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The future is mobile Nicky Whitsed, Director of Library Services 25 March 2010.

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1 The future is mobile Nicky Whitsed, Director of Library Services 25 March 2010

2 Why mobile services? The Open University Finding out what students want services students want from libraries on their mobiles The technical bit Sharing experience with others worldwide

3 The mobile market today has nearly 4 billion subscribers, more than two-thirds of whom live in developing countries. Well over a billion new phones are produced each year, a flow of continuous enhancement and innovation that is unprecedented in modern times. (Horizon Report 2010 page 9)

4 The fastest-growing sales segment belongs to smart phones which means that a massive and increasing number of people all over the world now own and use a computer that fits in their hand and is able to connect to the network wirelessly from virtually anywhere. (ibid)

5 By 2020 the mobile will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people (Pew, Dec 2008) In 2 or 3 years time we believe most of our students will have a smartphone (Sclater, Director of Leaning Innovation Office, OU 2009)

6 Leading edge technologies SnapTell - use your phone to snap a video cover or scan a barcode QR codes - Quick Response 2D barcode FrontLineSMS - open source turns your mobile into a communications hub used by British Army in Afghanistan to alert group Sixth Sense- projector,mirror and a camera. Check your e-mail on a blank wall

7 Why mobile services for students? Flexible access for distance learners (anytime, anywhere) many of whom work Caters for different styles of learning and communication Empowers students to engage when it suits them Students as contributors Can support special needs

8 Categories of mobile learning Technology-driven Miniature but portable e-learning Connected classroom learning Informal, personalised,situated mobile learning Mobile training/performance support Remote, rural ( Kukulska-Hulme, Traxler 2009 )

9 The Open University 40 th anniversary in 2009 1000 academics Supported Open Learning 8,000 associate lecturers (tutors) 500 courses Blended learning Increasing use of eLearning (VLE = moodle)

10 Open University students no previous qualifications required 164,000 undergraduate students 17,000 postgraduate students 10,000 students have disabilities 25,000 students live outside UK Part-time study –70% of undergraduates in full- time employment –50% sponsored by employer 2 million alumni

11 Our challenges Students of the future Social networking age –B eing where the students are Clusters project Social:learn New technology and applications Information overload – More new information has been produced in the last 30 years than in the 5,000 years before that

12 Openlearn see Find information in… Open electronic information resources SAFARI

13 iTunes U

14 The Open University strategy Develop a mobile-optimised front end to the VLE Provide better functionality and user interfaces than possible with web browsers Enable users to participate in group activities by uploading their content Enable students to record audio for assessments Ensure course materials are readily available on a range of e-books and mobile devices Make the Library web site and a range of learning objects available Investigate SMS for Library reference services

15 The Future is mobile

16 Our priorities are to Provide a variety of excellent learning resources to enhance the students learning experience Ensure that all our students develop the skills they need for work and study in the knowledge society

17 How do we do this?

18 Supporting achievement - v6L_2mI v6L_2mI

19 Early developments: Content Mobile Safari: Information literacy on the move

20 Examples of optimized mobile services

21 what were working on Mobile Safari – homepage iKnow

22 mobileSafari & iKnow Offshoot of OU information literacy course Safari Using Athabasca University software Flexible placement Information skills for the workplace Relationship to Safari Multi-market audience - at work and at study Integrated into main resource



25 M-Libraries: Information use on the move finding out what students want 10 week project, funded by the Arcadia Programme, Cambridge University to inform future development of library services to mobile devices Survey of students at Cambridge University and the Open University Focus on how students use their mobile phones & what services they would use

26 Recommendations from the Survey SMS services – renewals, overdue etc. notifications Piloting text referencing services – Ask a librarian (160 character answers) Mobile OPAC interface Optimize Library website for mobiles Adapt Athabascas Digital Reading Room model Mobile access to national database of libraries Library audio tours

27 Mobile Open Library 2.0 – Phase 2 Key recommendations from Arcadia project@Cambridge Piloting text referencing services – Ask a librarian (160 character answers) Optimize Library website for mobiles Adapt Athabascas Digital Reading Room model Mobile access to SCONUL database of libraries Library audio tours

28 A mobile version of the web site for students on the move (


30 Early developments: website Design of mobile- friendly website interface Implementation of Athabasca University s Auto- Detect and Reformat software

31 Mobile-friendly library website BeforeAfter

32 What were working on Consolidated search (e- Books, SFX, Catalogue etc.)

33 M-library Design/Technology

34 Technical view MySQL Index database (Marc data feeds records) OU Library Search API Web search User interface Presentation layer Search results (XML) Search query Database Index store Voyager Marc record feeds for ebooks, archive web, print, course materials and loans SFX eJournals (Text2Marc feed) Library website index SFX eJournals (Text2Marc feed) Library website index Query database Optimized search results for mobile users search results for PC users Search (technical diagram)

35 Learning Objects Content Authoring Learning Objects Generator (technical diagram) LOG Db Store LOG Interface API Content Author User interface Content Packaging View and EditView LO Content Preview Download IMS content package Contents optimized by ADR Contents optimized by ADR

36 Technical challenges Too much content means a lot of scrolling for users Larger images dont fit on screen and take longer to download Flash isnt supported by some smart phones e.g. Black berry Limited and slower bandwidth Advanced html features not supported by many smart phones Too many devices and models

37 Athabasca University Desktop: http://library.athabascau.ca Mobile friendly Library website: Supported devices: PDA, Palmtop, Blackberry, IPAQ, Smart phones, Iphones The site includes mobile friendly: Digital Reading Room Digital Reference Centre Digital Thesis & Project Room Airpac Library catalogue Search engine

38 North Carolina State University

39 Sharing m-libraries experience and ideas with others worldwide First International M-Libraries Conference, Open University, UK 2007

40 Second International M-Libraries Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada 2009

41 Search results for m-librariesSearch help

42 Third International M-Libraries Conference Brisbane May 11-13 2011



45 Where are we going with mobile technology?

46 References New Media Consortium (2010) Horizon Report NMC, 2010 Kukulska-Hulme,A. and J.Traxler Learning design with mobile and wireless technologies in Rethinking pedagogy for the digital age edited by H Beetham and R. Sharpe, Routledge 2009 Kerren Mills, Hassan Sheikh, Gill Needham, Anne Hewling Photo Credits

47 Contacts Nicky Whitsed, Director of Library Services –Email :, tel +44 1908

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