Mobile phone search for library catalogs


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While some libraries have begun to offer customized mobile applications for their online public access catalogs (OPACs), little research has investigated the relative costs and benefits associated with developing such applications. To investigate this tradeoff, we have developed a prototype Mobile search application for the University of Texas library catalog (MUT). Our experience indicates that mobile applications for catalog access can be built at relatively low cost and effort, with MUT providing a proof-of-concept for developing similar mobile applications at other institutions. Overall, our findings suggest customized mobile applications have potential to significantly better serve patrons in return for a relatively small investment in development and maintenance.