Libraries offering mobile interfaces or applications
Mobile site development tools
While libraries can make their own mobile sites, there are also different services that translate your website into a mobile friendly interface.
- Mobile Friendly Library Websites
- How to make a mobile site for free
- Mobile Libraries Online Education Database, Part I
- Mobile Libraries Online Education Database, Part II
- MIT Mobile Web Open Source Project
Mobile site testing
There are a number of ways to test a mobile site and make sure it looks good and works well on those little tiny screens. Buy a bunch of phones of E-bay and sign them up for wireless access, and well bring up the website on them. Validators and emulators also work.
- Emulators and Validators Discussion
- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) MobileOK Checker
- MobiReady.com - validator and emulator
Mobile interfaces (and/or OPACS)
Library websites (with out without OPACS) which are especially designed for viewing on mobile devices.
- The Italian Serials Catalogue ACNP run by the University of Bologna
Mobile OPACS only
- Athabasca University OPAC
- Florida State University Libraries Automatically recognizes devices and switches to mobile interface - run by Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA)
- Deichmanske Bibliotek (public library in Oslo, Norway) OPAC (in Norwegian)
- Jefferson County Public Library OPAC (AirPAC)
- Library Information Network for Community Colleges (Florida) (LINCCWeb) - OPAC - run by College Center for Library Automation (CCLA)
- Ryerson University Library OPAC (AirPAC)
- Stavanger Public Library, Norway OPAC (in Norwegian)
- Universitaetsbibliothek Heidelberg, Germany OPAC (HEIDI)
- Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München Famous books - Treasures of the Bavarian State Library (iTunes link)
- Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München Oriental books - Oriental Treasures of the Bavarian State Library (iTunes link)
- BiblioUSAL Universidad de Salamanca, Spain BiblioUSAL - Universidad de Salamanca Library Services, Spain. iOS & Android app.
- Gladsaxe Public Library iPhone application (iTunes link)
- District of Columbia Public Library iPhone application (iTunes link)
- NC State "Wolf Walk" geo-locative campus tour
- Indiana University Search IU - Library Application
- New York Law School - all major mobile formats
- Seattle Public Library application Also available on Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm - go to 
- University of Saskatchewan iUSask (part of a campus application) (iTunes link)
- New Germanic books app for University of Illinois Library, Urbana - Champaign (iTunes link)
- New LIS books app for University of Illinois Library, Urbana - Champaign (iTunes link)
- Video tour app of the Undergraduate Library, University of Illinois, Urbana - Champaign (iTunes link)
- Ghent University Library Belgium, application for iPhone (iTunes link). Available on iPhone, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Java.
- Santa Clara County Library. iPhone and Android
- The Regional Automation Consortium (TRAC) TRACpac for iPhone (iTunes link)
- Yellowhead Regional Library YourLibrary for iPad (iTunes link)
- EconBiz, the Virtual Library for Economics and Business Studies Maintained by the ZBW- Leibniz Information Centre for Economics in Kiel and Hamburg. Available on iPhone and iPad
- Central Connecticut State University Library - iPhone, Android, Source
SMS notification services
Libraries using SMS services, e.g.:
- SMS if requested book is available (collect messages)
- SMS reminder if a book is due
- requesting a list of loans via SMS
- renewing books via SMS
- requesting an overview of outstanding fines via SMS
- checking the availability of books via SMS
- requesting the opening hours of the library via SMS
For SMS reference services, see Libraries Offering SMS Reference Services
- BI Norwegian School of Management offers SMS-alerts when items patrons have put on hold are available for pickup (see a 2007 press release and their regulations).
- Biblioteca Rector Gabriel Ferraté. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya sends SMS-alerts when a booked laptop is available, to claim lent laptops returned late (More information here) and to let the users know that the library has already received a previouly requested document (More information here).
- Bryn Mawr send call numbers from OPAC via text message
- Denton Public Libraries offers text message notification to inform customers of items ready to be picked up, due dates, items that are overdue and other notices through their cell phones. See a november 2007 news item.
- The ELNET consortium, Estonia is sending SMS messages from their OPAC.
- ETH Zürich Library sends SMS collect messages. They are part of the NEBIS network (see below).
- Ghent University Library, Belgium is sending SMS messages from their discovery interface.
- Helsinki School of Economics Library, Finland is sending various SMS messages.
- Helsinki University of Technology Library, Finland is sending various SMS messages.
- IDS St. Gallen, Switzerland, sends SMS messages to students of the University of St. Gallen.
- Monash University Library, Australia offers SMS notifications when items are due back, to remind patrons about overdue items, and to inform them about outstanding fines.
- The NEBIS network, Switzerland offers library notifications via SMS: reminders for books being overdue (i.e. first reminder) and collect messages.
- Public Library Münster, Germany is sending various SMS messages.
