50 Useful iPhone Tips for Librarians and Researchers

College@Home.com let us know about an article they published titled “50 Useful iPhone Tips for Librarians and Researchers”. A lot of these tips are useful to anyone, not just librarians and researchers.

1. Give staff phones to keep in contact with each other and patrons. It can be easy to ask another staff member a question about materials or to quickly respond and reply to patron questions when library staff members have iPhones. Being constantly connected on a small wireless device means quicker turnarounds and better service overall.
2. Creating a texting service for patron questions. Giving patrons the option of texting in their questions to the library can make it easy for those who prefer to avoid telephone conversations the ability to get quick and easy answers to simple questions, and if librarians within your library are using iPhones they can respond to questions in between checking in or shelving materials and other tasks.
3. Create a webclip for your library. Make it easy for patrons to add an icon of your library to their favorites by creating a webclip. This guide will explain just how you go about doing it.
4. Make it easy to use an iPhone within the library. Many libraries make it a point to ban mobile phone usage– and with good reason– but with new technology many patrons may want to take advantage of wi-fi or to use their iPhones for research while they’re in the library. Make it possible for them to do so, so long as they do it quietly.
5. Check how your site looks on an iPhone. Many sites don’t quite translate well to mobile devices like the iPhone. Check how your library’s webpage looks by using an online tool like iPhoney or by checking it yourself on an iPhone.

6. Make RSS feeds. There are numerous ways for iPhone users to subscribe to RSS feeds on their phones so you can get library news and updates to them right away by creating a library RSS feed.
7. Optimize your site for mobile devices. If you’ve checked out how your site looks on an iPhone and the result is not so great, consider creating a special page for mobile users to access your site. Many libraries are already doing so to maximize the usability of their webpages by patrons.
8. Get set up on Facebook. Facebook is one application that is designed to work well on the iPhone and additionally is incredibly popular with high school and college students. Creating a library account on the site will allow users to ask questions and get information about the library every time they log on.
9. Update patrons about the library. With so many ways to contact your patrons using an iPhone there’s no reason not to give text, email or Twitter updates a try whether you’re telling them the book they requested is in or that there is going to be a special event at the library.
10. Give instant feedback. If you have a library staff that is carrying around iPhones as they do their work, it enables them to immediately respond to patron queries, whether they’re on the phone, through email or by text. Even in person encounters can be speeded up with mobile access to the library’s catalog and database.

You can read the remaining 40 tips at collegeathome.com

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