Library websites are usually robust and information-packed which makes it a challenge for many organizations when they consider going mobile. But if you’d like to build a mobile presence for your library to offer your patrons access to community features, library locator tools, maps, driving directions, image collections, videos, custom content, and even searchable mobile catalogs, you’ll want to check out these applications. Here’s a quick summary of each tool’s features and cost:
- Users can create up to 5 mobile websites with this free tool. Winksite is an excellent tool for creating a mobile community around your library’s site and there are many ready-made applications which can be activated as channels that will help engage your visitors such as Chat, Forums, Surveys, Guestbooks, Events, Feeds, etc. You can quickly and easily mobilize your blog from an RSS feed or create individual channel pages. Winksite will also create a QR barcode for your mobile site for you.
- This easy-to-use mobile website builder enables users to layout their sites by adding elements such as RSS feeds, custom CSS, forms, and Google tools and then specifying where they should be placed on the page. This unique tool also offers users the ability to easily create a mobile store locator which uses the phone’s GPS features to allow your patrons to find the closest location to where they’re currently located in real-time.
- This free and easy-to-use mobile website development tool offers a professional editor interface that makes creating a mobile site from scratch a snap. Users can add ready-made widgets such as guestbooks, email, call me, and feedback forms, as well as RSS feeds. Zinadoo also makes it easy to add YouTube videos or sync your YouTube profile into your mobile site. Once your site is created you can send out text invites with your link from within Zinadoo.
- This mobile website builder offers ready-made template designs, an easy-to-use graphical interface and optional widgets they call “goodies” that can be added to your site such as a click to call option, Google maps, driving directions, a Google search box, and RSS feeds. They offer 3 pages and limited templates for free, upgrading starts at $156/year.
- Wirenode is another easy-to use tool that offers a WYSIWYG editor and multiple customizable templates to get you started. Wirenode provides several ready-made widgets that can be added to sites including Google Maps, Twitter, a social media “share” button, and the ability to instantly mobilize your blog from an RSS feed. Tools include customizable forms, the ability to invite friends via email, and an image gallery. This application also provides detailed website statistics.
- MobilePress is a free plugin for WordPress blogs which will automatically transform your blog into a mobile version which such a device is detected. Users can create custom themes for different device and browser types such as iPhone, Windows Mobile, Opera, etc.
- Boopsie is a relatively new product/service which offers “a robust, multi-platform mobile library application designed for public and academic libraries”. WorldCat, the ALA, and a slew of public and academic libraries are using Boopsie applications which offer full ILS integration and many other features such as; a GPS-aware Library Locator, Ask a Librarian, Reading Lists, Calendar & Events, and Integrated social networking tools.