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					  PDAs in Academic Libraries:
We've Got the Whole World in Our Palms
       ACRL Western NY / Ontario Chapter
                May 2, 2003

                  Megan Fox
      Web & Electronic Resources Librarian
               Simmons College
           Today’s Agenda
What are PDAs and Handheld Computers?

Why PDAs are Hot

PDA Projects in Libraries
What are PDAs and handheld computers?
Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
 A small computer that literally fits in the
  palm of your hand. More limited than a
desktop computer, but useful for calendars,
   address books, and increasingly, other

       Handheld Computer
  Often used interchangeably with PDA,
 palmtop, or pocket computer; a broader
   term including PDAs, smart phones
(PDA/mobile phone hybrids), tablet PCs,
    and other new products that shrink
 technology into smaller, more powerful
           pieces of equipment.
                                               My Palm m505
Stylus / Pen
On-screen Keyboard
          Key Differences in Devices:
Operating System/Application Availability
   •Palm OS (considered easier; currently more applications)
   •Pocket PC (version of Windows; includes watered-down Office)

Physical Characteristics
   •Size/weight(1.4 oz to 1 lb)
   •Grayscale/up to 16-bit color

   •Memory (8 MB to 64 MB standard)
   •Battery Life (AA or rechargeable)

Extras/Peripherals (wireless, headphone jack, voice recorder, camera)
Cost ($99-$700)
             Brand Names to Know

                  Palm Pilot
              m130, m515, Tungsten

   HP                                Sony Clio
iPaq h5455                            NX70V
         Why PDAs are Hot
  Mobility (On-the-go, 24/7 access)
  Simplicity (Instant-on; ease of use and understanding)
  Functionality (Perform an assortment of activities)
  Organization (Keeps schedules, tasks, e-mails,
documents and other forms of information consolidated
and coordinated)
   Low Cost (Very cost-effective relative to other forms
of computer technology)
 Synchronization of your data from the PDA to your desktop.
 Compares data entered on the PDA and on the desktop and makes
 one new, complete record of data in both places.

Most often sync through a
cradle, which connects
through a cable to your
desktop computer. Also
through a modem (dialup),
an Ethernet connection, an
IR port                            Hot Sync
                          Using the infrared port,
                          can share information
                          with other users, called
                          beaming – no wires, no
                          direct connections

Convenient for sharing business cards or calendar
    events, trading applications, and more.
What are PDAs most commonly used for?

   Calendar/Date Book
  Address Book/Phone Book
   To do/Lists
   Traditional Word and Excel documents
Address Book
Memos/ To Do Lists

             Desktop (Palm)
Traditional Documents

              Desktop (Palm)
     PDA Projects in Libraries
PDA-friendly Web Pages
PDA Library Content: Reference, Ebooks
Journals and Databases
Teaching and Connecting
Behind the Scenes
Integrated Library Systems (OPACs and more)
    PDA does not equal Wireless!

Dialup modem/ISP

Wireless modem/ISP

Infrared to Network
    Viewing PDA-Friendly Content
Streaming/Browsing: Live Viewing
  •Live surfing, using a browser such as Internet
  Explorer or My Palm

Web Clipping: Offline Viewing
  •Coola (find content on desktop Web & ―clip‖ it for later
  reading on Palm)
  •Avantgo (pre-selected channels of content, e.g. NYT,
  dumped on sync)
             PDA-Friendly Pages
 Created in simplified HTML, XHTML Basic, WAP,

 Any Web page that is ADA compliant should work

  Instead of developing PDA-friendly content in-house,
many libraries hire companies such as AvantGo,
Lectora, Mobipocket, NearSpace, or Town Compass to
convert web content to mobile device formats
PDA-friendly pages
What web content
 looks like on a
  typical Palm
What ―PDA-friendly‖ content looks
   like on the regular desktop
     Content adapted for a PDA:
changes often or referenced frequently
 The Lincoln Trail Library System (Champaign, IL) provides library hours,
contact information, upcoming events, and directions for over 140 of its
member and affiliate branches
 The Cunningham Library (Indiana State University, Terre Haute) provides a
materials locator—a PDA guide to help patrons find items in the library stacks
  The University of Georgia Libraries (Athens GA) has a PDA page that
provides directions, operating hours, and a browsable guide to Library of
Congress (LC) call numbers with floor locations. An Ask a Question e-mail
reference form for the PDA gets sent to a librarian when the PDA is hot-
PDA-friendly Pages
PDA-friendly Pages
PDA-friendly Pages
PDA-friendly Pages
          PDA Library Content:
 Licensed or free
 Downloadable electronic file or add-on physical
expansion cards

