New York Law School, founded in 1891, is an independent law school located in downtown Manhattan, serving over 1700 students. Each year since 2007 the Mendik Library has surveyed incoming first year students about their technology proficiency, including use of mobile devices and social media. According to Grace Lee, Electronic Services Librarian, library staff had noticed an increase in the number of students coming into the library with smartphones and tablets, and the survey supported their observation.
Why did your library select Boopsie?
“We encourage our students to look beyond Google when they perform legal research,” Lee says. “We want to drive them to our library catalog and to other professional legal research tools. With students so wedded to mobile devices, we wanted to meet them halfway.”
Lee says the library first explored using their ILS to implement a mobile app, but discovered that this would be cost-prohibitive. Systems librarian Terry Ballard saw Boopsie at a library conference, which led him to investigate the Boopsie app working with other libraries using Innovative Interfaces’ Millennium as their ILS.
“We did our research and found that Boopsie was the dominant vendor in providing mobile apps to libraries.”
How does Boopsie support your overall service and/or strategic plan?
Lee says Mendik Mobile makes it easier for students to get to the library catalog, use library services, and communicate with library staff. One of the key aspects of their mobile app is the ability to search course reserves. “We evaluated which capabilities were crucial to have in our mobile app, and access to course reserves was at the top,” says Lee. “Boopsie worked with us to build a course reserves channel. With this channel students can locate any book on reserve and see if it has been checked out or if it is available. And once a student has checked out a course reserve book, they can renew the loan using Mendik Mobile. Boopsie was very responsive to our needs and delivered what we needed to serve our students. Course reserves is a very heavily used channel in Mendik Mobile.”
The Mendik Library’s annual survey gathers data on students’ electronic communication preferences. Each year the use of email decreases while texting increases. To open up communication channels with students, Mendik Mobile makes it easy for students to call, text or email the library from within Mendik Mobile.
Another heavily used channel is NYLS’ custom built Google search engine called DRAGNET which accesses vetted free legal websites. NYLS has received two awards for their innovations from the American Association of Law Libraries—one in 2011 for DRAGNET and the other in 2012 for Mendik Mobile.
Would you recommend Boopsie to other libraries?
Lee says she would definitely recommend Boopsie to other libraries for the following reasons:
- The Boopsie app works on any device.
- The app delivers more functionality than a mobilized website.
- Boopsie was very helpful in guiding the library on what was needed to develop the app and in walking them through the Apple approval process.
- The app makes it easy for students to access library information and the search engine is very fast.
- Students can access the catalog from their phones, check their fines and fees and renew items—a very popular feature.
- Boopsie built the course reserves channel to the library’s specifications.
But the bottom line, Lee says, is that students and faculty really like it.
“Mendik Mobile makes it easy for our users to find something quickly and communicate with us. This helps us overcome the challenge of their wanting to go to Google first.”