Fourie, I. (2011), "The Anywhere Library: A Primer for the Mobile Web", The Electronic Library, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 727-727. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640471111177161
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Busy library and information (LIS) professionals sometimes just need a gentle push in the right direction: a reminder of what can and should be done in the rapidly changing environment in which we live. A brief overview can show that taking up such challenges is often not as daunting as we may think. This is exactly what The anywhere library… offers to librarians embarking on the design of mobile Web sites.
The anywhere library… is a brief publication (77 pages) in a format that can easily be carried around for a quick refresher or following up on sources mentioned. It consists of six chapters on starting a project designing mobile Web sites for libraries, the issues to consider when integrating with an existing library service, the procedures to develop a project plan and protocol, building the mobile Web site, launching the mobile site, and then the need for reflection on the work done. The first chapter, “It is never too late … .”, also stresses that the introduction of mobile Web sites too early is a possibility. Although the perception is that mobiles are widely in use, and that usage of smartphones is increasing, the staff, climate and culture of the organisation also need to be ready to support such a step.
The tone of writing is friendly and inviting; the arguments, factual information and examples brief, clear and to the point. Each chapter ends with a highlighted list of issues to consider, things to do before moving on to the next step, etc. – thus reminding the reader of the essentials to be considered and completed.
The anywhere library… concludes with a list of references that although not extensive, will certainly steer LIS professionals in the right direction for further refining of their knowledge. My only criticism: there is no index to the book. Its brief format should, to some extent, make it possible to page through the book… but librarians should realise the value of indexes to zoom to the required point.
The anywhere library… is highly recommended to LIS professionals as a source that can stimulate interest in mobile Web sites for libraries and that can provide them with the essentials to make a start before moving on to more detailed literature.