My Ideal Library App

'Technology Use' photo (c) 2011, Denise Krebs - license:
Yesterday as part of my work on the library’s strategic planning steering committee I had the opportunity to quickly share and contextualize the 2012 Horizon Report as it might impact the library. This is part of our visioning work where we are being challenged to scan the local and national field for movements or trends that we need to either prepare for, adapt to, or pursue. The Horizon Report for higher education is a collaboration between NMC and Educause. The purpose of the report is to “identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education.” ( The report lays out 6 key technologies according to ‘time to adopt’ horizons.
Not surprisingly this year’s report places Mobile Apps and Tablet Computing in the immediate adoption timeline. Learning Analytics are placed on the two to three year adoption horizon. Pondering the current utilities of apps, recent advancements in single sign on technologies, and the wealth of data that soon may be accessible with learning analytic tools, leads me to think that my ideal library app might soon be possible.
This is what I envision for future academic library apps:
1.highly personalized
*once signed in the app will be able to know: your major, your current courses, your research interests, and more if pertinent
*this information will enable the app to: feed you with new books relevant to your interests, connect you to your reserve texts, recommend journals/scholars to follow, set up a unique search set that includes the highly relevant databases and indexes to your fields
*in addition to being able to search you should also be able to create citations, annotate sources, and create bibliographies
*sources as well as your own comments and annotations could be shared on social networks as well as in D2L or other LMS.

Is my ideal library app too ambitious? I think the technical aspects already exist. What might be more challenging is getting all the pieces to play nicely together. I imagine political as well as legal issues might hinder friendly play. But if the momentum is there I think it could be possible. The question for me is when?

Do you know of any one or any organization currently working on a great library app?


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