Creating a ubiquitous library service model must fit in with the theory of physical and virtual convergence and the social and personal framework that has been discussed in previous blog posts. Therefore to be ubiquitous, service must be integrated across physical and virtual, make use of social media influences and allow personalisation. Some examples include:
- 24/7 access to online and physical library services
- Wider range of physical and online spaces for clients to interact, share, engage, collaborate
- Being able to 'fave' your favourite librarian for personalised service
- Wider range of online and physical reference help spaces
- More interactive and engaging information literacy
- Maximising potential of mobile devices, QR codes and RFID
- Jumping on 'the cloud' - allowing shared spaces for collaboration and information mashups
- OPAC's becomes AIRPAC's then SOPAC's and move towards augmented reality with tagging of physical space and resources
A possible scenario
As libraries go mobile and social, clients will be able to search for resources on their way to the library via their phone, let their friends know they'll be in the e.g. engineering learning commons, look up recommended resources for their subjects as voted by clients, read comments, then create a list and send a request to the library for collection from the automatic storage and retrieval system (ASRS). While at the library, they could scan the latest library tips QR code to watch a video on their phone of what's new, participate in an online information literacy session or meet their 'fave' librarian in the cafe for a reference question. Finally, this could all be happening at anytime of the day or night.
This scenario may seem far off for some but I believe we are already close to being there. The exponential growth of technology and mobile device use will see expectations change in such a short time that clients will demand the types of services described in this scenario. The ubiquitous library is coming and it is up to us to anticipate the ways we can provide the types of integrated services our clients will need and expect in such a continuous and ever-changing physical and virtual environment.