- Rice University, Fondren Library, Houston, TX sends title and call numbers from catalog
- Ryerson University Library sends call numbers and locations by SMS from the catalogue.
- Simmons College Library's catalog sends text messages from the library catalog with item recors attached.
- Stavanger Public Library, Norway (in Norwegian) offers the possibility to renew loans, make reservations and search the base, and they are using MoBib.
- Swiss National Library sends SMS to registered users when a reserved book is ready for pick-up and to inform about special closing times.
- Tartu Public Library, Estonia is sending SMS collect messages. Users are charged for this service.
- Undergraduate Library University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: sends text message alerts about Librarians' Office Hours the day they are happening (pilot for the Spring 2008 semester).
- University Library of Tromsø, Norway is sending SMS collect messages.
- University Library of Tromsø, Norway is sending SMS collect messages.
- Woollahra Library and Information Service, Sydney Australia is sending free SMS messages for pick up of reserved items and reminders for long overdue items.
Of the 97 public libraries in Denmark: 60 sent SMS if books requested are ready for pickup, 37 use SMS for recalls, and 46 sent SMS as warnings some days before a book is due [data from the 2007 annual statistic for public libraries in Denmark].
- Oregon State University Mobile Site sends location based directions to the library and library contact information. In addition, patrons can send an SMS message containing a catalog record or course reserves. We also offers text the mobile site link to your phone from the main website as a way to promote the site.
This includes audiobooks, ebooks, audio language courses, streaming music, films, images, etc. which can be used on mobile devices. These collections can either be downloaded from the library websites on user's own mobile devices or libraries lend mobile devices with the collections already on them.
- Biblioteca Rector Gabriel Ferraté. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya offers mobile access to the collections of the university repositories and to the subscribed resources adapted to a mobile use.
- Crouch Fine Arts Library at Baylor University offers audio streaming databases. Music files from these databases can be downloaded on user's mobile devices.
- The C/W MARS library network in Massachusetts offer ebooks and audiobooks via the OverDrive service, also for the Mac.
- Duke University Libraries offer digitized image collections (over 32,000 images) through the DukeMobile iPhone app (demo and press release)
- New York Public Library offers ebooks and audiobooks via the OverDrive service, also for the Mac.
- St. Joseph County Public Library offers audiobooks on iPod - either your own of the library's iPod.
- Thomas Ford Memorial Library, a public library which lends iPod audiobooks to the public.
- University of Alaska Fairbanks offers audiobooks throug the ListenAlaska web portal.
- University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center
- IEEE Xplore Mobile offers free search of all IEEE Xplore documents directly on your mobile device. You can view up to [only] TEN (10) article abstracts per search. To view full-text articles, send the article links to your e-mail address.
This includes the application of mobile devices for library instruction. Can be text-based, audio or video. For audio-based instruction, see also the section on Podcasting.
- Open University Library, United Kingdom text-based instruction
- Washington State University Libraries "How To ..." - Help with Library Resources and Tools: instructional podcasts
Mobile tours of the library
Audiotours can be either downloaded on users' own mobile devices, or mobile devices with audiotours on them can be lend by the library. Audiotours can be made available in various languages.
- Bostock Library Walking Audio Tour: Duke University Libraries offer MP3 files to download on your own MP3 player
- C.V. STarr East Asian Library at Columbia University: offer MP3 tours in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Tibetan.
- London School of Economics, United Kingdom: tour podcast can be downloaded or you can borrow a tour handset from the Welcome Point.
- Oxford Brookes University Library, United Kingdom: tour can be downloaded or you can borrow an MP3 player at the Enquiry Desk.
- Tartu Public Library, Estonia provided an audiotour of one of their exhibitions (Spring 2008). The audiotour was put on MP3 sticks. These were entered in the catalogue, so that users could borrow the MP3 sticks.
- University of Otago Library, New Zealand, in English, Mandarin and Maori.
QR (Quick Response) 2D Codes
For a more detailed page about 2D codes, also known as QR codes, see the page in this wiki for QR Codes. See also the description in Wikipedia and the explanation in CSI on YouTube. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR 2D Code causing the phone's browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL.
- University of Bath Library, United Kingdom is doing a project including QR2D codes in their OPAC. Catalogue records are proviced with these codes. When scanning the code, a map of the library is launched on user's mobiles, helping them to locate the library material in the library building. The university uses QR in their teaching and learning and even blogs on their QR code service.
- Biblioteca Rector Gabriel Ferraté. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (BRGF) uses QR Codes to provide additional information on promotional posters and on the web pages, to provide username and password to users who subscribe to theCLIC Area service (a computer classroom), to generate reminders of reservations of the group study rooms library, to fill the suggestion forms or to enrich the contents of the library’s jazz collection. Take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQj3kD0F2uI to know more about one of the QR applications at the BRGF.
