Results tagged “mobile” from WorldCat Blog

item.jpgHold the phone! (The iPhone, that is.) Now there's another mobile barcode-scanning app called (pronounced like 'Label Us') that now links to was developed by Nearest Island to help you find "product transparency on a single, open platform. Learn and share information about products and companies."

The barcode-scanning system works on all kinds of things--soup, electronics, socks, books and more. But what we care about here are things found in libraries. And books are among the many things found in libraries...

So on you can find books in libraries, see reviews and other data about books and other products. It uses 'channels' to bring it other people's perspectives on items, and includes a reputation system to help filter the results.

Here's the quotation from the Co-Founder and CEO David Rea from the official announcement:

"We are pleased to connect the smart, environmentally and socially-conscious shoppers who use to learn about the products they buy to one of the original green living ideas, the library, Having library data from more than 10,000 libraries consolidated into one site made it easy to connect our users to their local library to find the books and materials they're interested in."

Using, you can scan barcodes or search for books and then connect to to find the libraries who hold those items. is one of several mobile applications designed for users to access library information from WorldCat. See screen shots on the WorldCat Facebook page.

Good news: the widely available app Pic2Shop--the barcode-scanning app for mobile phones that includes library data from WorldCat--is now available in the Android marketplace.

Android users, compare books and other materials like crazy. Built using the WorldCat Search API and WorldCat Registry APIs, the app works worldwide. Check out other mobile apps that third-party developers have built using WorldCat data over on the Developer Network application gallery.

briefresults.jpgWe've had a WorldCat mobile pilot going since January of 2009. But recently, however, we've evolved the mobile site to now run on a mobile Web browser. That's right. No app to download, no prompting to update the latest app each time you go to the app just "works" when you use the browser of your phone. And the experience is similar to the browser on your "big" screen. Beta release We're in beta release now, which means mobile views are targeted for iOS and Android platforms. Other smartphone browsers such as Blackberry and Windows 7 Mobile--as well as feature phone support--are in the works for future releases. (If you have a "smartphone" that is not iOS or Android, we'd love to have you try it and send feedback to the team...) If your library has a localized view of WorldCat--often it's a big search box loaded on the library's home page--there are mobile-specific sites built for your individual library, too. Try it out and send feedback So go to on your phone and try a suggested search. You'll see cover art (if available), e-mail a link or citations and get location-based holdings information for nearby libraries. Of course, you'll get library details such as map/directions, and visitor information such as hours and phone numbers. From, you'll also connect to your library's online catalog to see shelf status and reserve information. More mobile goodness for WorldCat available... You've heard here about many partner-developed, third-party apps like RedLaser, Pic2Shop, iRecommend and others that are also available with WorldCat library information embedded. If you have ideas for an app that includes library data, let us know!

bookbazaariniphone.png WorldCat staffers love their mobile phones, no doubt. And now there's one more reason to love them even more--another new iPhone app is now available that includes library data via WorldCat and the WorldCat Search and Registry APIs. Called Book Bazaar, the free app was developed by Bayview Labs in Mountain View, CA,

With Book Bazaar, you type in a title, author, keyword or ISBN to compare prices for books at online or local bookstores, and now libraries. Developer Rizwan Virk was quoted in the official announcement as saying, "Book Bazaar is made for book lovers who want to find a specific book right away. The best and easiest way to find a book is at a local library, and so we want to support local libraries as much as possible."

We like this idea! Book Bazaar is available for U.S. iPhone users at the moment, but I understand more platforms are in development. I don't know offhand--but maybe someone can test and tell me--if you have an iPod Touch or an iPad, can you also download and use Book Bazaar? Let everyone know in the comments section.

See additional photos of the different screen shots on the WorldCat Facebook page. You can download Book Bazaar in the iTunes App store.

The WorldCat Mobile pilot was recently enhanced to now include cover art when available. It also now provides a link to your local library catalog--much the same way does now. This additional functionality means you can potentially set a hold, view status and reserve a book or video through your mobile phone, as soon as you discover it in WorldCat.

As always, keep sending feedback about your mobile pilot experience, to help improve the service for everyone.

WorldCat in RedLaser iPhone App

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Thanks to some quick footwork by a few of OCLC's staff and the guys at Occipital, the company behind the iPhone app RedLaser, libraries now appear within the mobile apps item search pages.

RedLaser users can scan a book and see the libraries near them that have that book. Then they can click to one of those libraries and get hours, phone numbers and driving directions.

We're putting data to use and putting libraries right in the mobile user's flow.

worldcat-iphone-image.jpgThere's a WorldCat Webinar on the WorldCat Mobile pilot coming up this Wednesday, April 29.