Examples: health textbooks, reference books
   •Physician's Desk Reference
   •"5-Minute Clinical Consult" series
       E-Reference Books
Medical and health most prominent
Other E-Reference content: hundreds of free and
  fee programs from Handango, Tucows, etc
               PDA Library Content:
 Librarians are locating sources of popular PDA content,
evaluating their quality, and mediating purchases and access
 PDA versions of popular titles, from the latest Michael Crichton
novel to The Hours by Michael Cunningham, at Amazon.com,
which includes "Handheld Compatible" in its product descriptions
  Vendors are providing site or enterprise licenses, and jobbers
such as YBP/Baker & Taylor are now stocking popular titles. This
allows librarians to make institutional purchases through
traditional purchase orders
PDA E-Books
              Journals & Databases
 Many journals or current news web sites have implemented
PDA versions: e.g Wiley Interscience MobileEdition uses the
AvantGo site to provide access to tables of contents from 15 of its
core journals.

  Third-party vendors are aggregating information from many
sources, such as JournalToGo, which brings together content from
key health and medical sources and provides clinical abstracts and
healthcare news customized according to a user's setup.

 Commercial databases are becoming PDA-friendly
Ovid@Hand: Electronic Journals and
       Tables of Content
           Managing Content for PDAs
 Palm’s digital rights management software for libraries that facilitates the
checking out of e-books to PDA devices.

 The Cleveland Public Library is checking out e-books using technology from
Overdrive. According to the model, one patron can access an e-book at a time.
The e-book will be inaccessible, or locked, when the borrowing period ends.

  Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth
University, Richmond, is making it easier for patrons to access librarian-
selected and -reviewed PDA resources by including them in the online catalog.
PDA resources such as the Wiley Interscience MobileEdition titles are
cataloged and designated as PDA resources by notes in MARC record field 300
(physical format), 506 (restrictions on use), and 538 (platform requirements).
         Teaching & Connecting

  One-on-one instruction or training sessions on
effective use of PDAs
 Showing users how to get content onto their PDAs
and how to get it off
  Supply syncing stations, either through physical
cradles at computer workstations
 Starting Users groups and other support networks
Lending Devices
                                Syncing Stations

Clarinet Systems http://www.clarinetsystems.com
      Behind the Scenes

Barcode Readers
                          Card Swipes
Integrated Library System Vendors

  Interfaces for the online catalog for small screens
– PDAs or cell phones
 Beaming of circulation records

      •Innovative Interfaces (III)
             Challenges for Libraries
•   Cost: Equipment, Staffing, Time
•   Providing the right connectivity (stations; printing?)
•   Technical troubleshooting
•   Security and privacy
•Content development (in house and pressuring
•Copyright and storage of e-files? (beaming, ebook
circulation blocks access but doesn’t delete file)
 PDA Future Trends


Smart Phones
                 Moving Ahead
Information access anywhere in the library (PDAPac, GPS?)
Increased instructional materials (how-to guides, handouts)
More ebooks and ejournals; integration of ereserves
More integration of databases and subscription resources
Increased training and support
Beam information from reference computer to patron PDA
Digital reference (chat and more)
Additional administrative functionality (inventories, etc)
       To Do:
   Meet with the
    librarian to
strategize the best
 resources for my
    final paper
Presentation & Links: http://web.simmons.edu/~fox/pda

    PDAs in Academic Libraries:
 We've Got the Whole World in Our Palms
                     Megan Fox
         Web & Electronic Resources Librarian
                  Simmons College

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