iPads and Libraries

How will iPads change Libraries and the services patrons want from Libraries?

Anywhere – With the development of small tablet computers, internet everywhere and cloud computing you have access to information anywhere you go. (Librarian 1.5)
The iPad will display ebooks in ePub format in full color, and can play embedded video. In addition to popular books, Jobs said that Apple anticipates adoption for textbooks, and periodicals have also begun planning for the iPad. Abilene (Tex.) Christian University committed to publish its student newspaper on the iPad the day it was announced.

David Lee King, digital branch and services manager at Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library, sees value for reference desk and roving reference applications currently performed with netbooks. “I’ve always thought that a tablet would work better,” because of better maneuverability and display options (American Libraries)

First, resist all temptation, however strong, to run out and create an app. Just don’t do it. There are many, many, many things you and your people need to be doing and considering before you start down the app path.

Second, focus on your website. I know it may sound silly that I mention this because lots of people are accessing the web from phones and every body’s instinct is to “have an app for that.” But the most effective way to reach ALL of your mobile users is to create a mobile friendly website. If your website is mobile friendly then you don’t have to worry how many of your users have iPhones, Blackberrys, Androids, Pixis, or whatever the next trendy sparkly new device, THEY ALL CAN USE YOUR CONTENT if your website is mobile friendly.

Creating a mobile friendly website is the biggest bang for your buck. (Krafty Librarian)

2010 is also the year of the Death of the App. Many developers are using Apps because they allow functions that were non-existent in other ways. Many of the reasons to program stand-alone Apps disappear when the HTML5 and CSS3 standards become widespread. HTML5 allows for many things that were previously only available by using secondary programming languages or frameworks, like offline storage support, native video tags, svg support for natively scalable graphics, and much, much more. As an increasing number of web developers become familiar with the power of HTML5, we’ll see a burgeoning of amazing websites that rival the AJAX revolution of the last 2-3 years. No less a web powerhouse than Google has said that they won’t develop native apps in the future, and will instead concentrate on web development. (Pattern Recognition)
Apple customers may have downloaded 1.5bn applications from its AppStore in the past year for their iPhones and iPod touches, but the service does not represent the future for the mobile industry, according to Google.

“We believe the web has won and over the next several years, the browser, for economic reasons almost, will become the platform that matters and certainly that’s where Google is investing.” (Financial Times)

My take: I think I will focus on the Library’s mobile interface and learning HTML5.

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One Response to “iPads and Libraries”

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!