Bradley Faust, Ball State University, Mobile Library Page
Markus Wust, NCSU MobiLIB
Michelle Jacobs, UC-Merced

The speakers did a fantastic job showing the ins and outs of converting a library’s web presence into a simple, Javascript-free, handheld-friendly interface. North Carolina State went one step further and made the information dynamic – for example, clicking on the “Library Hours” link from the cell phone interface would show today’s and tomorrow’s hours rather than a list of all variations on the library’s hours. University of California-Merced emphasized the use of text messaging as a virtual reference tool.

The biggest thing missing from all the presentations on handheld library services – for me – was numbers. How often are these mobile pages getting hit? How deep do visitors go into the links? Have any surveys of mobile users been conducted? In the academic libraries where I’ve been working this past year, I see web statistics almost completely ignored in considerations of web site usefulness. I would think web stats would be constantly monitored and evaluated … it’s an easy, instant source of feedback about an important presentation and interaction element of the library. The ideas presented about adapting the library’s web presence to handheld devices is very interesting and certainly hip, but how is it really being used by patrons?