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This Cool App Roundup from App It Up
highlights how apps can help libraries connect with patrons and provide services in new ways.
Many libraries accomplish this by
creating standalone apps or a mobile-friendly website and library
catalog. But these aren’t the only ways apps can help organizations
share resources or get their message out. We hope the ideas below will
inspire libraries (and nonprofits!) to think about innovative ways to
use apps and mobile technology.
mobile devices usually include a camera, location-aware GPS, a barcode
scanner, and Internet access. And these technologies can help patrons engage
with library (and other) collections in new ways. For example:
This got us thinking about other ways libraries and nonprofits could use these mobile
technologies. Perhaps a library mobile tour (or scavenger hunt) that
teaches people how to search for and access resources in the library’s
collection? Or a mobile tour created by a nonprofit that highlights and
shares important locations and resources related to the organization's
and more, people expect to get access to resources and information on their mobile devices. This creates an opportunity for
libraries and other organizations: collecting and sharing the “best of”
relevant mobile resources for their patrons, clients, and supporters.
Below are just a few examples of how libraries are collecting and sharing mobile resources:
has helped create a variety of apps that aren't linked to a specific
library but do help make library resources more visible to app users.
What all these apps have in common is that they use Worldcat,
the enormous global catalog of library collections, to provide detailed
information about books, CDs, and movies. They also gently remind app
users of what their local library has available.
What's especially cool about these apps is that they reach people who aren’t
necessarily interested in the library (or just not yet!).
They're library outreach and advocacy tools cleverly disguised as a personal
media collection manager, barcode scanner, or shopping app.
love to hear what you think about these apps, as well as other ideas
you have for interesting, innovative, or fun ways apps could be used by
libraries and nonprofits. Do you know of other libraries or nonprofits
that are doing a good job of identifying and sharing mobile resources?
Do you have a cool idea for engaging patrons, constituents, or
supporters using an app?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo: Gesa Hemelmans
Ariel Gilbert-Knight is a Senior Content Developer for TechSoup