If your ILS provider stops supporting the mobile app they provided for you, what can you do? Losing your mobile app can be difficult, especially after you’ve already made the commitment to your community to help engage them through their smartphones and tablets.
You have two main choices: you can either find another mobile app provider or abandon your endeavors to reach your highly mobile community.
Chances are, you’re not going to abandon your mobile endeavors, since mobile access to your library helps your community in many ways. For instance, mobile apps allow your patrons to easily access your content subscriptions like OneClickdigital AudioBooks and tutoring services like Tutor.com.
Having an ILS provided mobile app will generally only offer your patrons access to your library’s catalog and occasionally offer links to your social media sites. By linking your other content subscriptions to Your Library App helps drive not only app usage, but also subscription usage, which helps you maximize ROI.
App-to-App linking solves the problem of offering multiple apps; if you have all of your subscriptions in one app, your patrons won’t have to look all over for each app. For instance, with a mobile app from your ILS, you patrons can access your catalog and a best seller list, but if you offer Mango, OverDrive, EBSCOhost or Gale Access My Library, they have to download these apps and access them individually. With a Boopsie Mobile App, you can integrate all of your resources within one single mobile app, providing patrons with one-stop access your subscriptions.
Another common issue with ILS provided apps is that they are often only available on certain platforms. These apps sometimes only support iOS users, which leave behind those who are using Android, BlackBerry, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Kindle Fire devices. Boopsie Apps are built to run as native mobile apps on all of these platforms.
Offering a mobile app that has multilingual support helps you better serve all of your community in their native language. With a tap of a button, they can use your app in any language you have set up. For instance, Multnomah County Library offers their users their app in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese with their ‘We Speak Your Language’ approach.
Finally, when you look for a non-ILS mobile app provider, make sure to look into what they are providing. A mobile solution provider who is solely focused on supporting library apps will be dedicated to supporting the most comprehensive range of mobile devices and also will have a support team whose only job is to support you and help you deploy and promote your library app to your community.