Thursday, 12 August 2010

The iPad is perfect for Liaison Librarians

After playing with an iPad for a few days I'm smitten, and I think they make an ideal device for a liaison librarian to have on hand to increase productivity at work.

Here's why:

-Increased connectivity means you can comunicate more easily with colleagues and academics from anywhere on campus (within WiFi range, which is just about everywhere).

-Unlike a laptop you don't have to worry about lugging it around, it's light and very portable.

-It's great to demonstrate our databases, eJournals and particularly eBooks on. EBL books particularly look great and work very smothly in Safari (The web browser) for the iPad.

-In meetings you can take notes and email them straight out to colleagues, or make a useless meeting (You know the ones I'm talking about) more productive by doing something useful.

-Unlike a laptop, it is on (or off) as soon as you press the button, saving time.

-For reference desk duties you can go to the student, sit anywhere and show them our online resources, or search the catalogue while among the shelves, or outside the library, much more convenient than being stuck at a desk.

It's not perfect yet, there are a few niggling issues that I've found so far, but it does just about everything I need 90% of the time very well, and I'm sure Apple are hard at work trying to make the next version even better.


Trevor said...

Sounds great - mind revealing what the niggling issues are?

Felix Wilson said...

Niggling issues:

No editing Google Docs, I'm not sure whey this doesn't work but it's annoying. If I could edit Google Docs and them export to word I would be able to do a lot more work on the iPad. I have installed Pages and Keynote now which will allow creation of word docs and powerpoint presentations.
Other than that, not being able to access N drive etc, I'm not sure what work arounds there might be for that, maybe using knowledgebase or Wikis to store documents more. Being able to print directly form the iPad would be nice too. Some of these things aren't realy what it was designed for, so can be forgiven, but it would be nice to see Apple fixing some of these things in future.

Anonymous said...

I played with an ipad for an hour on the day the device was launched in Australia. (I had been very impressed with my daughter's iphone when I saw it in May and my son used Macs as a young teenager. However, that was the extent of my knowledge of the Apple Brand). I was entanced by the ipad, particularly the ease of navigation of the device and the quality of displayed images. For me the user-friendliness was exceptional. I agree with Felix about the potential uses of the device for roving LLs as it is much lighter than even the smallest laptop. As an ebook reader it is superb, but rather too heavy in my opinion to hold for any length of time(stand needed?). Also I wonder how it performs in sunlight in comparison to conventional ebook readers which use eink technology? Soon after I used the ipad I borrowed the Coop bookshop brand ebook reader. The lack of beauty & lack of user friendliness of the latter was a disappointment after handling an ipad! I am wondering if an app has now made it possible to edit Google Docs on ipads Felix? Two things that are of concern to me with the ipad are, firstly, that I wonder if the conditions of Chinese factory workers who make these products are satisfactory, and,secondly, I don't know if Apple has suitable recycling incentives in place in all countries in which the ipad is sold.