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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: June 2018

3 - The mobile librarian

Summary

Introduction

This chapter looks more at how we, as information professionals, can become more mobile than we may have been before. Rather than considering how mobile devices can be utilized by our library users to access our services, it looks at how we might use them to become more mobile ourselves.

First of all, this chapter covers how we can use mobile devices to support our users while on the move, particularly through the idea of turning ourselves into roving librarians. The available technology has reached the stage where many of us can effectively take a large proportion of our library's resources with us in a device that can fit in one hand, so we have great opportunities to take library support to our users, wherever they may be.

The chapter then moves on to discuss how we can make the most of mobile devices to be as productive as possible, using a range of tools and devices in order to become more productive wherever we are. It can be a struggle to find time to sit behind a desk and computer to work. Mobile technology can help us to work wherever we find ourselves, on whatever piece of technology we have to hand – as long as we know how to take advantage of it effectively!

Finally, the chapter covers how mobile devices can help directly to support our continual professional development, helping us to keep up to date and to carry out research. There are many mobile-friendly tools that can help to turn otherwise wasted time into an opportunity to develop ourselves. This section covers a few examples of these tools.

Mobile support and reference

A core part of many librarians’ role is to offer reference-desk types of support to library users. This might be at a traditional reference desk, in a back office or room used for longer appointments or at the desks of other staff and researchers. Normally, however, it will be at a desk. It will be at fixed locations that you and the person you are helping will need to go to.