IL2009: When Students Go Mobile

When Students go Mobile: The Effects of Smartphones on Information Literacy and Academic Library Services
Kristen Yarmey-Tylutki

Students with smartphones think of them as leisure devices, not academic devices — only 11% in a recent survey. But this is likely to grow as libraries build more smartphone-ready content and services.
2000 ACRL Information Competency Standards. Are these standards still relevant? Five standards — where are we on each one? How do smartphones effect information literacy?
Standard One — determines the nature and extent of the information needed
Should we provide access to high-value applications just as we provide access to high-value databases? For example, Netter’s Neuroscience is $40 for the iPhone; should we be licensing it for our populations?
When others create applications using public information, who validates it? For example, there are two apps for the the World Factbook 2009. Neither produced by the government. What are risks?
Standard Two — access information effectively and efficiently
Extracting information from sources and managing that information. Harder to do on mobile devices. But iPhone is beginning to do this pretty well through applications — such as Margins.
Standard Three — reads text and extracts main ideas
Mobile devices allow students to read on the go, between other activities. Enables on-the-fly reading — but what about deep reading? Will they be able to process what they read? Should smartphone makers make a ‘quiet setting’ so that the user can’t be interrupted?
Students may see information that renders well on a mobile device as more accurate than information that renders poorly. What you can use is better than what’s hard to use (i.e., the Google Scholar effect).
Librarians should help ensure that course management systems are easily accessible via mobile devices.
Standard Four — students can use information to solve real-world problems
Students need to be able to share information. The apps, like Dropbox, exist, but aren’t well known.
Standard Five — students understand the rules around information use
Libraries need to help educate students on the potential impact of posting information on the web. We could help teach how to be safe online — or help others on campus do this.
Plagiarism is still a tricky subject. But students are now in such constant contact, all the time, about their academic pursuits that collaboration is a way of life, not something one does in a course context. Figuring out what’s your own, and what’s a group effort, is harder.
Summary — standards have held up pretty well in the face of mobile computing.
Speaker interested in doing research on literacy and mobile devices.

Kristine Ferry, Lisa Serbert & Holly Tomren, UC-Irvine

Institutions that are building mobile apps don’t often include libraries in their mobile apps.
If we’re going to collect applications for mobile devices, we need to think about a few things. We need to know more about their behavior. As vendors provide mobile-ready content, will libraries be charged more? So far, not — and shouldn’t be. It’s the same users, same content — different destination. Will mobile devices need special activation or authentication?
MIT has a proxy application for iPhone, to proxy specific resources.
Add the mobile version to the catalog record — another 856 field. Simply another location for the device for mobile users.
How do we support information for mobile devices? A multitude of devices and formats. Who gets this task? Library? IT? Vendor?
Why not use mobile devices for library cards? You can check into a flight with one.

I really like this last idea — if American Airlines and Delta can send you a barcode to display on your mobile device, can’t the library do the same thing?