SirsiDynix joined the mobile arena with the launch of its BookMyne iPhone app, announced at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Boston. The app has been available for download from the Apple Store since January 2010 and has seen some implementation by libraries. Through BookMyne, library users with an iPhone can find and access their local library, provided that their library has enabled the requisite software. SirsiDynix has not released apps for other smart phone platforms.
In order to make their services available to mobile users with the BookMyne app, libraries need to operate a version of SirsiDynix Symphony 3.3 or higher. In addition, they will need to install the recently released Web Services module. This software layer allows the library to expose a variety of data elements managed by Symphony to external applications. This Web Services component, used initially by BookMyne, will find many other uses beyond the proprietary API already available. SirsiDynix Symphony Web Services is available without cost to libraries running the requisite version of Symphony.
SirsiDynix has made BookMyne available as a free download through Apple’s App Store. Once installed, iPhone users will be able to find any library that has enabled the service and perform catalog searches. The patron self-service feature, naturally, functions only with the user’s own library, requiring their established user name and PIN for access. BookMyne app will be able select and view a directory of any participating library, listing library contact information, hours, a library logo, a link to the library’s Web site, and an image of the library. Libraries can be selected geographically, using the iPhone’s built-in GPS capability and the Google Map API. A list of favorites provides convenient access to one’s home library. Key features of BookMyne include the ability to search their library’s catalog, and to sign in to make requests.
BookMyne involves no cost either to iPhone users that want to use the app or to the libraries that want have a mobile presence. But the matrix of libraries to users is currently narrow. Apps have not yet been delivered for other mobile platforms and only libraries that run SirsiDynix Symphony 3.3 with the Web Services layer will be discoverable. The popularity of the iPhone and the large number of libraries using SirsiDynix Symphony forms a large potential audience for this product.