Mobile Technology and Academic Libraries: Innovative Services for Research and Learning

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors

Mobile technology has become a ubiquitous presence in the lives of today’s students and faculty. The maturing of this technology has led to our becoming more and more comfortable in a world where digital information flows seamlessly from screen to screen as we move about our daily lives. This evolution presents both risks and opportunities for academic librarians, operating in a field that is both uniquely tied to a static sense of "place" in the public imagination and at the same time passionately devoted to the freedom, spread, and accessibility of information for the public at large.

In seventeen chapters ranging from A Mobile-First Library Site Redesign to Mobile Technology Support for Field Research to Virtual Reality Library Environments, Mobile Technology and Academic Libraries explores how librarians around the world are working to adapt their spaces, collections, teaching, and services to the new possibilities presented by mobile technology. This is a detailed and thorough examination of technology that’s emerging now and how to incorporate it into your library to help the students and researchers of both today and tomorrow.  

Leveraging the potential of smartphones, tablets, and even wearable technologies allows academic librarians to further expand their reach to students and faculty beyond the library’s walls. Furthermore, by understanding how mobile technology changes the behavior of our users, we can gain new insights into their needs and make improvements to our traditional services and spaces to better contribute to faculty research and student learning.


Robin Canuel and Chad Crichton

Chapter 1. The Mobile Context: A User-Centered Approach to Mobile Strategy for Libraries
Edward Bilodeau

Chapter 2. The Development of an Academic Library’s Mobile Website
Junior Tidal

Chapter 3. A Mobile-First Library Site Redesign: How Designing for Mobile Provides a Better User Experience for All
Nathan E. Carlson, Alec Sonsteby, and Jennifer DeJonghe

Chapter 4. Selfie as Guide: Using Mobile Devices to Promote Active Learning and Student Engagement
Sarah LeMire, Stacy Gilbert, Stephanie Graves, and Tiana Faultry-Okonkwo

Chapter 5. Beyond Passive Learning: Utilizing Active Learning Tools for Engagement, Reflection, and Creation
Teresa E. Maceira and Danitta A. Wong

Chapter 6. Getting Meta with Marlon: Integrating Mobile Technology into Information Literacy Instruction
Regina Lee Roberts and Mattie Taormina

Chapter 7. Clinical Resources for the Digital Physician: Case Study and Discussion of Teaching Mobile Technology to Undergraduate Medical Students
Maureen (Molly) Knapp

Chapter 8. Mobile Technology Support for Field Research
Wayne Johnston

Chapter 9. From Start to Finish: Mobile Tools to Assist Librarian Researchers
Mê-Linh Lê

Chapter 10. A Novel Application: Using Mobile Technology to Connect Physical and Virtual Reference Collections
Hailie D. Posey

Chapter 11. Adding Apps to Our Collections: A Pilot Project
Willie Miller, Yoo Young Lee, and Caitlin Pike

Chapter 12. Tablets on the Floor: A Peer-to-Peer Roaming Service at Atkins Library
Barry Falls, Beth Martin, and Abby Moore

Chapter 13. Using Proximity Beacons and the Physical Web to Promote Library Research and Instructional Services
Jordan M. Nielsen and Keven M. Jeffery

Chapter 14. Gamification Using Mobile Technology in the Classroom: A Positive Benchmark for the Future of Higher Education
Avery Le

Chapter 15: Bringing Texts to Life: An Augmented Reality Application for Supporting the Development of Information Literacy Skills
Yusuke Ishimura and Martin Masek

Chapter 16. Virtual Reality Library Environments
Jim Hahn

Chapter 17. Wearable Technologies in Academic Libraries: Fact, Fiction and the Future
Ayyoub Ajmi and Michael J. Robak

About the Authors

Robin Canuel

Robin Canuel is an associate librarian at McGill University and currently serves as Head of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library at McGill. He has coauthored several articles on a variety of topics, including tailoring information literacy instruction to specific constituencies, the design and use of mobile websites for academic libraries, using tablets for teaching and research, and leveraging mobile apps in academic libraries. He earned a BA from McGill University in 2000, and his MLIS in 2002, also from McGill.

Chad Crichton

Chad Crichton served as Coordinator of Reference, Research and Instruction at the University of Toronto Scarborough for eight years. He is currently the campus Liaison Librarian for both the Department of English and the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media. He has presented on the topic of mobile technology at library conferences in both North America and Europe and has also published a number of scholarly articles on the topic. Chad earned an Honours BA from Queen's University in 1998, an MA in English literature from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1999, and his MLIS from McGill University in 2002.