Taking My Library with Me

Given the ubiquity of mobile devices, it’s refreshing to see that many libraries are finally adapting to the way their patrons consume media.    In ‘A Library in Your Pocket ‘, Meredith Farkas reports on the slow pace many libraries have taken in developing mobile resources:

While mobile device ownership is a major trend in American society, few libraries and educational institutions have developed resources and services for mobile users.  According to Educause, over 50% of schools had done nothing as of 2009 to adapt their web-based services for handheld devices.

But as Farkas reports, this is starting to change.  Libraries around the country are now responding to the emergence of e-readers and mobile devices.  And for good reason:

Mobile devices are becoming difficult for libraries to ignore.  In 2009, one-third of all Americans accessed the web through a cell phone or smartphone and 4.1 billion text messages were sent daily.  The statistics are even higher in academia, with more than half of all undergraduates owning a mobile device that can access the internet and 94% sending and receiving text messages.  In 2008, the Pew Internet and American Life project estimated that by 2020, people will primarily connect to the internet through mobile devices.

As Farkas reports, a number of libraries have responded to this trend by creating mobile apps and the capability to access library content through handheld devices.  Some organizations have even moved to allow their digital content to be accessed through e-readers, e.g. Kindle or the Nook.  With so many readers now consuming content digitally, it’s heartening to see libraries expand access to all readers.

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