Friday, 30 June 2017

Mobile App for SA public libraries

We've just signed a contract for a new Mobile App for our libraries.  We don't have a delivery time on it yet, but we're pretty excited that the project has started to roll this out for every library service in the State.

We had been aware for over a year of a really great mobile App for libraries produced by SOLUS - a Scottish company & have been keen to add the functionality, good looks and ease of use of the App to our library system. However SOLUS and SirsiDynix (our LMS provider) got talking about a partnership, whereby the best of the SOLUS App functionality would be enhanced by deep linking into our LMS content.  In January this year the two companies announced their partnership & since then they've been working together to produce the SirsiDynix version of the SOLUS App.  

Now that the new App has been released we've signed up to get it for our customers as soon as possible.

One of the great features of the new App is that while all South Australians will all download the same App, it will have different sections for every library system in the State.  This will mean that once a user has logged into the App and chosen their library they will see relevant local content, as well as the collection of library materials from across the State.  So if a customer is looking for public programs, they will get information about programs from their local library rather than all the information from across the State.  However if they're going somewhere on holidays & want to see if that library has any programs they can also choose to look at any other library as well.

We will be putting together a small group of libraries to do some testing of the layout and design of the App both with library staff and library customers. Once we think we've got a good design we'll need to create 71 individual profiles - one for each council and a few for libraries that operate outside of council boundaries.

So doing this work will take a bit of time, but we aim to work steadily to get the product released across the State as soon as we can.

If you're an SA public library staff member you can see a short promo video about the App on One Place here.  Apologies if you're not one of our staff & can't get to this demo.  If it gets released publicly I will post a new link to a public version of it.

However if you can't get to the video & you are a little curious about the App you can go to the App store (Apple) or the Google Play store (Android) and search for a the following libraries that have the "native" SOLUS App running: Darrebin (in Melbourne), Libraries West - a consortium in the west of England, Newcastle (UK) to name a few. What you'll get with these is the Solus App as it is released by SOLUS, with without the SirsiDynix overlay.  But at least it will give you some idea so some of the functionality that we will have access to.

I should note that I'm aware that a number of our customers are using the SirsiDynix provided BookMyne App.  We won't be turning it off as soon as  the new App rolls out, but given SirsiDynix's partnership with SOLUS I do not expect to see any further development of BookMyne, so it will be useful to inform customers that BC Mobile will be our preferred future App.