Do we need mobile library services? Not really

Mobile services have to fulfill information needs here and now Like many other libraries, the Library of the University of Amsterdam released a mobile web app this year. For background information about why and how we did it, have a look at the slideshow my colleague Roxana Popistasu and I gave at the IGeLU 2010 conference. For now I want to have a closer look at the actual reception and use of our mobile library […]

Dutch Culture Link

Linking library and cultural heritage data “Interested to publishing a test collection as linked open data to help @StichtingDEN with practical guide for heritage institutions?” That’s what my former colleague at the Library of the University of Amsterdam, now project manager at DEN (Digital Heritage Foundation The Netherlands), Marco Streefkerk asked me in April 2010. Was I interested? Of course I was. I had written a blog post “Linked data for libraries” almost a year […]

New users – new libraries – new librarians

Meeting new user expectations at ELAG 2010 In the near future libraries and librarians will be very different from what they are now. That’s the overall impression I took away from the ELAG 2010 conference in Helsinki, June 8-11, 2010.  ELAG stands for “European Library Automation Group”, which is an indication of its age (34 years): “automation” was then what is now “ICT”. The meetings are characterised by a combination of plenary presentations and parallel […]

User experience in public and academic libraries

A couple of recent events got me thinking about differences and similarities of public and academic libraries in the digital age. I used to think that current and future digital developments would in the end result in public and academic libraries moving closer to each other, but now I’m not so sure anymore. Let me explain how this happened. On April 1st I attended the UgameUlearn 2010 symposium organised by Delft University Library and DOK, […]

Mobile library services

Location aware services in a digital library world This is the third post in a series of three [1. Mainframe to mobile – 2. Mobile app or mobile web? – 3. Mobile library services] While library systems technology and mobile apps architecture make up the technical and functional infrastructure of mobile web access, mobile library services are what it’s all about. What type of mobile services should libraries offer to their customers? As stated before, […]

Mobile app or mobile web?

Technology, users and business models This is the second post in a series of three [1. Mainframe to mobile – 2. Mobile app or mobile web? – 3. Mobile library services] Mobile access to information on the internet is the latest step in the development of information systems technology, as described in the previous post in this series. The two main features that distinguish mobile devices from other devices are: Access to the web literally […]

Mainframe to mobile

The connection between information technology and library information systems This is the first post in a series of three [1. Mainframe to mobile – 2. Mobile app or mobile web? – 3. Mobile library services] The functions, services and audience of library information systems, as is the case with all information systems, have always been dependent on and determined by the existing level of information technology. Mobile devices are the latest step in this development. […]

Mobile reading

New models, new formats Recently I have been experimenting a bit with reading newspapers on my mobile phone (a G1 android device), or maybe I should say “reading news on my mobile”. I looked at two Dutch newspapers that adopt two completely different approaches. “NRC Handelsblad” publishes it’s daily print newspaper as a daily “e-paper” in PDF, Mobi and ePub format, to be downloaded every day to the platform of your choice. In order to […]

Old library, new library

On Sunday December 27, 2009 I was in the opportunity to visit the, otherwise closed, library of The Netherlands’ oldest museum Teylers museum in my home town Haarlem, together with a small group of Dutch library twitter people. We were very kindly shown around by librarian Marijn van Hoorn, who explained to us the library’s history and collection. Now I’m not going to say something about the pleasant real life consequences of getting to know […]

Is an e-book a book?

About cataloging physical items or units of content 2009 is the year of the e-book, or perhaps better: of the e-book reader. This is an important distinction that I will explain below. E-books are becoming more popular because of the increasing availability of various cheap e-book readers. But what is an e-book? Is it the same as a book? Some people say yes, some people say no. This question shouldn’t be so hard to answer, […]