Mar. 3, 2010 - Mobile phones and smartphones are now a popular way to access the Internet, making it essential for libraries to provide mobile access to the library catalogue and other library-related activities. Technology and business solutions specialist for UK public libraries and archives, Axiell, is developing new software which will allow library patrons to visit libraries online via their iPhone or Android-based device.
Axiell conceived the application in conjunction with BridgeIT, a Danish mobile software development specialist. BridgeIT has particular expertise in the field of mobile solutions, with emphasis on development for several mobile platforms simultaneously.
In the library sector patrons will be able to search the library's catalogue, receive updates on the items they borrowed and return dates, and to check whether they have any reservations or fines. The new technology interacts seamlessly with Axiell Arena, the 24-hour virtual library portal that keeps track of patrons' interests.
The UK market will have access to the application in the second quarter of this year.
Jim Burton, managing director of Axiell UK says, "We are very pleased to be able to announce our world-leading application which provides both iPhone and Android access to library information and interactive functions. This makes Axiell the first supplier in the world to offer a mobile solution for both smartphone types for library information. Patrons will be able to use Axiell Arena via our mobile application to open the door to the virtual library, regardless of time and place. This places libraries at the cutting edge of technological development, enables them to offer a raft of new services and creates a platform for reaching new patrons."
Denmark's Gladsaxe Libraries has already signed up to the new technology.
Development manager at Gladsaxe Libraries, Esben Fjord, adds, "Libraries have been discussing the potential for incorporating mobile technologies into the library's virtual offers for many years now. The new and advanced smartphones, such as the iPhone, set the scene for completely new and exciting approaches and ways of using the libraries' data. We in Gladsaxe are really pleased to be part of this development which brings a completely new and mobile communication platform into play at the library."
A new survey by international consulting company Gartner shows that, by 2013, the mobile telephone will be our preferred method of connection to the Internet.
O2 alone had five million smartphone users in the UK, including two million iPhone owners, in 2009 when the company's client base grew 19 per cent. (The Times, 27 February 2010, Nic Fildes. Britain's biggest just got bigger because everybody wants a smarter mobile phone.)