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General findings so far

Use of technology

  • In general, people prefer to use their laptops
  • Most do extensive research and writing on their laptops. Many have organization systems on their laptops for papers and documents
  • But, they don't carry laptops everywhere or don't have internet everywhere
  • Also, mobile devices are good for quick hits of information, even when a laptop is available (checking Facebook, etc.)
  • Slow load time on mobile devices is a big deterrent for attempting tasks on mobile deices
  • People use photographs to record information (of physical things, call numbers, text)
  • People send themselves emails or texts to transfer information between devices or to remember something
  • Phones tend to be talked about as very personal spaces. Many like a separation between devices for work/school and personal life. Employees have generally bought the item themselves but some have used it for work purposes but are careful to delete work-related materials such as photos. Many mention using their phones for personal use during the business day (checking personal email, Facebook, etc) even when work computer is available. Many students and employees mention that texting is for personal use rather than academic/work use.


  • Search on mobile could be useful, perhaps more for knowing if physical items are available rather than actually using actual materials from mobile device
  • Knowing what is digitized can be useful for researchers


  • Not many people like to do real research or in depth reading from a mobile device
  • But, having access can still be important, especially for quick bits of information
  • Sometimes need access off-campus, particularly in medical community
  • Ability to organize information is important. Many people have systems on laptops for notes, citations, etc, so having an easy way to email materials to self or sync between devices is important
  • Most people aren't certain if their phone can handle PDFs or other documents

Special collections

  • For serious researchers, a big monitor is important
  • The finding aid is important (need further study to determine which parts of finding aid are most important)
  • The finding aid should be searchable (highlighting search terms is useful)
  • Important to be clear what is digitized in a collection (and why when possible)

Library notifications

  • Most tend to prefer emails: texting is for personal use, things that need immediate response
  • Benefit of email over texting: can be organized, stored
  • On the other hand, some who check email infrequently prefer text messages (heard this from one person who is a heavy ILL user who doesn't have internet on her phone and another student who doesn't always have her iPod Touch with her)

In K-12

  • mobile devices are useful for teachers to look things up quickly for students in sidebar conversations
  • using cellular network allows teachers to access blocked sites like YouTube and Wikipedia
  • Having sets of iPod Touch or iPad for the classroom is cheaper than laptops 
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