Larry Bonura's Blog

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Most surveyed at Cambridge: they would “never” read ebook on mobile phone

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An excellent study (http://arcadiaproject.lib.cam.ac.uk/docs/​M-Libraries_​report.pdf) published in May 2009 under funding by arcadia@cambridge, suggests that libraries need to investigate ways to “deliver their services to mobile phones and other small-screen devices so their customers can access them any time anywhere.”

In “M-Libraries: Information use on the move,” author Keren Mills, writes that “This can be as simple as sending text message alerts about reservations becoming available or overdue books, or as complex as the [reading room], which allows readers to access full ebooks and journal articles through their library’s subscriptions on any mobile device. These services are becoming known as ‘m-libraries’.”

The results of the survey respondents are not surprising. While most use their phones to make calls, send text messages, and take photographs, very few used them to listen to podcasts or audio books, and only a small number read ebooks or journal articles.

This study, done at the University Cambridge and its Open University, says that 55% of the respondents favored being able to access the library catalog from a mobile phone. At present, it states, “most users are put off by the constraints of the technology, such as poor screen quality.” However, iPhone users are already more inclined to read ebooks on their phones, according to the survey results.

The most surprising finding I saw concerned reading ebooks on mobile devices.  When asked if they use their phones for reading an ebook, 93.8% of Cambridge University respondents and 92.3% of the Open University respondents said they would “never” read an ebook.

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Written by Larry S. Bonura

30 June 2009 at 03:04

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