- University of Lethbridge Library uses QR codes on our bookable Group Workroom doors. Scanning the code takes the user into our booking system, where they can immediately book and/or view availability. We also use QR technology in our WebOPAC and promotional posters and materials.
- Biblioteca i Documentació Científica.Universitat Politècnica de València Qr codes used to give added information to its users (schedules, maps, thematic searches in the catalog...), for self-learning taking users to on-line videos or to promote the blog of literature linking the book with the review.
- Ludwig II – Walking in the Footsteps of a Fairytale King available via Apple's AppStore and with slightly reduced functionality via Layar, Wikitude, Junaio.
- 5th Spanish Conference on Public Libraries Layer with information about the places of the conference (hotels, restaurants, conference room...) in Layar.
Other mobile applications
- The Institut fuer Informationswissenschaft in Saarbruecken, Germany offers Twitter for new titles.
- National Library of Health Sciences - Terkko, Finland, offers Mobile article request and mobile RSS feeds.
- The Smart Library Location-Aware Mobile Library, Finland, provides map-based guidance to books and collections on PDA, described in http://www.rotuaari.net/downloads/publication-2.pdf and http://www.rotuaari.net/downloads/publication-28.pdf
- At the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, SMS is used during information literacy classes. Lecturers can add questions to PowerPoint presentations, which students can answer via SMS. The results of the sent SMS messages is directly visible in a diagram on the screen. Lecturers can thus assess the students' knowledge, but the tool is also useful for starting discussions. See the Dutch press release at http://www.vu.nl/nl/Images/pb%2009%20015%20SMS%20stemmen_tcm9-67541.pdf.
- The Ryerson University Library and Archives offers a mobile student room booking module.
- The University of Texas at Arlington Library developed ShelfLister, a mobile device staff client for stacks maintenance and inventory. The application is designed to work with the Voyager ILS and has been released under an open source license.
- The University of Oregon Libraries and OSU Archives developed BeaverTracks, a mobile Historical Locations guide and Walking Tour. The mobile application provides historical images and information about 22 locations on OSU campus. Using geo-location, some mobile users can take a directions based walking tour of campus. Also see the Project Page - page about the project including screenshots.
- Biblioteca Rector Gabriel Ferraté. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya offers tips on Foursquare for a more extensive use of the library services.
Vendors and Publishers
Evolving content delivery for mobile learners
On 7th March 2011 the Open Unversity Library Services hosted a workshop for publishers and librarians to discuss the problems of finding and accessing the content needed for mobile learners from the Library perspective. This was a follow up to a workshop held in May 2010 at University of Westminster at which senior members of the UK HE Library Community discussed the difficulty of supplying content to an increasingly mobile student body. The major issue identified through that discussion was the lack of appropriate mobile-friendly academic content to meet learners’ needs.
All the materials from the event can be found on SlideShare.
These include all the presentations, programme, list of attendees and two short reports. One is a quick summary of the event as a whole and the second is a synthesis of the discussion from the workshop sessions with specific recommendations and suggested next steps.
Library Vendors offering mobile interfaces or applications
- Altarama Information Systems, Australia offer a Reference by SMS service.
- Axiell, Denmark offers the most widespread ILS for public libraries in Denmark (DDELIbra). Their mobile services are called DDElibra Mobil Professionel and DDElibra MoBiblo.
- Boopsie USA, Offers platform agnostic mobile applications.
- e2Campus offers campus-wide text notification system.
- Innovative Interfaces offers the AirPac module (mobile OPAC) and an SMS product.
- Library Anywhere offers a platform-agnostic mobile catalog and iOS/Android apps. By the folks at LibraryThing.com.
- Orange County Library System provides a SMS text messaging service that sends reminders to patrons when their items are coming due, as well as an SMS reference service.
- Rave Wireless offer campus-wide alert system.
- Text A Librarian, Powered by Mosio - SMS/Text Message Reference Services
Vendors offering mobile tours
Publishers offering databases for mobile devices
|American Institute of Physics iResearch||iPhone|
|The American Insitute of Physics' Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy (JRSE)||Auto detects||can now be accessed from any mobile device equipped with a modern web browser|
|arXiv||arXiview for iPhone|
|Cambridge Journals Online||Auto detects|
|ebrary Mobile||iOS and Android||Freely available with and ebrary product. Include online and offline access.|
|EBSCOhost Mobile||Auto detects|
|Encyclopaedia Britannica||Auto detects|
|Factiva news database||Mobile URL|
|Hoover's Mobile company information||iPhone|
|IEEE XPlore||Mobile URL|
|JSTOR||JSTOR mobile beta mobile URL||About JSTOR mobile beta|
|Lexis Nexis||iPhone app||Lexis/Nexis Get Cases and Shepardize|
|Project Gutenberg||Mobile URL|
|PubMed for Handhelds medical database||Two iPhone apps||PubMed On Tap 3rd party and Mobile Abstracts an iPhone PubMed search engine. Both not official from NIH.|
|Refworks Mobile||Mobile URL|
|Safari Books Online||Mobile URL|
|Sage Journals||Mobile URL|
|Social Sciences Research Network iSSRN||iPhone|
|Summon||Web app for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm or Windows Mobile||(Serials Solutions Web-Scale Discovery)|
|Taylor & Francis||Mobile URL||Taylor and Francis mobile FAQs|
|Westlaw legal research database||Mobile URL|
|Web of Science||Mobile URL|
|Worldcat.org||Mobile URL||From OCLC|
Publishers offering mobile collections
- Amazon Kindle for the iPhone (US Only)
Researching M-Libraries - a wiki page for sharing experiences of researching m-libraries and discussing appropriate/applicable research methods.
