Case Study of Mobile App Trends In Libraries

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Grace Lee
Mendik Library New York Law School
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Going Mobile: The New Normal for Libraries of All Types

Key Findings of a 2016 Industry Survey


Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults own a smartphone, with some of these users relying on their phones as their sole means of accessing the internet. Numbers like these prove that in order to serve their communities, libraries must offer mobile access to their wealth of resources. Despite this, few best practices and mobile app trends have been established and widely shared in the library community to help libraries launch a mobile app — or improve their current apps.

In Spring 2016, Boopsie conducted a survey of library leaders to collect insight into the state of mobile apps in libraries. This white paper will explore the six key findings of this survey with a goal of sharing best practices to make libraries worldwide more accessible to their users via mobile devices.

Top Six Key Findings:

  1. Mobile apps are the new normal for libraries
  2. Convenience and 24/7 access to resources are key motivators for libraries that decide to offer a mobile app
  3. Apps are doing their job — meeting the goals set by 60% of surveyed libraries who have launched a mobile app
  4. Usage stats are the leading measure of success of mobile apps in libraries, but could be further optimized overall
  5. No one demographic of patrons use library apps — most libraries report their app is used by any and all smartphone users.
  6. Mobile apps make a case for themselves — if libraries want to be everywhere their users are, they need to offer them a mobile app


One thing is clear from survey responses: Libraries are going mobile — and not just by offering a mobile-responsive website. More and more libraries are realizing that they need to offer a customized, user-friendly mobile app in order to remind users that their authoritative resources and helpful services are just one click away.

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