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October 17 , 2009

Bridging the Digital Divide with Mobile Services


The exploding popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices provides a unique opportunity for libraries to help bridge the digital divide. These devices are often discussed in the context of affluent populations and academic libraries, yet the demographics of mobile internet users are much more diverse than this, and the potential for mobile library services is correspondingly broad. In this issue of Library Technology Reports, Andromeda Yelton shows how libraries can build on the breadth of this population to help bridge the digital divide and provide even greater access to information. Yelton breaks down the demographics of mobile internet users, provides examples of how different libraries are reaching out to these populations, and suggests what the future may hold for this trend. Topics include: Who are mobile users? What are mobile websites and mobile friendly-websites? Expanding access to devices, collections, and services Where to go next

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