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Libraries in the 21st Century: Mobile Devices

In today’s world we can access all types of information from our mobile devices. Because of the improvements in technology, libraries are beginning to embrace the ability to access information from anywhere. In 2009 there were around 250 million wireless devices capable of receiving data in the U.S. (SLG Staff, 2010). This means that libraries have the chance to reach out to remote users who may never step inside the actual library. Many libraries now offer e-books online, allowing users to access library services from their mobile devices many miles away.

In addition to e-books there are now MOPACs or online OPACS available for mobile devices (Library Technology Report, 2008 ). Some university libraries are also using a portable version of their OPAC called the AirPAC which is designed for mobile devices. The District of Columbia Public Library has an iPhone application that allows patrons to search the OPAC, place items on hold, and view general library information (ALA Office of Information Technology Policy, 2010). Duke University also has an iPhone application (DukeMobile) for viewing many of the library’s collections (ALA Office of Information Technology Policy, 2010). With the increasing desire to stay connected at all times, these library features help libraries stay relevant in today’s world.

Here are some resources in the University Libraries about library technology:

Burke, John. (2009)Neal-Schuman library technology companion : a basic guide for library staff. New York: Neil Schuman.
Dewey Library / Z 678.9 B85 2009

Gordon, Rachel Singer. (2007) Information tomorrow : reflections on technology and the future of public and academic libraries. Medford, NJ: Information Today
Dewey Library / Z 678.9 I534 2007

ECDL 2007. (2007). Research and Advanced Technology for Libraries:11th European Conference, ECDL 2007, Budapest, Hungary, September 16-21, 2007.
Available online to UAlbany students, faculty and staff

Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes, ed. (2005) Mobile learning : a handbook for educators and trainers. London:Routledge.
University Library / LB 1028.3 M63 2005

Here at the University Libraries, there is a Text a Librarian service. Simply dial 265010, start the text with ualibraries: (include the colon!), and write the message. Please note that the texting service is only available when IM Reference is available. If you have any questions about how to use your mobile device in the University Libraries, please see our texting policy or ask a librarian!

Blog post created by Katie Farrell and Elaine Bergman