Friday, June 11, 2010

Libraries’ LSTA Mobile Computing Grant Project Brings Ball State Digital Media Repository to Smartphones

The University Libraries are expanding their hand-held mobile device Web presence through the support of an LSTA Technology Grant from the Indiana State Library. Researching and developing mobile device access to library information resources has been an interest at the University Libraries since 2005.

Phase 1 of this project involved updating the University Libraries’ mobile site, including enhancing the CardCat Mobile application, a mobile-device-friendly interface to the Libraries’ online catalog.

Phase 2 introduced a computer availability application to allow students and faculty to plan their visit to the library facility. See comp_avail.php.

Phase 3 is the University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR) Mobile user interface at

The DMR Mobile application provides mobile-device- friendly access to the CONTENTdm-based Digital Media Repository. It is the first small screen interface for CONTENTdm repositories. With browse functionality to access digital assets and metadata for the image collections, DMR Mobile is a feature-rich program. Search functionality will be added to it this summer.

An early question that was addressed was whether to build a mobile-devices specific app, or to develop a more diverse mobile Web user interface (UI). Because we want to reach as many user devices as possible, we decided to build a mobile Web UI. DMR Mobile is linked in the Academic Resources section of the mobile Web site.

Grant participants include Daniel J. Lakes, Part-time Mobile Computing Developer; Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries and co-PI; and Bradley D. Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services and co-PI.

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services,, 765-285-8032.