Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Use Of Handheld Mobile Devices: Their Impact And Implications For Library Services

Joel Cummings / Owen Science and Engineering Library ; Alex Merrill / Terrell Library ; Steve Borrelli  / Holland Library > Washington State University | Pullman, Washington USA|

Library Hi Tech / Vol. 28 No. 1 / 2010/ pp. 22-40 /  DOI 10.1108/0737883 1011026670


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to carry out a survey in order to better understand the nature of handheld mobile computing use by academic library users and to determine whether there is a significant demand for using the library services with these small screen devices.

Design/methodology/approach – A survey is created to measure whether people want to access an OPAC with a small screen. Additionally, through open-ended questions, the survey attempts to gain a broader understanding of handheld mobile computing’s impact on, and implications for, the services provided by academic libraries.

Findings – A total of 58.4 percent of respondents who own a web-enabled handheld device indicate that they would use small screen devices, such as PDAs or web-enabled cell phones to search a library OPAC.

Originality/value – The increasing prevalence of handheld mobile computing devices such as PDAs and web-enabled cell phones warrants investigation as to its impact on libraries. This study examines an academic library user population and the potential demand for using the library’s catalog with handheld mobile computing devices

Keywords: Mobile communication systems, Communication technologies, Academic libraries, Information services, User studies

Paper type: Research paper

Outline > Literature  Review / Methodology / Discussion / References

"The mobile market continues to evolve at a quick pace and some of the approachesmentioned here may not even be relevant in the near future. But, the users of mobile and small-screen devices will continue be a factor in the continued development of library services. It is incumbent upon libraries and information service providers to continue striving to provide quality services to all its users and the mobile segment of the overall user group will only continue to become more important."

Preprint Available At


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this - it's of particular interest to me at the moment - my team are in the process of trialling the use of a smartphone to help them answer enquiries in the library - good to see the usage from the student perspective as well as the considerations for staff which I have been working through.


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