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Mobile Library Services: Start Here

This subject guide is intended to help you get started mobilizing you library instruction and library services

What is Mobile Learning?

Mobile learning, also known as m-learning, is an educational system. Mobile learning supports, with the help of mobile devices, a continuous access to the learning process. This can be on appliances like your phone, laptop or tablet. You can learn wherever and whenever you want! :-) With the advent of mobile learning, educational systems are changing.

What's the importance of mobile learning? Let's take a look at mobile learning in education and talk about the advantages and disadvantages of mobile education.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages of mobile learning

Wherever and whenever

It’s possible to lay in bed and watch a lecture whenever you want.


‘We are making an online quiz!’ You can see the smile on the faces of the children. It really motivates children to learn from tablets or other mobile devices.

More content

Videos and audios are things you can add with mobile learning. Videos make it possible to make learning more lively!

Working together from long distance

While the one student might be in New York and the other one is in Amsterdam, it’s still possible to work together! This is one of the main benefits of mobile learning.

Disadvantages of mobile learning


Mobile devices can be a great distraction for participants. Children like learning on tablets, but gaming on tablets seems to be even more fun! As a teacher you are not always able to control what your pupils are doing on their tablets.

Not enough electricity for all mobile devices

There have to be enough sockets for all those mobile devices, and not even spoken about all the cables. This may be a problem in the first couple of years. In the future, there will probably be a solution for this problem :)


This subject guide is intended to help you get started mobilizing you library instruction and library services. It introduces you to various types of applications that professional librarians can use to improve library services and flip their library class.
Mobile learning is certainly possible with our learning management system. You can motivate your pupils to learn things from their mobile devices. Ask questions and make your pupils answer them by a quiz during a lecture. It makes your lecture more sparkly!
Please make sure to check out the different tabs and contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

In Libraries, Librarians and Mobile Services

by Lisa Carlucci Thomas, guest editor of special section

Mobile computing is transforming how people search, receive and interact with information on a daily basis. In just a few short years smartphone ownership has skyrocketed and popular use of e-readers has been steadily on the rise. These advanced mobile tools provide portable, instantaneous access to the world of information, across boundaries of subject, discipline and industry. 

Libraries are fully engaged in the process of adapting to increased demand for electronic collections and the ongoing acquisition and archiving of born-digital content. Supporting mobile access to these resources is the next step, and mobile efforts are under way. These are challenging economic times for libraries to take on new technological initiatives, yet librarians across the country and internationally are seeking creative solutions to providing mobile library services. Innovative projects, such as Dan DeSanto’s exploration of mobile, place-based, access to the University of Vermont’s Long Trail digital collection, described in “The Mobile Future of Place-Based Digital Collections,” and Michael Whitchurch’s QR Code implementation at Brigham Young University, as reported in “QR Codes and Library Engagement,” link the mobile user to the physical and virtual collections offered by the library – thus enhancing the user’s experience and expanding the reach of the library’s rich and diverse collections. 

Technological skill and programming ability are often cited as barriers to implementing mobile technologies, particularly among information professionals who haven’t had formal training in these areas. DeSanto, at UVM, and authors Edward Iglesias and Wit Meesangnil, both from Central Connecticut State University, achieved their vision beyond skill barriers by establishing partnerships in support of mobile development at their libraries. Iglesias and Meesangnil detail their experiences and lessons learned in “Mobile Website Development: From Site to App.” Through their collaboration, they discovered that they could stage the development of the library’s mobile website, and once the primary goal was accomplished (a mobile library website for the university library), easily adapt the product into a more advanced result (an Android application). 

Collaboration offers several advantages in the mobile environment. Mobile projects require the in-depth knowledge of librarians, that is, those who know their library collections well, who understand the services needed to support their research community and who are trained in the organization of information. Mobile projects also require computing and programming ability and the expertise to design user-friendly interfaces that are intuitive for the multitasking mobile user. The combined intellectual power of like-minded information experts with unique technological skills creates the opportunity to move mobile projects forward, as well as to foster reciprocal learning, gained from the pooling of knowledge to overcome technical and cultural gaps and advance shared goals. 

When it comes to mobile information exchange, we’re all currently developing best practices for language, design, development and engagement as we ourselves interact via text messaging (SMS), mobile platforms, social media and location-based services. As information professionals experiment with these technologies, they’re putting their professional skills and knowledge to use evaluating existing options and making recommendations for peer implementations and improved next-generation products. 

Librarians Tiffini Travis, California State University, Long Beach, and Aaron Tay, National University of Singapore, provide a look at how mobile-ready platforms can provide cost-effective mobile solutions for libraries in their article, “Designing Low Cost Mobile Websites for Libraries.” They describe the pros and cons of employing mobile-friendly tools to offer access to library information and services on a shoestring, while paying close attention to the mobile usability needs of users, as detailed in their valuable “Library Mobile Site Checklist.” Likewise, mobile web expert Jeff Wisniewski from University of Pittsburgh offers his take on “Mobile Usability” – outlining what it means to be where the users are and to recognize and design for mobile user needs. He concludes: “Build well, test and retest, and continuously improve to ensure a mobile web experience that both satisfies and delights users.”

Innovation, collaboration and experimentation are essential to successful mobile projects. As mobile technologies evolve, we rely on our own experiences as mobile information consumers, our knowledge and expertise as information professionals and our partnerships with interdisciplinary colleagues to gain insight about the norms and necessities of mobile culture, the mobile computing needs and expectations of our users, and the emerging vision of the mobile future, defined by each of us working together at the edge of information technology today.


Lisa Carlucci Thomas is digital services librarian at Buley Library, Southern Connecticut State University. She can be reached at thomasL10<at> or on twitter: @lisacarlucci


Differences Between Traditional (Fixed) and Mobile IL

Andrew Walsh in "Using Mobile Technology to Deliver Library Services: A Handbook"


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Walter Brian Hall
Systems Librarian
5017B Habshan Library
Sas Al Nakhl Campus
+971 (2) 312-3160
Subjects: History

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