Thursday, October 29, 2009

Library as app

Saw today in the NY Times that Google now has a free GPS service for smart phones. That made me wonder about other services becoming free apps on smart phones. Why not libraries?

The app is just the service delivery point, the organization behind that service point can be (and in the case of Google's GPS service) is a huge complex enterprise.

One consequence of library as app, though, would be that we don't need tens of thousands of local (town, company, college, etc.) library apps. We just need a handful for the world and one of those may dominate the whole field the way Google dominates searching now.

Interesting consequences to such a move from many libraries each tied to a parent organization toward a few libraries providing individualized services. All those services needn't be online, but the contact would be. Delivery of tangible materials to home or office could be part of the app service, for example.

The whole library sector of the economy would be transformed.

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