Gadgets in the Library

ALA TechSource workshop with Jason Griffey | Gadgets in the Library: A Practical Guide to Personal Electronics for Librarians (part 1) | April 13, 2011

Unrelated: This npr article came across the wire today, it’s worth a read: The Library Card As A Pop-Culture Fiend’s Ticket To Geek Paradise

Follow up Post from ALA TechSource and the Pre-reading:

Notes (and tweets #libgadgets):

  • Personal gadgets are personal
    • They’re meant to be used by one person, not by a library for loaning or ‘group sharing’.
    • Easier for internal use, except when you have a gadget garage (aka Toy Box).
    • Management can be problematic (so we’ve discovered with the iPad after we loaned it out and a teen got their hands on it).
  • Operating System determines what tools can be used to manage the gadgets
  • iOS – Apple’s operating system runs iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
    • iPhone – 1st iOS device | Cell phone | Camera | GPS | 3G data network
    • Most of the staff here at NEKLS have iPhones (except the one Android user) and we LOVE them and use them for work, especially the maps.
    • iPod Touch – no GPS | wifi data | Camera – same operating system and many of the same apps (except the GPS-reliant apps)
    • iPad – Wifi or 3G | iPad 2 came with a camera | 3G version has GPS and data plan (with NO contract, but monthly charges)
  • Android Operating System – most multi-functional devices out there are on one of these two OS’s.
    • Devices out since Oct 2008 – young OS
    • Google oversees development, technically Open Source (why we have one Android user on staff)
    • Theoretically, a library could download the source code and write library apps for Android phones
    • Spawned many devices: Google Phone Gallery | tablets like the Xoom | Full list on wikipedia
  • Rise of the Superphone (just beginning, will see more of these in a year)
    • Marketing term for Phones that are powerful as Computers: LG Optimus 2X | Samsung Galaxy SII | Motorola Atrix
    • Man, he blew right past these…and this is cool stuff – he showed a photo of a phone docked powering a keyboard, monitor and mouse.  Instant computer!  Libraries may have docking stations in the future.
    • Motorola Atrix laptop dock – read a review I found (with pictures)
  • Shape of the Future is FLAT – tablets are the future.  We are in the ‘post PC era’ says Steve Jobs
    • Ideal display surface for MOST library content.  Books, databases, digital libraries, music, maps – all but ‘realia’ translate well..
    • Samsung Galaxy Tab  | Motorola Xoom (with Android’s Honeycomb (3.0) operating system)
  • Other Operating Systems
    • Blackberry Playbook – business use tablet (not on market yet – best buy has a 16 GB for $499)
    • HP PalmPad – with new WebOS – HP bought Palm.  Still in progress.
    • Lenovo U1 Ideapad – Looks like a laptop with a pop-out tablet/monitor (in Asia only now) – Windows 7 laptop until you unplug the tablet, then transformed into an android tablet.  New model that may catch on?  2-in-1 option may be good for schools/academia.
  • Questions
    • Accessibility? – Apple the gold standard for Accessibility.  iPad has deep levels of accessibility – visual tricks like default font size, touch zoom, spoken audio input tricks.  Android has ability to voice-to-text option (that iOS does not have).  Any text field or form field can do speech-to-text input – can’t type? Just talk!
    • Larger touch screen computers (as in Minority Report)? – Probably on the way.  Touchscreen computers for traditional OS (we have these deployed in a few libraries).  An OS designed for a keyboard and mouse need to be tweeked for touch-interface.  User interface experience is very different.  Android and iOS ARE DESIGNED for touch-interface.  HP has said they’re producing tablets for their new WebOS, but will also deploy this OS in desktop computers, as well.  Connect – interactive gaming designed to respond to gestures – may also move to computing, as well.
  • Tips and Tricks for managing iOS and Android
    • iTunes manages iOS devices – how you load content.  Uniform experience.  Unfortunately, iOS devices do not appear as ‘generic USB storage’ – have to load through iTunes.
      • Apple provides tools to support iPhone Configuration Utility – use to create profiles for devices in the Toy Box!  This is helpful. I’ll ask Liz/Heather to investigate.  Imaging tool.
      • Tutorials on site related to business use if iOS devices – integration, best practices, etc.
    • managing Android – not the same configuration utilities as Apple, but as an open platform…anyone can write anything for it! – Remotely wipe data!  Require passwords.  Managing email accessibility.
  • Apps for Libraries
    • System-specific – Windows v. Mac = Android v. iOS
    • iOS has over 400,00 apps with 10 billion downloads – written in Objective C language inside Xcode application platform with software development kit from and distribute through iTunes store.  $99 a year to join and be an Apple developer.  Apple gets a 30% cut of your profit. – other frameworks to develop in iOS.
      • Games are popular, but book apps are 2nd most popular
    • Android has 200,000 apps.  Uses java language, has a software development kit and you can host your own App (no iTunes store) and if you do want to add your app to the “Marketplace” it’s $25 market fee. and – even easier way to develop — Lego blocks for programming.
    • Blackberry and Nokia both have app stores (tiny slices of the App pie)
    • HTML 5 ‘changes everything’
      • Allows mapping, images, video – write for the Web and it works for ALL platforms.  More efficient.
    • App Outsourcingboopsiebig nerd ranch | Y media labs
      • Standard mobile application provided by 3rd party (costs)
      • Programmers who need work! – elance = ‘freelance’
    • Reading Apps:
    • Creativity Apps:
    • Circulation and Policies for Libraries with Devices
      • Circ period? | Only in the building? – depends on patron base
      • Insurance and Patron indemnity – remember this during purchasing
      • Filtering content for minors? – Parental controls on both iOS and Android
    • Management Questions
      • Legal to pre-load content on a device?  Yes and No. Circ with library produced or public domain content – avoid issues with copyright and licensing
      • Wipe personal data at check-in – built in process
      • Who manages the devices?  Who is responsible?
      • Legal issues with apps/content – how comfortable are you with the terms of use or claiming fair use?
    • Next Week: eReaders

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