Monday, December 19, 2005

SmartLibrary - Mobile Services in the Library

I can't believe I missed this one.

Back in May 2003, the Oulu University Main Library along with the Information Processing and Computer Engineering Laboratories of the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering launched a service called SmartLibrary. It allows library customers to browse the OULA library catalogue wirelessly with mobile terminal devices.

Access to a library's catalog on a mobile device is not that earth shattering in of itself. The interesting feature of this service is that if the customer so wishes they can request map-based guidance to a desired book or collection. The guidance system is based on dynamic user localization technology developed by Ekahau Inc.

Another new feature is a content production tool meant for the library staff: it allows the clerks to define the locations of shelf classes within the library as well as so-called landmarks, such as a photocopier, group work room or the borrowing desk - basically any target that can be located within the library.

The purpose of the landmarks is to make it easier for the users to find the objects that they are looking for in the library and to locate themselves at the same time. Landmarks also guide users to other libraries of the organization. SmartLibrary is operable in devices with an Internet connection and a right kind of browser (HTML browser in a PDA, XHTML browser in a mobile phone).

* SmartLibrary link for desktop users:
* SmartLibrary link for PDA users:
* SmartLibrary link for mobile phone users:

More Information:

Aittola M, Parhi P, Vieruaho M & Ojala T (2004) Comparison of mobile and fixed use of SmartLibrary. Proc. 6th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, Glasgow, Scotland, 383 - 387.

Aittola M, Ryhänen T & Ojala T (2003) SmartLibrary - Location-aware mobile library service. Proc. Fifth International Symposium on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, Udine, Italy, 411 - 416.

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