The UB Gent app runs on iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, J2ME, Palm and Symbian. The technology was developed by Boopsie , a US firm which specializes in building native mobile applications for libraries and universities. Worldcat is one of its customers: http://www.worldcat.org/wcpa/content/mobile/ .
- Search the catalog
- Run context-sensitive library address searches (using GPS)
- Request books and journal articles
- Chat with the information desk
- Read informative web pages and follow UGent related tweets.
The catalog search can be implemented on the Boopsie platform in two ways: via Z39.50 or via uploads of MARC dumps. UGent library choose for its implementation to provide weekly MARC dumps of the Aleph catalog, which are indexed on the fly.
All the informative web pages can be easily administered by our library using Google Docs documents and spreadsheets. With help of these files the content and the layout of the mobile app can be controlled. Changes to these files will be reflected into changes on all connected phones within seconds.
The Boopsie allows for a mix of native and mobile web pages. For instance, the main menu screen runs as a native interface; the "Infodesk Live Chat" is implemented as a static web page. Using the Google Docs templates, menu screens can be easily added and integration with existing mobile web pages is easily achieved.
The UB Gent app can be downloaded from http://lib.ugent.be/mobile.