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Mobile Option: Boopsie For Libraries

   February 1st, 2011

Boopise for... LibrariesI don't know how I missed this before, but only recently Boopsie for libraries reached my radar screen - it's a company that will create a mobile version of a library's website and catalog.

There are other options* out there, but Boopsie seems like a great and easy alternative to creating your own mobile website. And even better, they also mobile-ize the catalog, which I couldn't do (although apparently non-catalog services are more popular with mobile patrons).

Pricing seemed reasonable (for what you get) - a library near me is in the process of signing up, and reported the cost is in the few-thousand dollar range (or, it would be roughly $10,000 for our whole 36-library consortium to sign up). Lots of libraries are already using them - Sarah has a good write-up on San Jose's experience, and WorldCat and ALA also use their app.

I'm not trying to pitch Boopise, so much as I'm pitching the importance of libraries having a way to serve mobile patrons - using vendors like this* are an option for libraries who can't do it themselves.


*Library Anywhere from LibraryThing is another mobile website+catalog solution, and seems to be cheaper than Boopsie

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3 Responses to “Mobile Option: Boopsie For Libraries”

  1. Krista Says:

    I agree – having a mobile presence is very important today – and will be even more crucial as time goes on. I personally think that having a mobile website is more important than a library app (from my experience that is what Boopsie is – or maybe that is just an option avail from them?). Easier to update and maintain in my opinion – and way less expensive. What is your opinion?

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Krista: I’m not sure I’m qualified to have an opinion: I don’t have a cell phone, so I’ve never used an app. But from what I’ve read, apps and websites are designed to do different things: apps seemed to make a few tasks easier, whereas a website (should) include all features and functionality of a regular website. It seems like, if your mobile website is good enough, an app would be unnecessary, but since different patrons use libraries differently, it might be better customer service to offer lots of options and let patrons decide what to use to best suit their own needs. What do people who actually use smartphones think?

  3. Oleg K. Says:

    I’ve been using the Boopsie app offered by the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) as a patron since it came out (sometime last year, I think) and I’m very happy with the way it works. I primarily use it to search for books in the catalog and put them on hold as well as renewing materials. Something that I look at only occasionally (but I think is a good idea) are the book lists LAPL staff from various Central Library subject departments creates. Every so often, I see a book in there that I haven’t heard of that sounds interesting for me or someone I know (like one of my patrons).

    The only issue with the app is that it sometimes stretches images which creates an unpleasant aesthetic effect. But this is really a very minor thing. In general, it works quickly and efficiently.