounts come with a 14-day risk-free trial. Access: http://mofuse.com/.

Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0: Basic Guidelines. Created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), this document specifies guidelines for developing Web-based content for mobile devices. Access: http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/.

W3C MobileOK Checker. Validate mobile-optimized Web sites for compatibility with current Web standards. Results include severity, category, and description of the error along with best practices for fixing issues. Access: http://validator.w3.org.

Examples of mobile library Web sites

Adelphi University Libraries Mobile (AU2GO). Offers library hours, library staff contact information, a link to the library's blog "biBLIOGraphy," and more. Access: http://m.adelphi.edu/library/.

Albertsons Library, Boise State University. Simple text navigation offers various ways to find the library and its contents. An interesting feature is the inclusion of a "Find in Our Building" category, which lists call number locations and popular locations such as study rooms and computers, each linked to an animated floor map. Access: http://library.boisestate.edu/m.

North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries. Elegant interface with icons representing categories such as room reservations, group finder, and Webcams. Another interesting feature is the ability to view the number of available library computers. Access: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/m/home/?browse=iphone.

PENNLibraries, University of Pennsylvania. A multitude of information at your fingertips, such as mobile versions of databases, image search, library video clips, and more. Access: http://www.library.upenn.edu/m/.

University of California Riverside Libraries. Glossy icons designate many useful categories, including research guides, library workshops, and links to the library's social media profiles. Access: http://m.library.ucr.edu.

Virginia Tech University Libraries. A simple but effective layout offers important information, such as library hours, contact information, catalog search, and library maps. Access: http://m.lib.vt.edu/.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Mobile technology holds great promise for enabling libraries to provide enhanced services in a form users increasingly are demanding. If this promise is to be fully realized, however, libraries will need to conduct analyses and make smart decisions to address the issues outlined above, support staff education and explore partnerships and new funding models, and be prepared to compromise with respect to their traditional information delivery models. The explosion of advanced mobile technology and robust digital information collection capabilities should prompt libraries to examine carefully the ramifications for user privacy. Libraries can maintain their commitment to user privacy without overcompensating by imposing burdensome security measures or annoying interruptions. For example, libraries do not have to show users a privacy statement or security warning every time they want to access information on a mobile device. A single log-in and acceptance of terms of use, similar to the procedures for other mobile applications and services, should suffice. At the same time, libraries can take the opportunity to educate users in best practices with respect to privacy issues associated with the use of mobile devices. Libraries should work with third-party content providers that employ privacy policies. Libraries should work with third-party content providers that employ privacy policies and sensible data retention practices such that information is retained only long enough to allow for the delivery of the services libraries and users have agreed to. Users of mobile services should be provided with clear, understandable notice as to how their personal data or location is being used by libraries or third-party content vendors. Libraries should continue to fulfill their commitment to free inquiry by being transparent in the decisions they make regarding their partnerships with content vendors and continually work to ensure that mobile users are guaranteed the same freedom of inquiry as other information seekers. Libraries should be wary of entrusting user information to locations in the cloud that may offer a different level of protection from that provided by in-house library infrastructure. Libraries should realize that businesses often do not hold the same strong user-privacy values. To assuage critics who insist that libraries should retain control of digital content, perhaps the library community could act as a secured content repository, holding digital media in escrow if they fear that third-party providers will not ensure the long-term access or preservation they require.