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iPads, roving reference, and dancing librarians

A few years ago the subject of roving reference came up in our Joint Technology Committee meetings, and the word on the street then was that laptops were a little clunky for the task. The iPad seems like it might be ideal for roving reference. It's lightweight, portable, has an on-screen keyboard and wireless capabilities.IPadReference

So I thought to myself, "there must be a library out there who is already singing the iPad's praises when it comes to reference... maybe there's even a video!"  Here's what I found (in order of decreasing relevance and increasing singing & dancing):

Which still leaves me with some questions--- are many libraries doing roving reference? Are they using iPads, other devices, or no devices at all? What about SCLS libraries--- have you borrowed the SCLS iPad and taken it for a spin at your reference desk and around your stacks? (link to check availability)

Photo courtesy of Mosman Library: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosmanlibrary/4634213760/

Comments

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Not iPad related, but I've thought that BlueTooth ear pieces might be another way to free librarians from their desks. That would facilitate roving, right?

I believe some libraries are using a service called Vocera to free them up from telephones. Here's one article: http://www.valaconf.org.au/vala2008/papers2008/148_Forsyth_Final.pdf

I think iPad roving reference will be more a reality when we have Koha and can get on the staff side of the client on the iPad. Without the staff side of Dynix and being limited to LinkCat, it really hampers our ability to do reference meaningfully.

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