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Is there a (library) app for that?

Posted by Editor on July 6, 2010

Libraries and Mobile Technology:  An Introduction to Public Policy Considerations

ALA has issued an excellent statement on the impact of mobile devices on library services and some of the important issues the library community will need to address (e.g., erosion of fair use and the first sale doctrine, patron privacy) as libraries utilize this technology to deliver resources. The policy brief is available at

Some highlights:

Libraries can better serve their users by embracing the growing capabilities of mobile technology. They can promote and expand their existing services by offering mobile access to their websites and online public access catalogs by supplying on-the-go mobile reference services; and by providing mobile access to e-books, journals, video, audio books, and multimedia content.

An American Library Association study in 2010 found that 66 percent of public libraries offered e-books to their users (up from 55 percent the previous year). An estimated 83 percent of libraries offer online audio content, and about 63 percent offer online video content.7 Thus audio/video collections no longer are composed only of physical units to borrow, but increasingly are streamed on-demand or down…

The mobile environment can also offer new venues for teaching digital literacy skills to youth as well as adults, and aid libraries in their outreach as consumer educators and e‑government access portals. Through the continued adoption of mobile technology, library services can potentially engage traditionally underserved groups as well. For example, while ethnic minority populations are connected to broadband at home less than are other demographic groups, they carry cell phones at the same rate and access the Internet via mobile devices at higher rates than whites….

There are several implications  for libraries with subsequent recommendations for all of  us!  RECOMMENDED READING!


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