The Pew Internet & American Life Project has done it again– they have released a very timely study. The survey, entitled Nearly half of American adults are smartphone owners, was published online on March 1, 2012 and it details the sharp rise in smartphone ownership in the United States, from 35% in May 2011 to 46% of American adults as of February 2012. A quote from the study overview:
“Nearly every major demographic group—men and women, younger and middle-aged adults, urban and rural residents, the wealthy and the less well-off—experienced a notable uptick in smartphone penetration over the last year. Overall adoption levels are at 60% or more within several cohorts, such as college graduates, 18-35 year olds and those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more.”
So why are libraries slow to adopt mobile library services? In Bibliotech episode 15 with guest Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research for the Vanderbilt University Libraries in Nashville, TN, we discuss the importance of mobile services in spite of his prediction that: “Mobile technology will continue to attract strong interest, but it will not necessarily drive significant innovation. Despite the ever-increasing use of mobile devices to access library services, strategic library-oriented mobile products continue to develop and see implementation at a relatively slow pace.” (from his January 10, 2012 post on the ALA Tech Source, entitled What’s in store for the library automation industry in 2012?). We talked about this very important issue with Lisa Carlucci Thomas last week on the show (episode 17) too. Stephen Abram also recently pointed to this issue on his blog Stephen’s Lighthouse. In his post from February 28, 2012 called Less Than 10% Of The Web In 2012 Is Mobile Ready, he forwards an article by the same name from Michael Martin. From the article: “Is your site ready for the estimated 1 out every 4 searches in 2012 coming from a mobile device, or are you part of the 91% of sites that aren’t?”
Something to think about, and more importantly, to get implemented. Mobile matters!