Books, reports and journal articles
- Mobile technologies for libraries : a list of mobile applications and resources for development, Lori Barile, College & Research Libraries News, vol. 72, no. 4, p. 222-228.
- Libraries and the Mobile Web Special Issue of Library Technology Reports, v. 47, no. 2 (February/March 2011), by Cody W. Hanson
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Transforming the Campus Experience with the MIT Mobile Web Educause/ECAR 2009
- Mobiles, chapter (page 8-10) from The Horizon Report - 2009 Edition
- Always on: Libraries in a world of permanent connectivity Lorcan Dempsey, First Monday, 14(1-5) January 2009.
- M-libraries : libraries on the move to provide virtual access, proceedings of the First International m-Libraries Conference Mohamed Ally and Gill Needham, London: Facet, 2008
- Mobile learning for the twenty-first century librarian Jim Hahn, Reference Services Review, 36(3), 2008, pp 272-288.
- Mobile technologies, mobile users: Implications for academic libraries Joan Lippincott, ARL Current Issues, 261, December 2008.
- On the Move with the Mobile Web: Libraries and Mobile Technologies Ellyssa Kroski, Library Technology Reports, 44(5), July 2008.
- PDA (special issue) ed. by Oliver Obst and Helmut Doolfuss, GMS Medizin – Bibliothek – Information. Zeitschrift der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für medizinisches Bibliothekswesen, 8(2). This issue is partly in German and partly in English.
- The Mobile Difference Pew Internet and American Life report - March 25, 2009
- m Services in libraries Special Issue of Reference Services Review. 2010 v.38(2)
- The Mobile-ized Library Special issue of Computers in Libraries. May, 2009 v.29(5)
- There’s an App for That! Libraries and Mobile Technology: An Introduction to Public Policy Considerations Timothy Vollmer, ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) Policy Brief No. 3, June 2010 (PDF)
- The Handheld Library: Developments at the Rector Gabriel Ferraté Library, UPC. Benítez Juan, Beatriz, Clavero Campos, Javier, Codina Vila, Miquel, Pérez Galvez, Andrés. Liber quarterly, vol. 21, núm. 1, 2011 November.
Blogs and Posts
- What are mobile library sites offering? A survey - Survey of 40 mobile library sites, selected screenshots
- Summer of Mobile Library Services- ALA TechSource Blog
- 30 Mobile Trends in Libraries - Stephen's Lighthouse
- Handheld Librarian Handheld computer news, ideas, and opinions from librarians and others interested in libraries. Editor: Grace Lee
- Swiss Army Librarian on how to build a mobile website, including auto-detecting/redirecting mobile devices to it from the full website, presentation slides, downloadable mobile website template, and resource list
- JISC-funded m-libraries community support project blog Collecting and sharing m-library information and best practice to support the m-library community.
Including slide presentations, conferences, websites, etc.
- Percent Mobile a website that lets you track the percentage of traffic going to your website from different mobile devices. Requires you to copy and paste some code into your homepage.
- Libraries to Go Ellyssa Kroski Slideshare Presentation
- The First International m-Libraries Conference Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, 13 -14 November 2007
- The Second International m-Libraries Conference Vancouver, BC - 23rd - 24th June 2009
- The Third International m-Libraries Conference Brisbane, Australia, 11-13 May 2011
- The Fourth International m-Libraries Conference The Open University, Milton Keynes, 24-26 September 2012
- Handheld Librarian Conference Online Conference, July 30, 2009
- Electronic Resources to Go Slideshare presentation from 2009 Electronic Resources in Libraries Conference
- mobile usability by Jacob Nielsen
- Oregon State University Mobile Projects presentations and articles
Possible Health Effects
The use of wireless devices is increasing rapidly, yet there is concern in the scientific community that this technology could have adverse side effects. Some documents and websites to find out the facts and recommended precautions.
- Nationaal Platform Stralingsrisico's (in Dutch)
- Wireless Networks (WiFi) Consumer Health and Safety Advice EMFacts Consultancy