« Back to Technology

OCLS Mobile

Orange County Library System
Go to Website
Innovation Leader: James Elder, Web Design Specialist, elder.james@ocls.info

Problem Statement

With mobile device usage on the rise the public expects to access information on the go. Smart devices have changed the way information is displayed and accessed. The average patron wants a mobile library experience and OCLS has taken the opportunity to reach out to our mobile community.

Innovation

By utilizing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX and vender APIs, we were able to create a custom user experience tailored for the iPhone and iPod Touch allowing patrons to search the catalog, access their account, find Library locations and driving directions, learn about upcoming events, watch videos, and more.

When it came to designing how we thought the web app should be structured, we identified and translated sections of our web site that we felt patrons would access or use the most on the move. For the home page of the web app, we felt that the latest news would be the most helpful at a glance. To save staff time, we developed a way to pull that news content from the home page.

We included “locations” into the web app because finding the location closest to you is important when away from a computer. We also integrated the links to work with the Google maps app on the phone to allow patrons quick access to directions.

Another key aspect of OCLS Mobile is the “calendar”. We know that being able to quickly find an upcoming class or event would be a great service to the patron. We were able to utilize the vendor’s API to get classes and programs that we use for our standard site and display them for patrons in a more compact and succinct manner.

Mobile devices are also used often as media players, so we added in “video” to allow the user direct access to all our video content. This allows us the opportunity to have all our video content accessible on the go.

Progress

Between March 2009 and January 2010, OCLS Mobile views have increased 162%. Currently, OCLS Mobile averages 3,600 views per month. The response to OCLS Mobile has been very positive. We’ve been featured in several blog postings and articles and have been able to help other libraries bring their resources to mobile users by using the same techniques.