Mobile Libraries Conference 2012

The project team will present a paper on PhoneBooth at the M-Libraries conference at the Open University 24-26th September 2012.

The abstract is copied below.

PhoneBooth: ‘mobilising’ library-owned digital content for use in teaching

Ed Fay (LSE), Andrea Gibbons (LSE), James Reid (EDINA)

We will present the results of the PhoneBooth project which is repurposing digitised, library-owned maps and notebooks for delivery to mobile devices and use in undergraduate teaching.

The Charles Booth Maps, Descriptive of London Poverty and selected police notebooks, which record eye-witness descriptions of London street-by-street, are used in London’s Geographies, a 2nd/3rd year undergraduate course which interprets the geographies of the present in relation to the past as portrayed in historical sources.

The mobilisation enables students to consult the historical archive in the contemporary location to which it refers, revolutionising the relationship to the content. Further pedagogical impact is delivered through functionality allowing students to bookmark and reference their interaction with the material, which is used as the basis for new forms of assessment.

A prototype mobile web application was developed at EDINA using open source technologies which were incorporated into LSE Digital Library for delivery. This utilised the expertise of EDINA and upskilled LSE staff in mobile and geo technologies, providing foundations for future digital library service developments. The integration of technologies into the existing digital library technology stack and the preservation of the content within LSE Digital Library ensure sustainability.

The application will have been piloted in May 2012 by the current course cohort and the project will investigate the extent to which the mobile delivery has changed perceptions of the role of the content and the library in the teaching process.

We conclude that the ‘mobilisation’ of library-owned content can have a significant impact on pedagogical method; that mobile and geo delivery provide the basis for innovative library service development; and that mobile technology skills are becoming an essential component of the modern library.

PhoneBooth was funded under the mobile libraries strand of the JISC Digital Infrastructure Portfolio 12/11.

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