Mobile App Work Group Minutes

April 30, 2020, 9:30 am

Phone/video conference

Present: Margie Navarre Saaf (MAD), Bailey Anderson (STO), Emma Cobb (VER), Jake Iniechen (MAD), Eric Norton (MCM), Phil Hansen (FCH), Suzann Holland (MRO), Lauren White (PDS), Heidi Oliversen (SCLS), Amy Gannaway (SCLS), Rose Ziech (SCLS), Vicki Teal Lovely (SCLS)

Work Group Leader: Heidi Cox (MCF)  

Absent: None

Excused: Alex LeClair (LDI)

Recorder: Vicki Teal Lovely (SCLS)


1.      Call to Order

a.      Introduction of guests/visitors: None

b.      Changes/Additions to the Agenda: None

c.       Requests to address the Committee: None

2.      Action Items

a.      None

3.      Discussion

a.      Project plan

                                                              i.      April 1—ask for Work Group to be formed at ILS Committee

                                                             ii.      April-June

1.      Create evaluation criteria

a.      Speed

b.      Integration with meeting room software, events (link via RSS feed) and program registration, etc. that libraries can opt in as an additional service for a fee

c.       Digital library card

d.      Promotional opportunity for people who  have an app on their phone that allows them to connect with their library; push notifications

e.      Mobile beacons that as you get close, to the beacon there will be a marketing opportunity (for example on the bike trails saying the library has bathrooms and water)

f.        Integrate with Flipster, OverDrive, etc.

g.      Branded to local library; ability to customize it

h.      Ability to search by LINKcat OR library name in the app stores

i.        Ability for patrons to provide access to more than one library easily for patrons who work in different communities, or live near two communities

j.        Accessibility considerations. If someone is visually impaired, physically impaired, cognitively or hearing impaired can the App be fully used?

k.       Available in multiple languages

l.        Works on different devices such as tablets and phones, and different browsers

m.    More views or skins, such as a Kid’s display

n.      Buttons that bring up features such as the New York Times best sellers list or new this week

o.      Ability to add a custom page that can be named and will include whatever content we want

p.      Streamlined access

q.      Ability to sign up for a card

r.       Good data and privacy policies

s.       Ability to get use data and statistics

t.        Support provided by vendor; how often do they push out updates; do they keep up with device updates

u.      Staff user interface is easy to use; hierarchical at system level and library level (library can update only local public interface)

v.       Ability for libraries to opt out of certain features (such as signing up for a library card)

w.    One App that does everything!

x.       It may be desirable for some of these features to be integrated into the Discovery Layer and the mobile app. It may be possible to add these externally and integrate them with both.

y.       The Discovery Layer in Bibliovation provides a responsive design that works with mobile devices, but it is not an app

z.       Designate each as either Required or Nice to have.

aa.   Heidi encouraged members to think about what you would like as you go through your daily work. Now is the time to dream.

bb.  Once we have the criteria, should we do a survey of library directors to see if they have additional suggestions?

2.      Identify vendors and schedule overviews, etc.

a.      SCLS will begin to schedule timeslots with work group members for June

3.      Send out list of questions to vendors

                                                           iii.      June-July Schedule meetings with final vendors

                                                           iv.      August IC – make recommendation

                                                             v.      August – December – work with new vendor to try to implement by early December (may not be possible for a variety of reasons)

b.      Heidi Cox reported that she became interested in the mobile apps a couple of years ago because their local newspaper doesn’t want to cover the library as much. They started looking at mobile apps as a means to communicate with patrons. At the same time, LibraryThing was not as good as it could be. She started talking to different vendors. She would like to see a really good app that would help people search the catalog and discover items and then an interface that individual libraries could add on. This interface would tie in to meeting room software and program registration—anything that can tie in to the library service.

c.       Next steps

                                                              i.      Criteria:

1.      Digest the list and streamline the list (in a Google doc) by next week

2.      Members can add to the list

                                                             ii.      Vendors

1.      Amy has a list of vendors that she can share via a Google doc (Google doc will be linked from meeting web site) by next week

2.      Members can add to the list

                                                           iii.      Process

1.      Send list of vendors and criteria to libraries to see if we are missing anything. We will do this in the form of a survey that asks if they would like to add anything. We will also ask if they are OK with everything on the list. Perhaps by the week of 5/11. SCLS will develop survey.

2.      Do we want to develop an RFI which is a written description of the features that we want? Probably don’t need to do an RFI. Instead we can use a list of features with live demos to do the evaluation (similar to the live demos we did for the ILS evaluation).

3.      The vendor pool is very small and some can be eliminated pretty quickly as they don’t have as many features.

4.      We aren’t interested in developing an app from scratch. We would prefer an out-of-the-box product that is regularly updated.

5.      Check with other library systems in Wisconsin and elsewhere to make sure that we have all vendors.  

a.      After we have the list of vendors, work group members can each take one or two systems to see what mobile app they use. Members can look at systems outside of Wisconsin on a volunteer basis.

6.      SCLS will begin to schedule timeslots with workgroup members for June vendor demos

7.      After we have a final list of criteria, we can put it in a spreadsheet. Each member can assign Required or Nice to Have and we can come to a consensus at the next meeting.

4.      Plan for Next meeting:

a.      Week of May 18 – Michelle will do a Doodle poll soon

5.      Adjournment

a.      Meeting adjourned at 10:30 am.


For more information about the Mobile App Work Group, contact Vicki Teal Lovely.


SCLS staff are available to attend cluster meetings to share information and answer questions pertaining to this committee meeting and other departmental projects.


Mobile App Work Group/Minutes/04-2020