I attended Mlibraries-2009 at UBC on June 23rd & 24th.
I took notes (as I am want to do) and tweeted during the conference. You could see my tweets at twitter.com/phall715 if you want but the same comments are, for the most part, in these notes with more context. Well, *mostly* more context. Some of these notes are a bit sparse but it should give you a feel for the conference. Mobile communication is a bit of a tsunami and sometimes I felt we were just all hanging on and trying to keep up.
Here are the notes from Day 2. Day 1 was posted earlier.
S10 Mobile Services For Distance Learners
Parveen Babbar & Seema Chandok, Indira Ghandi National Open University, India m-Learning Libraries in DistanceEducation: A Proposed Model for IGNOU,
India is 2nd largest mobile market in the world. 320 million phone subscribers and growing by millions per month!
These librarians from Indira Gandhi Nat'l Open University are proposing a mobile web for distance learners. The benefits are information anytime anywhere.
So far they are already providing educational content including text, image and video, access to e-resources, and course info as part of the national open mobile library.
For their proposed model, they surveyed learners - what do they want? They responded: they want status of their course results, current course material, previous year's exam questions.
In addition, the model will provide m-library data from the catalogue, authenticated resources and open resources, reference services, moblogging and SMS notifications.
Dora Perez & Pep Torn, Open University of Catalonia, Spain - m-Library in an m-University: ChangingModels in the Open University of Catalonia,
Libraries on the move:
In 1995, on the move meant a vision of using a laptop at the beach.
Today it means something else. They surveyed academic libraries in Spain to find out: 18 provide mobile services of some sort. Most offer circulation info. Only 6 offer info from opac and one offers e-texts. A few plan to offer adapted web sites, among other things, to better serve their patrons.
Unfortunately, there is only "incipient implementation" of services for mobile device users. But there is 94% mobile penetration in Spain. 94%! They're hoping more universities will follow Open Uni of Catalonia's lead, and, also hopefully, software vendors will provide mobile-aware gateways to make it easier for these libraries to facilitate implementation. For more, read the paper linked from the title.
S14 (More) Mobile Services for Distance Learners
Tony Tin, Athabasca University & Hassan Sheikh Open University (UK) A Tale of Two Institutions: Strategic Approach to Support and Develop Mobile Library Services and Resources
60% of world population have access to mobile phones. 60%!
So, why serve mobile? Students already have devices, the want 24/7 accessibility, and mobile can accommodate different learning style.
mobile friendly web has auto-detect so content is reformatted on the fly for appropriate device.
These two open libraries are working on a whole bunch of things including coordinated search results formatted to mobile screen, SMS notification service for those who request them.
A key message: it's important to find out what users want. Don't just develop w/o knowing this. Take a look at gtheir Powerpoint linked from the title.
Dr. Buhle Mambo-Thata, University of South Africa. The Library on the Phone: Assessing the Impact of Mobile Phone Library Access at the University of SouthAfrica Library
UNISA has open distance learning mandate. 260,000 students served by the universtiy. 79000 are under 25 years old.
They implemented Innovative Airpac. Their implementaton project included lots of consultation within library and then agressive marketing campaign to students: posters and even a cartoon!
They also conducted reserch to find out if it was improving efficiency and changing how they deliver services etc.
Mlibraries Final Keynote
Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning. Demystifying the 'M' words
In 1987 commonwealth countries noticed that enrollment from Developing countries was falling. Distance learning (as an extension of correspondence learning) was pursued as an antidote.
Educational technology is revolutionary: wider access, higher quality and lowest cost are all aims of education providers but they are an iron triangle and people too often believe that quality education must be "exclusive". Educational tech cuts these bonds: you can have high quality and high access.
The commonwealth's goals for 2009-2012 are access to highschool education. 200mil new students in developing countries will need access to secondary schools by 2015. See the slides (liked from the title above) about "open schooling".
See also a lot more details in various slides from numerous presentations on the subject at col.org/speeches.