It may be the mobile information age, but we hope the public will still think of the library as the place to go for their information needs no matter what age they may be. It’s always a good idea to keep up with technological advancements and know what’s new out there. There are a lot of applications on the market for library users and librarians. The number of mobile apps for smartphones, iPads, tablet computers, and other mobile devices are steadily growing – people are using apps every day and all day.
Flurry Analytics indicate that as of March 2014, users are spending 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on mobile devices. These 'mobile addicts’ launch apps at least 60 times per day. If the public is spending more time on their apps than ever before, then let’s talk app to them. Our own Toronto Public Library Website has a list of Mobile Apps for Library Services. For a list of recommended mobile apps for librarians, see 50 Great Mobile Apps for Librarians and its presentation. Here are some of the apps I like and found useful:
Library of Congress – Virtual Tour
This is a free app that gives a virtual tour of the Library of Congress as if you were there. The virtual tour includes: The Main Reading Room; The Great Hall; Exploring the Early Americas; Creating the United States; The Bible Collection; Thomas Jefferson’s Library; and Minerva.
This app looks at a range of topics in the areas of reading, listening, speaking and writing that will help develop skills needed to answer IELTS academic questions.
Canadian Citizenship Test and Canadian Citizenship Test Exam
Although not a substitute for the book Discover Canada, questions are based on the book and will help in the study and preparation for the Canadian Citizenship Test.
Aesop for Children
This is a free app by the Library of Congress featuring an interactive version of the classic Aesop tales. There are over 140 stories accompanied with animated illustrations.
This is one of the great ways to keep track of books without the need for pencil or paper.
BookBuddy – Book Library Manager
BookBuddy is a book management application that gives you access to your entire book catalog, anywhere. You can create an organized lis tof all the books in your library, allowing you to quickly and easily find any book. You can then share or loan out your books and keep track of them. You can create and save notes on each book or enter other information you would like.
Goodreads – Book Recommendations and Reviews for Great Books and eBooks
This app not only keeps track of what you’ve read, but what you want to read. You can see book reviews, rate books, review books, and recommend books.
If you want to find out what other apps are out there, try the AppCrawler, an app discovery engine. You can specify a specific device or all devices. The AppCrawler will let you know the hottest or most used app. You can find out what’s the hottest in book readers, rising stars in eBook readers, or hottest in books & reference.
Remember the buzz-worthy and catchy phrase, "There's an app for that," which Apple filed for a trademark? Yes. There is an app for finding apps – see 10 Apps for Finding Apps. Some of the apps include: