Brian Gambles presents the Library of Birmingham vision and strategy for addressing the challenge of mobile digital services.
The Library of Birmingham (LoB) will open in 2013 as a world-class centre for culture, learning and knowledge, rewriting the book for public libraries in the 21st century. 'Rewriting the Book', which is integral to the new LoB brand, recognises and embraces the present and future challenge to libraries – it accepts that established means of accessing knowledge are changing rapidly and dynamically, with a significant digital dimension, and that increasingly radical responses to this challenge are demanded from leaders in the library sector.
The LoB will seek to transform perceptions of Birmingham, redefining 'the library', with an outward focus, deeply embedded in partnership working, digitally connected to the world, and servicing both local and international audiences as a platform and cultural hub for knowledge and communal exchange. Fundamental to this change will be the delivery of digital services both inside and outside the new library with greater support for mobile communications with customers. Mobile is commonplace today, and opens up many opportunities to enhance customer experience both inside and external to the new library.
This article describes the continuing journey of the LoB project in assessing the challenge of mobile, its relevance and how innovation could improve the visitor experience in the future.
Mobility: An Integral Part of Living
Mobile services are an integral part of our daily lives and embedded in our culture. This is never more apparent when we do not have them close to hand – a recent survey found that 40% of mobile phone users would rather lose their wallet than their mobile device. The choice may not be available for much longer: the mobile is very likely to become your wallet in the future!
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