NISO Forum: Mobile Technologies in Libraries

May 20, 2011
Philadelphia, PA

Keynote Presentation: Mobile Reading (Really!) Comes of Age
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Brian O’Leary
Founder and Principal
Magellan Media

Digital formats and mobile devices have made content portable, searchable and increasingly affordable. Growth in the breadth of selection has been outpaced only by increases in the number of devices in use. Sophisticated mobile devices now offer the benefits of the web in a handheld format.

At the same time, Publishers are struggling to find and deploy business models that reflect this new, mobile reality. This session will provide an overview of the current state of mobile reading and try to project how this new reality will affect our thinking about the distribution and consumption of content.

Using Surveys to Find Out What Users Want with Mobile Devices
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Bennett Claire Ponsford
Digital Services Librarian
Texas A&M University Libraries

This presentation will discuss the results of a 2010 survey at Texas A&M University asking students, faculty, and staff what features they wanted from the Libraries' mobile interface.

MedlinePlus Mobile: The Why, What, and How
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Loren Frant
Head of the Health Information Products Unit
National Library of Medicine (NLM)

This session will present the design and development of MedlinePlus Mobile ( by the National Library of Medicine.

Models for Mobile in Teaching and Learning
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Chris Millet
Manager of Advanced Learning Projects at Education Technology Services
Penn State University

Mobile technology platforms have been rapidly evolving since the first commercial mobile phones were introduced in 1983. Going back almost that far, educators have been exploring the potential of this technology for teaching and learning, but have always struggled with this shifting landscape. With the introduction of iOS and Android, and their respective app stores and development frameworks, educators have become much more confident in investing in developing relevant pedagogies for mobile learning. In this presentation, Chris Millet will discuss a variety of mobile learning projects currently underway at Penn State, including explorations of iPads in Freshman composition, mobile media authoring, and augmented reality. Assessment outcomes from these projects will be shared, as well as best practices, pedagogical models, and specific technical and logistical solutions.

Mobile Sensors: Building an Open Source Staff-Facing Tablet App for Library Assessment
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Jason Casden
Digital Technologies Development Librarian
N.C. State University Libraries

This talk will explore the use of mobile technology to provide enhanced services to library patrons with an application that they will never interact with. NCSU Libraries has undertaken the development of an open-source, mobile tablet-based (e.g. iPad) application for collecting and centrally managing data about how physical spaces and in-person services are utilized in our libraries. This system will facilitate new and rapid evidence-based analyses of spaces, impacting decision-making on issues such as space design, service prioritization, and technology allocation. Additionally, building on recent experience developing web-based and native-iPhone library apps, the speaker will discuss complicating implementation-related issues such as platform dependence, intermittent network coverage (data caching), and centralized data synchronization with multiple collectors. Finally, an early prototype of this tool will be used to demonstrate some new assessment possibilities.

Mobile Interfaces and the Impact on Source (and Opportunities for) Publisher Content
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Nicki Augustyn
Managing Editor, CHEST
American College of Chest Physicians

With mobile now termed the seventh mass media, publishers large and small are tasked with engaging readers in this often space-limited environment only to find that what worked in print or online does not translate well on a mobile device. The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) utilizes mobile publishing to broaden their reach to their clinician audience. Their first app ACCP-SEEK, derived from print board exam preparation guides, launched October 2009. Building on that experience, they partnered with HighWire Press to bring their flagship journal, CHEST to the iPhone® and iPad® and, later, created a mobile-optimized Web site to meet the needs of other device users. This session will explore these projects from inception through post-launch evaluation, covering the many challenges faced along the way: developing the right design and function set, obtaining usage reports, authenticating users, creating an appropriate business model, and more.