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Richter on the go, cellular access

Courtesy Cheryl Gowing

The University of Miami Richter Library staff is putting the final touches on a mobile website for students and faculty intended to save its users valuable time.

The site, which is compatible with Internet capable phones, including the most popular iPhone and BlackBerry, will be finished by Thanksgiving.

“Everyone is on their phone all the time and we feel the library is a core service for students and faculty” said Cheryl Gowing, the director of information management and systems at Richter. “This mobile site will provide everyone with the flexibility they need from the library.”

In a generation of tech-savvy youth, the library is doing its best to keep up with the demand for phone applications. Students and staff will be able to search the library database, contact librarians and even check the availability of library computers from their cell phones.

“We can’t optimize our entire website to mobile devices, but it’s reasonable to expect basic information such as hours and library contacts to be easy to access on a phone,” said Scott Britton, the director of access, information and research services. “The site also has a feedback feature, so it should improve and grow based on what we hear from users.”

Melissa Berkowitz, a sophomore and an enthusiastic iPhone user, tested the mobile site.

“I really like the search feature because there is such a wealth of resources, and sometimes it takes hours to physically find what you are looking for,” Berkowitz said.

Mandy Prusak was also pleased with the site as it appeared on her BlackBerry.

“I think it is really convenient that you can see the computer availability as well as use the site to provide feedback”.

Danielle Landau may be contacted at dlandau@themiamihurricane.com.

November 13, 2010

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Danielle Landau


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