Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


Mobile Devices

So I was going to post about something completely different when I saw this article. The gist of the article is that "Cyber University, [Japan]'s only university to offer all classes only on the Internet, began offering a class on mobile phones Wednesday on the mysteries of the pyramids."

How crazy is that? In this country you're starting to see a proliferation of online courses, programs, and degrees from larger institutions, not just places like the University of Phoenix or Devry. That is, places where you can earn liberal arts degrees, as opposed to technical or trade degrees are offering online coursework.

And now you can take a class on your ubiquitous mobile device. So what does your library offer for the mobile device? You could already tailor your library's web design for mobile devices through CSS. OK, so maybe that's a little ambitious for most of us.

What about the ILS providers? It would be great if they create a mobile version of your online catalog so that people could recheck a book's call number while they were out in the stacks.

Of course there's always text/SMS reference. There are a few places that have already started doing this, even as far back as 2005!

Or what about text messages/images sent to patrons about new items in the catalog or perhaps even existing catalog items that are relevant to current events? Places like ESPN already have dedicated mobile device content, why not a library?

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New uses for your cell phone

I have to say, it seems more and more that using your cell phone just to make phone calls is so 2001. Because clearly, you should be reading comic books on your cell phone.

Admittedly, I don't think this is going to catch on in a big way, at least not any time soon. But it is intriguing to see how there's this push to make you have one device that you can't leave the house with, so that device has to be able to do anything and everything you want it to do.

After all, wouldn't it be interesting to get a text message that's not full of IM-speak, because it's a book excerpt? Perhaps that's an opportunity for libraries in the future. And the future is closer than you think.

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