We are pleased to have Mr Joseph M. Yap (PH) from De La Salle University Libraries to share his insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, and Activities) to get to the end of the lesson. This module will focus on available e-resources vendor apps on your libraries.
- Know your mobile device.
- Can apps be downloaded on your mobile device? If this is your first time, make sure that your device can connect to App/iTunes store (Apple device) or to Google Play (Android device).
- Ask your reference librarian on the available e-resources apps available for download and on how they can be activated for first time users. I suggest you also do the following:
- Check your list of subscribed e-resources available for your institution. Do this by browsing your library homepage and check your list of e-databases / e-books.
- Check if it has an available mobile app for bonafide library users. You might now be granted access if you are not currently enrolled or if you are an outsider from the institution which grants access.
- If there is an available one, download now. There are certain procedures in activating your e-resources vendor app. Make sure to read all the requirements and instructions before opening and using your downloaded app.
What is the difference between Native apps and web apps?
When we talk about ‘apps’, we are generally talking about ‘native apps’. These are software or applications that are installed on a mobile device. You might also have heard the phrase ‘web app’. Web apps aren’t really apps at all, rather, they are mobile optimised websites that are accessible via an app-like icon on your device’s desktop. When you launch these web apps, you are pushed off into the web browser on your device but generally these web apps still look and function a lot like native apps. The beauty of web apps is they are generally coded in HTML5 and that means they can be used across platforms, regardless of operating system.
Here’s an example: The Kindle app is a native app that you install on your device. The iPad Kindle Store app is a web app. To try out the Kindle Store app, navigate to amazon.com/iPadKindleStore on your iPad. You should be prompted to save an icon for the web app to your device.
If you don’t have an iPad and would like to have a look at a web app, just try a quick Google search for web app examples.
You might like to read more about the different kinds of apps and their benefits and drawbacks.
Types of vendor apps
I’d like to make a distinction between two types of vendor apps. The first of these are apps for databases and other online information products. This post is focused on these database and online product apps.
The second are catalogue apps, which allow customers to search library catalogues. There are a number of different proprietary apps that libraries can use to provide customers with an app based version of their catalogue, including Boopsie and BookMyne, among others.
Disclaimer: I am not selling or endorsing these apps. I am giving two examples below, one for EBSCO, a popular research database containing full-text e-journals and, one for e-books which is Ebrary, an online database of full text scholarly books.
Free mobile app to try: OECD Data App
- Search for OECD Data Factbook on your iTunes store or in your Google Play store.
- Download it and you are ready to use it.
- The OECD Factbook App presents 100 economic indicators in a comprehensive statistical picture of the world’s major economies.
Again, check your library first if you are subscribed to the following:
- Register with ebrary.
- After registration, go to My Settings (make sure you do this while you are in your library’s premises so that it will be easier to connect with IP-based authentication).
- Get a passcode for your mobile device.
- Click the mobile setup.
- Enter your email twice and check any email message sent to your account. The webpage would say: “ebrary has sent you an email. Please follow the instructions to set a passcode for your mobile account.”
- Sample email for passcode pairing on your mobile ebrary account.
- After setting the passcode, you are now ready to use your account. Facebook users can also link their account to the ebrary.
- If your library has an EBSCO Discovery Service link from your library web page, click the link and register yourself by putting your email address at the space provided and click send. If you are having a hard time doing this, consult your librarian on how to pre-register. EBSCOHost App is very easy to authenticate.
- Open your email and follow the instructions.
- Here is a sample email with detailed instructions:Dear EBSCOhost user,
To begin using the EBSCOhost iPhone and Android applications, follow the instructions below.
Download the app from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ebscohost/id433269587?mt=8
View this email on your device, then tap this authentication key
(Note: You must access the link in Step 2 from your device. The activation link will expire in 24 hours.)
Congratulations in advance! I hope you have successfully downloaded and has properly synced all the apps in your mobile device.
- Have you used an eresource vendor app lately? What was your experience like? If you haven’t used one lately, download one and give it a go. Think about your experience using the app and reflect on the quality of that experience.
- Does your library have a mobile friendly version of its website and/or catalogue (either via a website, an app or a web app)?
- Does your library provide integrated, seamless access to online resources for mobile users?
- How might libraries deal with issues around integration while still promoting vendor apps?