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Journal cover: New Library World

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803
Incorporates: Asian Libraries

Online from: 1898

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Canadian academic libraries and the mobile web

Document Information:
Title:Canadian academic libraries and the mobile web
Author(s):Robin Canuel, (Humanities and Social Sciences Library, McGill University, Montreal, Canada), Chad Crichton, (University of Toronto Scarborough Library, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Citation:Robin Canuel, Chad Crichton, (2011) "Canadian academic libraries and the mobile web", New Library World, Vol. 112 Iss: 3/4, pp.107 - 120
Keywords:Academic libraries, Applications, Canada, Mobile communication systems, Mobile networks, Web sites
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/03074801111117014 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors of this paper would like to thank Lonnie Weatherby and Megan Fitzgibbons for reviewing and commenting on previous versions of the manuscript, and for their ongoing support.They would also like to thank Marie Jennifer Somera and Matthew Canuel for their love and patience.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess how Canadian academic libraries have responded to the rapidly evolving mobile environment and to identify gaps in the services provided, while suggesting areas for future development.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper conducted an examination of the mobile content and services provided by the libraries of the member institutions of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Based on this examination, the paper describes the current state of mobile librarianship in Canadian academic libraries. A review of the literature places the investigation in its broader context.

Findings – Only 14 percent of AUCC libraries currently advertise some type of mobile web presence, with mobile web sites being prevalent over downloadable apps. Examples of content and services are highlighted to illustrate current trends and to provide insight into future directions for developing mobile services.

Practical implications – This study raises awareness of the importance of mobile technology for academic libraries and the need to address the lack of mobile content and services provided by most Canadian post-secondary institutions. The paper also identifies best practices exhibited by the surveyed libraries.

Originality/value – This is the first exploration of this type into how academic libraries in Canada have responded to the mobile environment. The value of this research is in helping libraries identify and address shortcomings in the mobile content and services they provide, and in highlighting efforts by libraries to address their users' needs in this area.

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