- Chuck Gray
If you're not on the Internet with your mobile phone, chance are you soon will be. With the adoption rate for smartphones and other cellular Internet devices skyrocketing, these devices are stealing the spotlight from laptop computers and vying for the position as our dominant mobile computing solutions. With this transition has come a plethora of mobile applications to meet our every need and then some (and some more). We want to be able to do everything our regular computers can do on our smartphones. For many of us, that includes using the library. We're in luck.
First off, we have the library's mobile text-only catalog (go to the normal catalog page and click on the link in the upper-right corner or visit http://ipac.librarypoint.org/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=remote-ada&lang=eng). This page has the advantage of using no graphics and will download much more quickly on devices with slower data connections.
If you're on the road and looking for a library that owns a book you want, use WorldCat Mobile through your phone's browser at http://www.worldcat.org/m/. WorldCat is an online network of library catalog systems that can help you find just about any book in the country - don't forget CRRL does offer interlibrary loan service!
For those of you wanting to keep track of what you're reading and connect with other book lovers, give LibraryThing.com a try and don't forget about their mobile site at librarything.com/m. Shelfari, a popular book social network owned by Amazon.com also has a mobile site at http://m.shelfari.com/.
In need of some quick, on-the-go research? If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, Encyclopedia Britannica has a mobile site at http://i.eb.com. There are also mobile apps for Wikipedia, such WikiTap, again for Apple i-devices and for Android devices, and Wikipedia for Blackberry.
These are sites and applications that are focused most specifically on library services and research, but there are many more such resources for the mobile user in need of information of many types. For a wonderfully comprehensive list, please visit Mobile Technologies in Libraries (http://web.simmons.edu/~fox/pda/) which was compiled and presented by Megan Fox, the Associate Director for Technology and Special Projects at the Simmons College Library; in it you will find a site or an app to suit almost all your informational needs.