Wednesday, July 15, 2009

MLA Poster: Libraries Go Mobile > Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) Transform Library Services and Content

[189] Libraries Go Mobile: Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) Transform Library Services and Content

Susan Lessick, AHIP, Head; Phillip Garcia, Reference Coordinator; Julie Hillskemper, Reference Librarian; Jorge Santiago, Information Technology Center Manager / Grunigen Medical Library / University of California–Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA

Poster Presented May 19 2009 At MLA ‘09 / iFusions: Medical Library Association Annual Meeting And Exhibition, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 15–20, 2009


The mobility, multifunctionality, and Internet accessibility of personal digital assistants(PDAs) fused with free applications have contributed to increased use of mobile technologies in hospitals, medical schools, and medical libraries. PDA services have been successfully introduced in medical libraries ranging from subject guides and pages to instructional support.

This poster describes development of a comprehensive user-based PDA program, including loan services, licensed content, Resources Lib Guide, optimized resources, “PDA Clinics,” information technology support, and consultation. A literature search of PDA services in medical libraries, as well as an environmental scan analyzing medical library websites presenting PDA services will be explored.

The results of a needs assessment on use of PDAs by clinicians, specifically residents and hospitalists, will also be presented.


We will complete a literature search and medical library website analysis to detect the most common PDA services on medical library websites. Observational criteria for the library websites include links to PDA resources and services, subject pages, lists of licensed resources, technical support, instruction, optimized home page, or online public access catalog.

Additionally, we will use a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis of over 500 online PDA questionnaires sent out to residents and clinical faculty in the hospitalist program.


We are still in process of analyzing the results of the environment scan and user needs assessment. We foresee that clients will increasingly rely on the use of PDA technology in daily clinical practice and that medical libraries need to embrace and support new mobile technologies if they want to continue to play an important role in the lives of their clinical faculty and resident users.



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