January 21, 2010
One iPod Touch Per LibrarianA colleague pointed out a post on Eric Rumsey's Seeing the Picture blog called A Mobile Modest Proposal: One iPod Touch Per Librarian (OITPL). Rumsey agrees with others that we are emerging from the "iPod Decade" but also acknowledges librarything.com creator Tim Spalding's statement:
“Resolved: The Os were the ‘Lost Decade’ for library tech — libraries made incremental advances, while others flew past them.” Rumsey interprets this as an explosion in mobile gadgets and technology which has not yet permeated the library world."
It's obvious that our students are on what Rumsey refers to as the "mobile wagon" and this is another example of why we need to go where students are comfortable to offer our services.
Rumsey urges librarians to get on the "mobile wagon" citing accessibility of the iTouch as a the main barrier to librarian experimentation and the development of a vision of services delivered by mobile devices -- hence the OITPL proposal. While many libraries are on or in front of the mobile wagon, I suspect that there are many more of us running to catch up to it. I work on a campus that has taken the first step in providing mobile library services such as online catalog access. What will it take to get us to the next step? Rumsey makes an excellent point about the investments necessary to get on the mobile wagon:
"The cost of an iTouch is in the $150-$200 range, making it practical for most libraries to consider providing each staff member with one. The real investment, I think, is going to be learning how to integrate library services with them. It’s going to take an adventurous, visionary administration to accomodate staff time to 'play around on the new toy' to learn how to use it."
I think Rumsey's assessment -- that unfamiliarity with mobile devices that are familiar to our patrons hinders the vision for delivering new or innovative mobile library services -- is right on target. One iPod Touch Per Librarian is a modest proposal but it's a tall order on a strained budget. A shared pool of iTouches might be more realistic to get us started. [BA]
January 21, 2010 | Permalink
All the major functions perform fully as advertised. The mini-iTunes store is a lovely touch, though I don't find myself using it much. It almost feels like a symbolic gesture, pointing toward some ecstatic future when iPods will be wholly emancipated from servitude to the PC mothership. Browsing and photo management are gorgeous and indistinguishable from the iPhone experience. Ditto video and audio playback. I don't see the "cover flow" interface as a game-changer, exactly, but I'm sure getting used to it. Is the click wheel done for? I wonder if this time next year they're even going to be manufacturing non-touch iPods anymore.
Posted by: kamagra sale | Apr 27, 2010 10:53:06 PM
Rather than a shared pool, I would suggest identifying those library staff who SHOULD have an iPod Touch, and giving each one their own. As someone who will be separated from my iPhone only when you can pry it from my cold, dead hand, I know that the key to making full use of a handheld device like this--or of most new social technologies--is incorporating it into your daily life. Law students and younger lawyers almost uniformly have mobile phones, and smart phones are rapidly growing in use. Every law student I talk to texts as easily as you and I breathe. Offering librarians shared access to a pool of iTouch devices, where they have to take turns and then remember to turn it on and carry it with them, won't promote the kind of use you want to see.
Posted by: Jim Milles | Feb 9, 2010 8:27:28 AM
What a great idea! I couldn't tell you how many times I've had to help someone get their touches on the Wi-Fi, mostly because no one here knows how to use them! Truly, librarians need to catch up with the mobile world.
Posted by: Jimmy the Geek | Feb 9, 2010 8:21:08 AM