A feasibility study of mobile services implementation in national library and archives of Iran: user's trends.

Author:Nazi, Ayoob


The technologies have made communication and access to information very convenient and time consuming. The users have the comfort of use in their home and office, and from where ever they are while on the move with their mobile phone units or PDAs (Abdul Karim, Darns and Hussin). In recent years the new mobile phones services and facilities have become as important as call making, and even more favorable. In 2009, for the first time ever, mobile phones were used more for accessing data than to making calls (Fox2010).

Hitherto in order to improve mobile communication several standards have developed: The first generation standard (1G) for voice only was developed in 1979. This was followed by the second generation (2G) standard using global system for mobile communications (GSM)/TDMA--time division multiple access, which emerged somewhere in 1992. The generation that follows is based on 2.5G standard known as General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). The most recent standard was called 3rd Generation or 3G (Abdul Karim, Darus and Hussin , 2006); By 2009, it had become clear that, at some point, 3G networks would be overwhelmed by the growth of bandwidth-intensive applications like streaming media. So the 4th generation standard was developed. The first two commercially available technologies billed as 4G were the WiMAX standard (en.Wikipedia).

In 1994, the first Iranian mobile Operator (Hamrahe Aval) services based on 1G and 2G standards began and then second mobile Operator (Irancell) service began in 2006. Because of Transferring policy and represented services like as GPRS, MMS, Irancell found great number of subscribers and forced mobile service marketing to a new competitive time. The third Iranian mobile operator (Lghitel) will represent services based on 3G in 2012.

The effect of each operator on mobile services in Iran. Hamrahe Awal: 1G&2G MTN Irancell :2.5G Lghitel: 3G [right arrow] [right arrow] [right arrow] According to the figure1 it's obvious that possibilities of using wide array of mobile phone services are available in Iran. Of course there is a gap among Iran and developed countries that are using 4G.

It seems that the first Mobile Library Services was through SMS, and then by development of web-enabled cell phones, other library services like OPAC service accessible via mobile phones were developed. We can assign the first mobile library services to Japan, because the first full internet service on mobile phones was introduced by NTT DoCoMo in Japan in 1999, and then the first mobile library service, based on mobile internet services was I-mode OPAC of Toyama University Library services, was developed in September 2000. One of the conditions for the development was the high popularity of mobile phones among students. By that time, some universities had begun news services of administrative affairs like cancellation of classes via short messages (Negishi, 2003).

Though in some libraries use of mobile services has emerged, but in most libraries use of Mobile is forbidden as part of policy and reserved right library and users' responsibility. Also some libraries allow users to make or receive short calls in a low voice only in some locations and spaces such as the stairwells or the entrance lobby.

Totally in all libraries, one of these two approaches is ruled: 1.The prohibition or restriction 2.Encouragement.

Apart from approach of libraries about using mobile phone in library environment, because of some requirements mobile phone usage in library is inevitable. Library services have changed with the transformations in computing and networking (Cummings, Merrill, Borrelli, 2010), and also under the influence of technology, users' behaviors and expectations in this new environment have changed (Lorcan, 2008). Consequently in order to respond to changes in users' behavior, library environment, communication and telecommunication services, libraries should fundamentally redefine their future functions and services to attract users. The access via mobile phone which is continuously evolving with the users' needs should be regarded as one of the most important factors in formulating the innovative library services in the future (Negishi, 2003). Present library services by the help of mobile technologies and other similar equipments like tablet-pc, makes the bond between library services and users' daily life.

Some of the advantages of the mobile library services are:

* Providing library...

To continue reading