Mobile Library Free for All

Mobile Library Free for All

By now, you’ve all been shocked and awed by the sheer numbers of mobile users and are likely suitably impressed by the opportunity this presents for libraries. What is disproportionate is the number of libraries offering mobile services, especially applications for instruction.

I recently had the good fortune to speak with a number of Washington library web services experts and learned that one of the factors preventing their academic library’s foray into mobile was a World Cat Local catalog and awaiting the OCLC mobile solution. However, I wondered if their library system could benefit from something even simpler than a catalog, i.e. an intereactive map or access to subject guides.

In an amazing post by Tiffani Travis recounting information she presented at ALA Mid-Winter, she explores using LibGuides by Springshare as well as Wordpress to provide students with mobile access to library subject or course specific resources. Because both Springshare and Wordpress offer options for mobile device, the input by the library is minimal and requires no special mobile app dev skills.

This is a great example of thinking about new technologies and pushing the envelope rather than lamenting perceived limitations. No mobile app or mobile budget or dev savvy? What do you know and how can you exploit tools to meet your needs and those of users?

Pull quote: “Despite the use of OU Campus being a mandate from above, my library web team has been generally pleased with the product. As a web developer and systems administrator, I am thrilled with the quality and responsiveness of their customer service and technical support. As a library web developer, however, I have to admit that OU Campus does not fully meet the design and usability needs and expectations of library websites. IMHO, this is because libraries have been using, customizing, and raising the bar on CMSs far longer than higher education institutions — this is just the nature of our innovative and curiosity-driven profession.”

Dennis Miles of the Henry Bennett Memorial Library in Oklahoma is sharing an exhaustive compilation of resources about the Titanic. Organized under various tabs to display first class, second class, third class passengers, interior and exterios of the Titanic and other remarkable features, the service is from a commercially produced tool from SpringShare. Prominent among the passenger photos is Elkins Widenerr and son Henry Widener (a book collector - his mother donated money to Harvard University to build a library, which, today has over 3 million books), the Unsinkable Molly Brown, Benjamin Guggenheim,  and William Stead.. Also a silent film starlet, and Dorothy Gibson (she followed the disaster in a silent film portrayal a month afterward) among many others.  Comments are allowed and encouraged to enrich this resource.

SLA Academic Division offers Springshare Award to promote Innovative Approaches to Academic Librarianship

The Academic Division of SLA is very proud to present for the second year an award for academic libraries, sponsored by Springshare, Inc., creator of LibGuides!

This annual award recognizes a new program or service that demonstrates an innovative approach to academic librarianship. Please feel free to distribute to all innovative academic libraries you may know.


A certificate and a $500 US award, donated by Springshare, are presented during the Academic Library Division Business Meeting at the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference. The winning library is also recognized through the Academic Division’s various public relations outlets.


Projects nominated for the award should demonstrate recognized innovation, creativity and quality. Nominated programs or services can have been developed in any facet of the library’s activities, including but not limited to:

  • reference and research assistance;
  • information literacy and library instruction;
  • collection development;
  • cataloging and/or technical services;
  • space planning; or
  • marketing and public relations


Academic or research libraries in a higher education institution are eligible to receive the award. Recipients must have implemented their program or service in an academic or research library no more than two years prior to the nomination submission deadline. Nominated libraries do not have to have a SLA or an SLA-Academic Division member on staff.


Nominations must include a 500-1000 words description of the innovative program or service and must demonstrate usage and/or success of implementation using accepted assessment methods. Include any other supporting print or electronic documentation that would assist the committee in evaluating the purpose, content, impact, and innovative aspects of the program or service.  

Send nominations to the Academic Division Awards Committee Chair, Catherine Lavallée-Welch, Director, University of South Florida Polytechnic Library,clw@poly.usf.edu.


Note: Electronic submissions are required.  

Submission Deadline: April 1st, 2012





Chair, Academic Division Awards Committee

Chair-Elect, Academic Division


Catherine Lavallée-Welch

Director, University of South Florida Polytechnic Library

3433 Winter Lake Rd - LTB 1115

Lakeland, FL 33803 USA



(863) 667-7737

(863) 667-7754 (fax)