WorldCat Mobile pilot Webinar
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
10:00 - 11:00AM US Eastern Daylight Savings time (3:00 - 4:00PM BST)

Register now

Facebook event page

That is day after tomorrow--hard to believe April is almost over already?

Hosted by Mark Allcock, global business manager in the OCLC UK office, the session is designed so you can ask questions, give feedback, and get the latest on recent and planned enhancements.

There are two more Webinars planned for next month. So if you can't make it this week, mark your calendar now for May 21. Webinar

Thursday, May 21, 2009
9:00 - 10:00AM US Eastern Daylight Savings time (2:00 - 3:00PM BST)
Register now Webinar
Thursday, May 21, 2009
4:00 - 5:00PM US Eastern Daylight Savings time (1:00 - 2:00PM US Pacific Daylight Savings time)
Register now

We're two weeks into the WorldCat Mobile pilot and you've already uncovered a lot of future functionality and would-be-nice-to-have features--in addition to helping identify specific troubles with certain models of phones. Thanks to the 1,315 people who have already downloaded the app to their mobile phone, there were 39,474 queries made to through the app. in January.

Extrapolating from the usage statistics, most people seem to be starting their searches at the "home" screen (1,209 users made 26,450 queries). But then 452 people started at the "change location" section (452 users made 4,218 queries)--which just goes to show that lots of people are either reading my hints or more likely, you're using the app on the go, for travel. Finally, the down economy may be prompting people to find more libraries, more often, because the 263 people who used it created 5,355 queries.

All in all, it's a fantastic start for the WorldCat Mobile pilot, and if you haven't tried it yet, go on and give it a go. If you have tried it and received an error message, brace yourself and would you be willing to try again? Our partner organization with the pilot has been making fixes and putting in patches almost 'round the clock. If you try it again and still have problems, please send us feedback so we can get it fixed.

A very long time ago (2005! gasp!), I wished for all the library content in the world to fit in your pocket. We're a whole lot closer to that now, with the launch of the new WorldCat mobile pilot. The six month-long pilot will gather data to help inform future WorldCat mobile efforts, and is currently available to people in the US and Canada.

To download the application, go to on your mobile phone's Web browser.

The current mobile pilot complements the recently released experimental iPhone app for WorldCat, built from the WorldCat Search API.

Once you've used on your mobile phone, please give us your feedback with details of your experience and/or suggested enhancements.

This pilot was developed through a partnership with the mobile technology organization Boopsie. You, too, can partner with WorldCat by linking in.

Wondering if your phone will work? Here's a list of supported devices, which include iPhones, Blackberries, Nokias and more.

Phone books

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I've been reading books on hand-held, mobile computing devices (formerly Palm Pilots, now a Pocket PC that doubles as a cell phone) since around 1996. I was an early adopter (read: new toy lover) of the Palm, and was doing all kinds of weird (at the time) stuff on it: calendar, contacts, to-do lists, games, etc. A good friend ("Hi, Bill!") told me that he was also reading books on his. Mostly free ones downloaded from the Gutenberg Project.

"You read books on your Palm?" I asked. Tetris was one thing... but reading whole books?

"Sure," he told me. "It takes some getting used to is all."

"How much getting used to?"

"The first book you read on that small screen will make you feel like your eyes are bleeding all the time. Each page is a chore and a terror. If you push your way through, you'll wish you'd never tried. But the second book... about half way through you'll realize you're not thinking about it. And then it will just be another way to read."

Bill was right. The first book was pure torture. But by the end of the second... I was hooked. It's so much easier to read books when you're already carrying them around on your portable device of choice. I now do about a third of my reading on my mobile.

I bring this up today because of news from several sources about a new offering from Vodafone, in which the mobile operator will sell eBooks and eAudiobooks directly to its customers for download onto their phones.

Which in turn reminded me of this story from the Sidney Morning Herald from last December, which talks about how half of the top selling books in Japan at the time were written on mobile phones. You read that right -- not just sold and read on phones, but actually texted into existance on they tiny keypads. As the Herald story points out:

Remarkably, half of Japan's top-10 selling works of fiction in the first six months of the year were composed the same way - on the tiny handset of a mobile phone. They sold an average of 400,000 copies. By August, the president of Goma Books, Masayoshi Yoshino, was declaring in a manifesto that he was determined "to establish this not simply as a fad, but as a new kind of culture".

That's a lot of readin' and writin' happening on the go.

WorldCat for iPhone

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iphone app crop.jpgI don't have an iPhone yet, but I just found (another) reason to want one: there's now a WorldCat app developed for it, available for download at iPhone Toolbox the Apple Web site apps section (for free). If you have an iPhone, download it and let us know how it performs for you. In fact, we might even send you a free WorldCat t-shirt in exchange.