The Mobile Computing Project:
an LSTA Technology MiniGrant Supported Initiative
Bradley D. Faust
Assist. Dean for Library Info Technology Services
Ball State University Libraries
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October 25, 2006
Internet Librarian 2006
Presentation Overview
• Why mobile technology should be
important to libraries
• The Mobile Computing Project at the
Ball State University Libraries
• The BSU Libraries mobile web site
• Two mobile development efforts
• Possible future work
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Mobile Technology and Libraries
• The University Libraries and Ball State
University are eager to embrace new
information technologies
• Mobile computing is a creative, new
space with great opportunities for library
services
• Mobile technology is supporting
teaching and learning (Course
Management Systems, i.e. Blackboard)
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Mobile Technology and Libraries
• Smart small-screen devices represent
changes in the way we communicate –
libraries should have a role in this
environment
• Some may see this as novel, but our
customers use these technologies today
• Students and others are embracing
mobile technologies at increasing rates
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Mobile Project - Why
• Observation that so many library
customers have powerful mobile
computing devices
• Desire to reach these individuals through
the devices they use
• Rapid expansion of wireless voice and
data network services
• Determine the role and opportunities for
libraries in this technology space
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Mobile Computing Project
• Funded by a LSTA technology mini-grant
from the Indiana State Library and IMLS
• Work began in May 2004
• Addressed the possibilities of integrating
library services and collections (resources)
with mobile computing devices
• Original focus was on data enabled cell
phones, evolved to include other mobile
devices
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University Libraries Mobile
• Regular web sites unfriendly
on mobile devices
– Images are too large for small
screens
– Pages too long for scrolling
– Pages too big to fit in memory
– Wasteful of minutes
– JavaScript, other scripting
languages do not work
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University Libraries Mobile
• How does the Mobile
Site work better on
small screen devices?
– Short pages
– Easy to read fonts
– Easy to navigate
– Minimal images
– Anywhere access
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CardCat Mobile
• Custom Gateway to
CardCat system
designed for mobile
devices
• Smaller graphics
• Accessible through
library mobile web site on
main page
• Ran into issues – moved
forward with MOPAC
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CardCat Mobile
• Uses Z39.50 based
services
• Developed using
Microsoft Visual
Studio Development
environment
• Served as a basis
for our grant request
• It works!
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Mobile Journals
• Searchable index of Journals and other
Serial Communications available from
the University Libraries (search titles)
• Limits results to online titles
• Provides hot links to online resources
• User-friendly navigation
• Format and design fits small-screen
devices
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Mobile Journals - Examples
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Mobile Journals - Examples
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Mobile Video
• Provides access to low bandwidth
versions of library promotional videos
• Provides access to low bandwidth
versions of instructional video
• Work best on PocketPC device with a
Wi-Fi connection
• The video streams are in Windows
Media format
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Possible Future Work
• Build out the CardCat Mobile product
• Build out the Mobile Journals product
• Build other library services
– Text messaging about available material
– Investigate access to academic information
resources
– ‘Mobilize’ our material resource locator
• Look at blog, RSS, or wiki solutions for
mobile devices
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University Libraries Mobile
• Available at
– http://www.bsu.edu/libraries/mobile/
• We are interested in comments
and suggestions to improve the
site
• Feedback Form on mobile web
site
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Web Resources
• University Libraries Mobile Site
– http://www.bsu.edu/libraries/mobile/
• University Libraries Mobile “Jump” page
– http://www.bsu.edu/library/mobile/
• Mobile Computing Project Web Site
– http://www.bsu.edu/libraries/viewpage.aspx?SRC=
./lits/mobileproject/index.html
• Ball State University’s mobile site
– http://mobile.bsu.edu
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Project Team
• Bradley D. Faust – [email protected]
– Assistant Dean for Lib Info Tech Services
• Andy West – [email protected]
– Mobile Computing Developer
• Stan Shannon
– Special Projects Developer
• Project Co-Investigators
– Arthur W. Häfner, Ph.D., M.B.A., & Bradley D.
Faust
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Thank You
• This project was
supported by the
Institute of Museums
and Library Services
under the provisions
of the Library Services
and Technology Act,
administered by the
Indiana State Library.
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Contact Information
Bradley D. Faust
Ball State University Libraries
Muncie, Indiana
[email protected]
(765) 285-8032
http://www.bsu.edu/library
http://www.bsu.edu/libraries/mobile
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Mobile Computing Project - Information Today, Inc.