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Why A App?

Why would a library need an app?

“WHY WOULD A LIBRARY EVER NEED A WEBSITE?” - 1999

“WHY WOULD A LIBRARY EVER NEED A MOBILE APP” - now

WHY?

Libraries are no different than their commercial counterparts when it comes to the need to provide fantastic customer service. Your patrons are using their mobile devices more than you may realize. Statistics show the use of these devices has been steadily growing since its inception. All of us use websites to reach out to a group of people, people that communicate quite frequently through use of the Internet. However, there is an ever-growing group of people that have no need to check a website, or be online for any reason in the traditional sense. These folks live in a mobile world. They work from the convenience of their pocket, not their desktop.


WE CREATED A MOBILE WEBSITE. ISN’T THAT ENOUGH?

Mobile websites are nice for the occasional visitor and can be a great way to display mobile friendly information, but truly cannot provide the personal level of engagement that a properly designed mobile application can provide. Patron engagement is the key to serving our mobile community. Mobile applications provide interaction for the patron, a way for them to experience in-library type service at their convenience. 24/7 access has never been easier. Many services cannot function through a mobile website. For instance, it is quite difficult to display a patron’s digital library card from a website and most folks will not want to wait behind patrons struggling to gain connectivity during checkout. A mobile website alone just does not fit the bill.


AREN’T MOBILE APPLICATIONS JUST A FAD?

Many people said the same thing about websites when they were first released. “Who’s really going to sit down at a computer to check something online?” was a question once posed during the beginning stages of website development. There may be something after mobile applications. No doubt another type of technology will break through, and we’ll transition to that, just as we have from websites to applications.

Think about how much time mobile users spend on their devices. Facts say, mobile users spend between two and five hours a day using their mobile device. They’re checking emails, writing texts, playing games and even engaging in video chat conversations all over the world. You see, their devices are personal, trusted and important. These mobile users are not easily disconnected from their devices, but rely on them for constant contact and communication. How about making the library personal again for these patrons?


MOBILE DEVICES ARE PERSONAL...

People leave the house with a few key items in their handbag or pocket. Keys to the car, the office, maybe even a wallet or a little change in their pocket. Not many leave without their mobile device. In fact, forgotten mobile devices are the number one reason for turning around on the way to a destination, to retrieve these most useful devices. Now you can provide access to the device in their pocket or handbag. CapiraMobile provides your patrons with the most useful library application in the marketplace.


Simply put, it performs better than a “mobile” website. It becomes a better, faster, easier discovery layer than a mobile website. It becomes a tool – as opposed to an experience (sometimes a belabored scrolling prison of irrelevant content experience). Apps are directly designed to get several jobs done with guided design – not a repurposing of webspace best viewed on a computer.

Last year, the total number of app downloads was record-breaking 197 billion. Modern users run 9 apps daily on average and spend 86% of their total mobile time in them. 

Let’s compare to see why:

The drill down for mobile website users:

  1. Open Browser

  2. Type in URL

  3. Find the tiny “My Account”

  4.  Log In

  5. Hope that you remembered to say “keep me signed in” this time or, for that matter last time, if you haven’t cleared your cache.

  6. Pray that all content displays dynamically enough across browsers to be engaging.

The drill down for app users:

  1. Open App

  2. You are already logged in - explore the catalog, renew your check out materials, and more!

If you’re not sure about how this is best characterized, uninstall your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr for a day or two and access them only through a browser. It will be evident that the app experience outperforms the web experience on a mobile device. The same can be true for your current discovery layer that exists as only browser-accessed.

THE EXPERIENCE OF AN APP


NOW THE HARD STATS…

Pew Research:

  • 81% Of Americans own a smart device

  • 17 % of smart device users have no broadband- so around 1 in 5. The implication is that smart devices – that are best employed in an android app platform – are the only means for these individuals in your community to connect.

  • Two-thirds of non-high school graduates – members of the community that could use the help from programs, classes and other learning opportunities libraries provide, use smart devices, plus it’s key to overlay that 85% of all smart device activity is through apps.

  • 1 in 5 Americans listen to audiobooks – and we would to suggest they’re not plugging in to a tower or laptop computer to do that activity – they’re connecting  through an app on a smart device. We can integrate those resource in one place in your app.

  • 71% of under $30K earners and 78% of $30-$50K earners have them. People who might benefit from an institution that could reach out to them through push notifications about resume writing classes, skills adoption, literacy refinement and more that could lead to higher income or better opportunities for earning. All for free.

  • Rural users have adopted smart devices at a level of 71% - with the evolution of wireless protocols this will go even higher.