The Open University library is developing a mobile search interface as part of the next phase of its m-library service development. When I presented an update on our mobile library service developments as part of a roundtable discussion at the Handheld Learning conference last week I had a discussion with an OU Associate Lecturer about how he would find this useful. Apparently he regularly receives requests from his students for recommendations of journals or journal articles. He felt that being able to search the library catalogue on his mobile phone in order to verify reference details would be very helpful as he receives these enquiries during the day while he’s at work.
This led me to wonder if we should add buttons to the search results allowing people to easily email the reference, save it to Refworks, or bookmark it so that they can easily find it again later. At present the search results include some bibliographic data and a relevance score. The question is, would a significant number of library users find this useful? Space is at a premium on a mobile phone screen so is it worth taking it up with an ‘add to Refworks button’ rather than just listing more references?