An increasing number of libraries are developing applications (apps) for use on mobile smartphones. With a smartphone comes the ability to access a great deal of information and entertainment directly over the phone. More often than not, this information and entertainment comes to the user in the form of an app. Everything from games, to reference resources, to calorie counters, to ebook readers are available. It’s really amazing what’s out there!
As patrons become increasingly comfortable and dependent upon their mobile phones and apps, it’s up to libraries to respond to this trend and develop apps of their own.
Recently, ALA recognized the Orange County Library System (OCLS) as a cutting edge library system due to their new app called “OCLS Shake It”. “OCLS Shake It” is a downloadable app for the iPhone and iPad. It allows users to shake or scroll on their iPhone or iPad to have books, videos and other materials “suggested” to them by the library catalog. The app even allows the user to filter their results by genre, audience, and format. How fun is that?! The OCLS currently has five apps to share with patrons. Most of the apps were developed through partnerships with vendors.
Locally, some of our Minnesota public library systems have an app available for the Overdrive Media Console. The Overdrive Media Console app allows users to read ebooks, listen to audiobooks, and find libraries… all on their smartphone!
What are your thoughts on apps? What are some of your favorites? What types of library apps would you like to see in the future? What types of apps would our patrons LOVE…if only we had them?
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