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Continuing the Conversation: Making Mobile Services Work for Your Library

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on March 9, 2011 - 3:36pm

Earlier today, we held the ALA TechSource Workshop Making Mobile Services Work for Your Library with Cody Hanson. There was some great discussion in this workshop, and we want to follow up on that with a few of the questions asked during the presentation that we felt merited further discussion: Cody will be part of the discussion as well!

  • If you don’t own a smartphone, are there good emulators or simulators that can show you what your site looks like on a mobile device?
  • When we talk about mobile library services, are we just talking about making the library site more mobile friendly, or are we talking about more--services like reference on mobile devices, etc.
  • If you have a mobile app or mobile site, are there concerns about its accessibility?
  • What are some examples of chat services for mobile devices and their use in libraries?

You can also chime in on Twitter. The Hashtag is #librarymobile

Links to Resources that Cody Mentioned today:

Cody's Slides

Comments (1)

Thanks again to everyone who

Thanks again to everyone who attended the workshop yesterday. I appreciated all of your questions, and hope to answer here any that we didn't get to during the workshop.

I was asked about emulators or simulators to allow libraries to test mobile sites or applications. Dan has linked to the Android and iOS SDKs above, each of which come with their own emulator, but I thought I'd mention another option.

I recently picked up a pre-paid Android phone for under $150. I haven't activated service on it, and don't expect I ever will. But, even without the voice and data service, it works perfectly well on wi-fi, allowing me to install and use applications from the Android Market and use the web browser, camera, and media player. It's nothing fancy, and doesn't have the finest screen or fastest processor, but it allows me to test sites and applications in real-world settings and didn't require a contract or monthly fee.

The model I got is the LG Optimus V from Virgin Mobile. I found it at Best Buy, but it should be available at Target, Wal-Mart, or Radio Shack.

Anyone else have good options for cheap or free testing of mobile sites and applications?