Wednesday, November 4, 2009

LJ > Summon and EBSCOhost To Debut New Mobile Interfaces

Better access to content resources promises more consistent mobile experience for library users

Josh Hadro / Library Journal / 11-4-2009


As if smartphones weren't already hard enough to put down, new, mobile-optimized interfaces are coming for both Summon, Serials Solutions’ discovery platform, and a number of EBSCO resources.


The Summon mobile interface should provide students and researchers most of the same features and options as the regular search interface, including access to both local materials and electronic resources available from the library. The mobile search site will debut today in time for the opening of the Charleston Conference in Charleston, SC.

The mobile search option is an alternative interface, not a separate downloadable app. [snip]

Others offering access to library content are also gearing up for mobile access. EBSCO will soon release EBSCOhost Mobile; ... , “the interface will include many features for an enhanced mobile experience, is optimized for internet-enabled handheld devices, and qualified for all the major SmartPhones ... ."


After Mobile, The Flood

So, will researchers incorporate this into regular use, or only when other tools are not available to them?

Gerry McKiernan, mobile device trend-watcher, science and technology subject librarian, and associate professor at Iowa State University, said that it may take a little while for these services to be fully embraced, but that their day will inevitably come.

"At this point [mobile-specific searches] are supplemental, or impulse, such that if you're on the road and you want to search a particular resource ... you could do that," he said. But, he added,

"The mobile phone is becoming an all-in-one tool for a variety of functions," and as that happens, users will come to expect some kind of mobile interface to the tools they're grown accustomed to using.

McKiernan also said a number of Pew Internet reports and dispatches indicating the inexorable march of progress on the mobile front can’t be ignored by content providers and other vendors.

Pew Internet Report: Wireless Internet Use


The World In 2020: The Mobile Device Will Be The Primary Connection Tool To The Internet

Currently, handheld library service is represented by a patchwork of mobile-enabled OPACs, streamlined library site stylesheets, and text-message services ... .

A frequent complaint is that these services often draw users in ... only to lead them to other site subsections or resources that are unwieldy on a smaller screen, or entirely unusable. As more content providers embrace the mobile medium, however, libraries will be better able to offer both smartphone users and traditional users an equal level of service.



See Also

Gary Price / Mobile Access: Brief Reviews: EBSCOhost Mobile and Summon Mobile from Serials Solutions /  ResourceShelf

1 comment:

  1. Our MobileLib team has developed a mobile site for our library and the catalog is searchable:


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