Sunday, January 17, 2010

Library IPhone apps - a short list

This post has being superceded by this updated list 

I was listening to @griffey and other top North American Librarians at
the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting, via Ustream and Jason mentioned he knew about 3 library IPhone apps and wondered if anyone knew of more.

A month ago, I happened to be curious about this, so while on a long bus ride, I did a search on IPhone appstore for keywords library, libraries, university. The last was based on the idea that university iphone apps would have library functionality as well.

Here's the list I have

1. MLNlibrary
3. WorldCat
5. UH Library
6. HK libraries (searches consortium of HongKong Libraries
7. Library Navigator (Tokyo) (similar to above but for Tokyo Libraries including National Diet Library)
8. Dukemobile (Part of University IPhone app)
9. iUsask (Part of University IPhone app)
10. Northwestern (Part of University IPhone app)

Somewhat different is NC State "Wolf Walk" (not Catalogue related)
There should be more I'm sure.

BTW anyone know how to directly link to IPhone store for specific apps?

I should probably add these to the Library success wiki page . While I'm at it, someone should add pages for library related IPhone apps (and Android versions), such as barcode scanners (including QRcode scanners) like ZBar and Redlaser (also Google goggles type apps like Snaptell) , mobile apps that allow custom searches likeSpeedy Search, TheOracle , Database related apps like SSRN app, PubMed On Tap Lite or misc apps like CardStar, 
or Librarything's Local Books

Of course, Jason's point if I remember correctly was that mobile apps are doomed with the coming of HTML5, so this might be moot? 

Most of the apps above have very basic functionality anyway, basically just search and place hold, renew, check accounts etc. As the Krafty Librarian notes, you get bigger bang for buck and support more phones by creating a mobile friendly site!

The other option would be to just go for the newly announced "Library Anywhere" from LibraryThing which gives you a mobile app of your catalogue.

I also noticed SirsiDynix's BookMyne Iphone app.

"The free application locates nearby libraries and allows users to search library catalogs for available materials. Users registered with a library can also place and cancel holds at their library using their iPhone." (announcement)

One interesting to note is that while there are quite a few University Iphone apps out there (see below for a sample), I've found only 3, who bother to include library functionality, I wonder why?

If you can include Athletics (iStandford, m.UW etc), surely you can include library?

PS Okay I know I tweeted yesterday, I wouldn't do a Iphone blog post after 3 in succession, but what can I say, all the action is in mobile libraries today!
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