• Harvard University
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  • Library Notes
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  • October 2010
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  • No. 1356
The Harvard Libraries Go Mobile Print
mobile_harvard_libraries.jpgOIS plans an early November release of Version 2 of the mobile-friendly site, which will include essential HOLLIS search functions.

For a rapidly expanding number of Harvard's library users, mobile devices are a fact of everyday life, providing vital forms of communication and access to information. Thanks to HUL's Office for Information Systems and its collaborators in Harvard Public Affairs and Communications (HPAC), the Harvard Libraries will be increasing their mobile presence in the coming months.

"Mobile devices offer enormous potential for the convenience of many library users," says HUL Deputy Director Helen Shenton. "Since arriving in March, I've been championing the Library's first steps into the mobile world and am gratified by the careful work under way in OIS and HPAC's Digital Communications Services to benefit mobile users. I don't underestimate the challenges, but providing access to a basic search in HOLLIS will be a highly significant first step."

"Harvard Libraries Mobile"

On September 1, OIS launched the inaugural mobile-friendly version of the Harvard Libraries web site at http://lib.harvard.edu/mobile. The site, which is specifically formatted for handheld devices, includes essential information on library hours, locations, and contacts.

In addition to viewing the current day's hours, users may click through to the scheduled hours for other days. The data is drawn from the database that feeds the Harvard Libraries portal site. Designated staff in each library maintain this information. A new feature called "Mobile Research" links to mobile-friendly research sites and licensed resources.

OIS expects to expand the number of mobile resources continuously. In addition, OIS plans an early November release of Version 2 of the mobile-friendly site, which will include essential HOLLIS search functions. Version 2 users will be able to initiate basic searches, view search results, and select items for display.

In Version 2, the HOLLIS records will provide more information about a given item and the libraries where it is currently available. Users will also be able to request items from their mobile devices.

OIS notes that, technically, "Harvard Libraries Mobile" is not a dedicated "app"—it is a mobile-friendly web site that is compatible with a range of mobile devices.

Coming Soon to "Harvard Mobile"

On August 31, HPAC, the Office of the University CIO, and Harvard Alumni Affairs and Development launched a strategic mobile initiative to package content from across the University for display on handheld devices. The first products in this mobile initiative—a native iPhone application and a mobile web application accessible by browser on any smartphone or web-enabled mobile device. Find out more at http://m.harvard.edu/about.

OIS is currently working with HPAC to add a Library icon to the Harvard Mobile screen.

While the OIS collaboration with Harvard Mobile is on the fast track, the go-live date is still to be determined.

As OIS Head Tracey Robinson states, "Libraries are a key component of the Harvard experience and should be front and center with other valuable mobile functions."Wendy GogelThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , Harvard University Library