The Library Mobile Experience: Practices and User Expectations

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Library Technology Reports, August/September 2013 (49:6)

The e-book edition and the print/e-book bundle of this title are also available separately.


How are libraries meeting the evolving needs of mobile users? According to comScore, the smartphone is in the "late majority stage of technology adoption curve." And people don't turn to their devices only for quick facts when on the move:  93 percent of mobile users access the Internet from home on their devices; what's more, Pew reports that 63 percent of Americans age 16 and over would use app-based access to library materials and programs if they were available. In this issue of Library Technology Reports, Kim shows how leading libraries are meeting these evolving needs. Topics include:

  • 6 steps to improving your mobile website
  • Analysis of the advantages and challenges of the responsive Web
  • Comparison of user perceptions of web apps and native apps
  • Visual review of the changes in the libraries mobile web implementation since 2010
  • Results of MIT surveys of more than 15,000 patrons in 2008 and 2011
  • Tips for simplifying mobile's complexity

Chapter 1 – The Mobile Shift

               Tremendous Mobile Growth

               Changes That Mobile Devices Have Brought to Our Daily Lives

               The No-Longer-Auxiliary Mobile Web


Chapter 2 – Mobile Consumer Behaviors

               Are Mobile Users in a Rush?

               Don’t Dumb Thing Down on Mobile

               One Web or Walled Gardens: Web App versus Native App

               Consumer Preference for Native Apps


Chapter 3 – The Present and Future of the Library Mobile Experience

               2010 versus Now: Changes Seen through Examples: Mobile Library Websites

               Trends and Observations

               The Mobile Experience That Library Patrons Want

               Improve Your Library’s Mobile Website Step by Step


Chapter 4 – Responsive Web Design, Discoverability, and Mobile Challenge

               What is Responsive Web Design?

               Advantages of Responsive Web Design

               A Few Problems with Responsive Web Design

               Resources and Tools for Responsive Web Design

               Uncomplicate Complexity on Mobile

               Make Your Mobile Site Discoverable



Bohyun Kim

Bohyun Kim?is associate director for Library Applications and Knowledge Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Health Sciences and Human Services Library. She is the author of?The Library Mobile Experience: Practices and User Expectations, a previous issue of?Library Technology Reports, and editor of the?ACRL TechConnect blog. Follow her on Twitter at?@bohyunkim.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication and how you can subscribe here.