After 2 years of research and usability studies, WorldCat Local discovery tool now offers a mobile-optimized site. Any library with WorldCat Local or visibility on WorldCat.org can claim their unique URL and use it to support their mobile users.
More from the press release: A production version of mobile-optimized WorldCat Local is now available to libraries following beta testing of the service that makes it possible for mobile users to discover items, see location, shelf status, call numbers, and more in their local library, and in libraries worldwide.
“We focused on mobile Web browser support as opposed to device-specific applications because it supports the broadest audience possible worldwide. It is also simplest from the user perspective,” said Jeff Penka, OCLC End-User Services Portfolio Director. “Most importantly, we were able to build the production mobile site on the new architecture that takes advantage of the latest commercial Web technologies and supports OCLC’s platform strategy moving forward.”
Libraries that maintain a full WorldCat Local subscription have the option to customize their mobile presence. In addition, the production version includes more item information than before, with easier navigation to previous and next items within a results set. Users can see location, shelf status, call number, levels of availability and can place a hold, request the item or email citations for any content that does not require authentication.
The move into production creates the possibility of a mobile presence for more than 20,000 libraries. Any library with WorldCat Local or visibility on WorldCat.org can claim their unique URL and use it to support their mobile users.
The new mobile-optimized WorldCat Local views are the result of more than two years of research, learning and usability testing. “We’re pleased with how well the production site supports the mobile user experience,” says Bob Robertson-Boyd, OCLC Product Manager.
Mobile-optimized WorldCat Local is available to WorldCat Local users at no additional charge. The enhancement represents an added value of OCLC membership, and is a benefit of members’ investment in library cooperation.
User feedback is encouraged for the new production mobile-optimized WorldCat Local sites.
Mobile-optimized views of WorldCat.org will remain in beta at http://www.worldcat.org/m. OCLC worked with partner Boopsie.com on the original WorldCat Mobile pilot app, which helped to inform progress in development. The app will no longer be available as of June 30, 2011. Any user who has downloaded the pilot app will be prompted to visit www.worldcat.org/m.
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat on the Web at www.worldcat.org. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.