An iLibrarian?

I was recently gifted with an iPod Touch(thanks, Mom!).
Though I’m no longer in the honeymoon period (a.k.a., “You’ll get a turn when you pry it out of my cold,dead hands!”) I still use it  frequently.

Some of the apps I use the most  are Pandora, the NPR and NYT apps, Google mobile, Dragon dictation and Evernote.

What does this have to do with libraries?

Well–
1.  I GET IT–SORT OF. I no longer think, “Poor thing!” when I  see a  student in the library who is unable to look up from his or device. It’s still annoying, but now I can sympathize.

2. MOBILE, SCHMOBILE. Before I became “mobile-enhanced”, I’d read tweets and blog posts bursting with televangelical fervor about the huge effect mobile devices are having on libraries and think, ” Meh.”  Sure, mobile services are a big deal generally but after all, many of our students don’t have a laptop or desktop, let alone a smartphone. I also resented the (perhaps subconscious) implication that librarians without smart phones and/or libraries without mobile apps would somehow be left behind to molder in the scrap heap–along with wooden card catalog holders and other relics of the pre-digital era.
3.“AND YOU’RE TELLING ME THIS BECAUSE…?” I used to  see Foursquare updates in my Twittercfeed and roll my eyes to high heaven: “So and so is the mayor of a Starbucks in Boisie….big flipping’ deal!”. Of course, I’m now on Foursquare, though I’ve yet to get the hang of it–I’ve accidentally created a duplicate venue for our library the first time I tried to check in, for example. ;0)  And honestly, I don’t know that I see lots of value for libraries in Foursquare–yet.  But, I’m  less “judge-y” about it.

4. THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT.  BiT (Before iPod Touch), I’d change the channel every time an iPhone commercial came on, to avoid seeing all of the cool apps I couldn’t access, like the one for reading MRIs (“I  have  an MRI–I could totally use that!”). Now I’ve sent information on relevant subject apps to a Nursing instructor and an Agriculture instructor, respectively, and I love finding new ones!

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2 thoughts on “An iLibrarian?

  1. RE:
    1. ha ha, yeah, I noticed in the last webinar you and Tonya were playing with your devices. 🙂

    2. “…many of our students don’t have a laptop or desktop, let alone a smartphone. I also resented the (perhaps subconscious) implication that librarians without smartphones and/or libraries without mobile apps would somehow be left behind…” Amen. It’s not so much the initial costs of the smartphones as it is the ongoing costs for data plans that holds me back from getting one. As long as my current (non-smart)phone is working, I’m in no hurry to get a new one.

    3. “I don’t know that I see lots of value for libraries in Foursquare–yet. But, I’m less “judge-y” about it.” I’m all for our staff who are willing to try out Foursquare and test its applicability for the library. This is one though that I personally can’t see me getting involved with due to lack of said smartphone.

    4. When I finally DO get a smartphone, then I’ll probably get real picky about apps – i.e. free is good, not free – not so much. As it is, when the TV is on (which is rare), I have no trouble mentally tuning out those commercials. 🙂

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for commenting! Yeah, technically I don’t still have a smartphone although I can access the internet with it–I just can’t make calls, unless I’m willing to jump through some hoops (no thanks).

    I’d like a smartphone, but I *hate* the idea of being tied to a carrier and the cost (to me) is outrageous. But, who knows, I may cave in sooner rather than later. There are lots of good free apps out there.

    I really like the device, but sometimes it is a little bit more of a curse than a blessing:

    1. I’m constantly worried about losing it. I can’t afford a new one, and I’d hate for someone to be able to access iTunes on it, for example.

    2. It’s convenient, but it also fragments my attention.

    3. I can only use it if I have wireless access. So if I want to use it when I’m not at work or home, I’m out of luck, unless I want to buy a mobile wireless device and tie myself to a contract. Virgin’s Mifi device is contract-free, but I’ve read mixed reviews: http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/more-on-the-virgin-mifi/

    All in all, though, I’d rather have it than not have it.

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