Magazine article Information Today

Mobile Solutions for Libraries

Magazine article Information Today

Mobile Solutions for Libraries

Article excerpt

Mobile technologies and applications are clearly among the hottest trends today. After some initial reluctance about even allowing cell phones to be used in libraries, librarians are now embracing mobile technologies as powerful information tools. Conference presenta- pauia tions, journal literature, and the blogosphere are now filled with reports of interesting applications: QR codes, SMS reference and notifications, mobile catalog interfaces, and mobile-enabled information resources (AccessMyLibrary; EBSCO/iost Mobile; WilsonWeb Mobile; SciVerse; CAS SciFinder; Infotrieve Mobile Library; Tutor.com; etc.).

In the April 2011 issue of Computers in Libraries, Yvonne Krishnan notes in "Libraries and the Mobile Revolution" that the "once disdained instrument may now be the very tool by which libraries expand their reach to their existing patron base and increase their appeal to segments that were previously unreachable." Here's one company in the thick of recent developments in the library arena.

Boopsie

Boopsie, a mobile technology company with a funny-sounding name (chosen for its double O's, a la Yahoo! and Google) is certainly making a name for itself in developing apps for libraries and library events. Boopsie recently announced the availability of BookCheck, a new feature that allows library patrons to check out books and other materials using a mobile phone. Cuyahoga County Public Library in Ohio is the first to offer Boopsie BookCheck, which is now available for Android device users. Support for iPhone and select BlackBerry devices will follow shortly.

Boopsie reports that it is currently the only mobile solution provider to offer mobile checkout capability. Leveraging bar code scanning technology, the new feature lets library patrons retrieve basic catalog information (real-time access from the library's ILS) and content from third-party sources such as book reviews, plot summaries, and author bios from J.Hane anywhere in the library using their mobile phones. Library cardholders can then check out the book with one click of a button.

Boopsie's customers now number more than 100 libraries and universities. Boopsie, which created apps for more than 20 trade shows and conferences for a variety of industries, is the American Library Association's mobile partner and the preferred mobile solution for a number of consortia. Boopsie's mobile apps make it easy for attendees to use their mobile phones to network with other attendees, create personal schedules, and access news and feeds from social networks anytime during a conference. …

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