I’ll Second That! (Using apps to bring attention to libraries)

I have to admit that most of what our project is about has already been discussed by Nel so I will not bore you by repeating what she said.  I completely agree with Nel but I want to also add my thoughts. 

Stack Tracks is about bringing attention to libraries and archives that offer either unique collections or, like the Seattle Public Library, a unique look.  I think our app can bring together the enjoyment people find in discovering something new, viewing wonderful architecture, and travel.  When people use Stack Tracks we want them to plan trips to the library like people plan trips to the ballpark.  A few years ago there was a commercial that featured two young men (maybe it was Visa commercial?) planning a summer road trip to visit all of the Major League ballparks.  Their trip not only highlighted the joy of the game but the beauty of the ballpark.  The concept of Stack Tracks is the same but instead of traveling to the meccas of baseball a user would be traveling to the meccas of information. 

Hanson mentioned in his article that creating an app is done for three reasons; profit, functionality and exposure (2011). The most important for our app is exposure and the least important is profit.  Exposure means bringing attention to libraries and archives in a fun and portable way, through mobile devices.  We want to make our app available not only to the user but to include interaction with the mobile websites already created by the libraries that users plan to visit.  The creation of our app is not about making money although money will be required to make the app so fundraising strategies will be important.  Our application is about creating fun and excitement in cool and unique libraries and archives.

My topic for the literature review was to focus on articles that discuss application creation.  Most of the literature I found discussed the creation of mobile websites and web applications by various libraries.  These articles included things like best practices, development options and possible functionality.  Mobile websites and web applications tend to be more popular amongst libraries because they are simple to write and require less resources (Haefele, 2011).  To locate my resources I searched through various library and reference journals such as Library Technology Reports, The Reference Librarian, and Reference Services Review. To gain a more technical perspective I review technology and computer science sources available from the 2010 Ninth International Conference on Mobile Business, IEEE Software, and Pervasive Computing. The articles below represent what I feel are three essential articles for our project.


Haefele, Chad. (2010). One block at a time: Building a mobile site step by step. The Reference Librarian, 52:1-2, 117-127. Retrieved from


This article highlights the best practices for libraries that want to develop a mobile website created during the development of the mobile website for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill libraries.  Although we are not conceptually designing a mobile website, the best practices for website development highlighted in the article transfer easily to best practices that can be used in application creation and design.  The article is not the most recent article when you consider the changes in the last two years for mobile devices and development but the information is still very pertinent and covers functionality and technology that is now offered by many libraries.


Hanson, C. W. (2011). Chapter 3: Mobile Solutions for Your Library. Library Technology Reports, 47(2), 24. Retrieved from


Hanson’s article is essential to our project because he discusses mobile functionality and technology available to libraries today and possible implementations for the future.  It is important to understand what mobile technology and functions libraries use.  This understanding will allow us to focus on what technology has worked for libraries, what can be improved, and to create an application that is functionally compatible with what libraries already offer through their mobile sites.

Gavalas, D. & Economou, D. (2011). Development Platforms for Mobile Applications: Status and Trends. Software, IEEE, 28:1, 77-86. Retrieved from


Since we are conceptually designing an application that might eventually be created, I believe it is necessary that we include a more technical source in our literature review.  This article is great because it discusses what development platforms are most popular and which tools and resources are available for those development platforms.  This is article is not too technical but technical enough to give our group a better understanding of the lexicon of mobile application development.  We do not have to be computer science experts but it is important that we know what is out there and how to discuss it.


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