The mobile website at the University of Minnesota Libraries was optimized for iPhone users.Oregon State University Library created two versions of its mobile site, one optimized for smartphones and one for web-enabled cell phones, which have smaller screens. It’s easy to create an algorithm that will detect from what type of device a user is accessing a website and redirect the patron to the appropriate version for that device.
Other libraries have created mobile applications that allow users to search the catalog and selected databases, place holds, contact the library, check hours and more from their smartphone.The District of Columbia Public Library and the University of Houston both have created impressive library iPhone apps. DCPL has even made its source code available for others to modify.
In addition to creating a mobile website or application, there are many other resources and services libraries can mobilize for their users, including reference services, instructional content, and the catalog.With the mainstreaming of mobile devices, libraries can no longer ignore this important trend. By mobilizing our library resources and services, we make ourselves accessible to patrons wherever they are, from a device that fits in their pocket.