by Dick Kaser
It’s estimated that there are in excess of a billion iOS mobile devices (iPhones and iPads, etc.) and at least twice as many Android devices deployed worldwide as of this time. A Pew Research Center study recently found that two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and for 19% of Americans, a smartphone is either their primary (or, in some cases, only) means of accessing the internet.
In the past 4 years, CIL has published more than 120 news items, book recommendations, and feature articles about mobile computing and its effects on library services. Paging back through those editions, you would be hard-pressed to find an issue that doesn’t include an illustration of a library patron using a mobile device.
There have been articles on mobile websites, mobile apps, responsive design in website makeovers, web analytics and SEO strategies, geolocation-based services, and mobile devices for lending. What more can there be to say, except to note the topic is still trending. So is the ongoing consideration in every library as to how far to go in making collections, resources, and services digital, virtual, and remotely available.
In this issue, you’ll find articles about improving library website usability, scanability, and accessibility. You’ll read about digital collection, social media, and data strategies. And, as you make the tough decisions about how far mobile to go, you’ll even learn how to develop a profile of your user population via freely available data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
It seems that some topics never grow old—at least not in our times. When it comes to library technology, all things mobile and digital remain evergreen topics as 2016 begins. And it’s not just in this “e-mobilized” issue in which we will be focusing on these subjects. So delve in and stay tuned as these topics and your library—dare I say—e-volve.
Happy New Year!
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor