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While some libraries have begun to offer customized mobile applications for online catalog access, little research has investigated the relative costs vs. benefits of developing such applications in comparison to traditional browser-based mobile access. We investigate this tradeoff by creating a prototype mobile application for accessing our own library’s catalog, including requirements analysis, development, and evaluation. We find that such mobile applications can be built at relatively low cost and effort, and our prototype provides a proof-of-concept for other institutions interested in developing similar mobile applications suited to their own local needs. Our experience further suggests that customized mobile applications have potential to significantly better serve patrons at the expense of a relatively small investment in application development.
Program Track: Track 3 - Information Systems, Interactivity and Design Submission Type: Research Paper
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