Choose One of The Frequently Asked Questions Below
As a Librarian, Why Do I Need a Mobile Strategy in Place for My Library?
Mobile is everywhere, it’s exploding and will only continue to grow. Virtually 100% of the US population has adopted some type of digital mobile device and they use it for all of their communication needs. You need a mobile strategy for your library. If you want to capture your community’s attention, make your content accessible in a format they use on a daily basis. Develop a good library mobile strategy. Going mobile means you will increase:
Patron Engagement and overall Circulation
ROI on those databases and services you’ve already purchased
Your Reach and Influence within your community
US smartphone penetration now exceeds 61% of total population, up more than 10% from year prior - Neilsen
A full 25% of all internet engagement is on mobile devices now (mobile phones and tablets). This is up from only 12% in 2012! - Smart Insights
“It’s through Boopsie that we are able to provide our community a seamless connection to the library on the go. [Our patrons] are happy we’re keeping in step with technology. They like the accessibility. It’s a great convenience – making it easier to be a library customer.”
Tulsa City-County Library
Every Month It Seems There’s a New Type of Mobile Device, Operating System, or App Store. How Can I Keep Up With All These Constant Changes?
It’s easy! Boopsie does all the work for you! The Boopsie platform is incredibly powerful and easy-to-use. We work closely with all of the major providers to stay up-to-the-minute with their technologies, that way your app will work with every device your patrons or students are using.
iTunes (App Store)
How Can I Better Engage My Community, Increase Circulation and Grow Relevance via Boopsie?
Deliver a mobile solution to your community that is accessible on every mobile device. With one click on your your library's icon, your services will be with patrons 24/7/365.
People love the latest technology, and your library's community will respond strongly to you meeting them on their own terms. Launching a Boopsie app will increase circulation--particularly of eBooks and AudioBooks--by 30% or more by providing instant access.
“In places such as Hamilton County, OH, 2011 was a record-setting year. eBooks, AudioBooks, and other downloadable materials exploded in popularity with use increasing more than 500 percent.”
NACO County News
A Boopsie mobile app for your library can help drive the same boost in engagement and circulation with your digital content, contact us today for more information!
What’s the Difference Between a Native Mobile App and a Mobile Website?
Once you’ve decided that you need a Mobile Solution for Your Library, the next step is deciding how to deliver that mobile experience: via a Native Mobile App or a Mobile Website?
What’s a Native Mobile App? Yelp, Facebook, or Twitter have icons on your smartphone that are made for one-click use—that’s a Native Mobile App. Conversely, a Mobile Website is simply a modified version of your website so that it fits on tiny (mobile) screens. How do you choose between the two options?
119% growth in app usage over the last 18 months (vs. 13% growth in mobile web browsing) - Flurry.com
Smartphone users spend an average of 94 minutes per month in apps (vs. 72 minutes web browsing) - Flurry.com
45 billion apps were downloaded in 2012 - ABI Research
“The biggest mistake we made was betting too much on HTML5 … but it wasn’t good enough. We realized the only way we could get there was to go native.”
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
Native apps are designed for each and every device and platform from the ground up. The benefit? A faster, cleaner, experience for your patrons, giving one-click access to all of your library content. Mobile websites are typically cumbersome and frustrating for users, and usually can’t offer the complete functionality available on the desktop site. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg!
The only way to deliver a complete experience is with a native mobile app, and Boopsie build them branded just for your library! Click to schedule a demo of Boopsie for Libraries and learn more!
My Library Serves a Diverse Community. How Can We Best Serve That Community With a Mobile App?
Serving a multilingual community can be difficult, but you’re not alone! According to the latest US census:
Almost 9% of the US population uses another language than English as their primary language
The number of people speaking Chinese in US homes has increased 290% since 1980 and now exceeds 2.6 million people
Tagalog also increased by 212% to over 1.5 million people in 2007
The best way is to engage your community, patrons, and students is, of course, in their native language. Thankfully, the Boopsie platform is built to quickly and easily offer multiple languages to your patrons and students. Once your app is set up with Multilingual Capability, users will be able to easily toggle between whatever languages you deem necessary, all without ever leaving your app.
“We hold a deep commitment to being responsive to the communities we serve. Our ‘We Speak Your Language’ approach provides information and resources to community members in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese. Boopsie has been a fantastic partner for us to enable this service,”
Jeremy Graybill, Marketing and Communications Director at Multnomah County, Oregon Library, the second busiest library in the United States.
However many different languages there are spoken in your community, Boopsie for Libraries can make sure you aren’t leaving anyone out! Call us today to learn more!
Does Boopsie Support My ILS?
We support all the major ILS’s currently available. However, if you are working with a new provider that we have not yet integrated with, we are happy to work with you in putting a solution together. Here are all the ILS platforms we integrate with today:
Polaris Library Systems
The Boopsie platform is incredibly flexible … we have been able to integrate with any ILS a library has requested!
Does Boopsie Support My Other 3rd Party Service Providers (eBooks, AudioBooks, Research Platforms, Digital Magazines)?
You’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and money in order to source additional rich content and resources for your patrons and students. It’s imperative that you’re able to leverage these third party service providers in your mobile solution as well. Here are some of the providers we’ve already integrated with:
We’ve created streamlined experience for one-click access to many of the largest providers that you work with, and we’re always more than happy to explore integrations with new providers as well. Just email us or call us and we’ll take it from there!
What is Smart Prefix™ search by Boopsie?
Boopsie’s Smart Prefix™ search works in much the same manner as Google’s “Search Suggest” (Instant). When you type in a Google search box, the results are automatically updated, in real time, with each key stroke. The primary difference with Smart Prefix search by Boopsie is that the user does not even need to type full words, only parts of words, to get the same results. This is especially helpful to smartphone and tablet users looking for books who would find it easier to type “har pot ch” when they looking for "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". A Google user would have to type: “Harry Potter and” before they would find the desired results. Similarly, simply typing, “ja k on” using Smart Prefix search will produce results for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Smart Prefix™ search works with full words—just like Google Search. But, on a mobile device, typing full words is cumbersome and time-consuming. In most cases, with Boopsie’s Smart Prefix™ search no more than two to three characters of each word is sufficient to deliver great search results. Smart Prefix™ search also exposes far more of the catalog than any other search. As the user types, they see actual entries in the catalog after each letter typed. Based on user behavior on our apps, patrons using Smart Prefix™ search on a mobile device perform 2.4 times as many searches on the app on any given month as compared to mobile searches without Smart Prefix™ search enabled.
Search functionality provided to libraries via their ILS requires patrons to type the entire search query (or most of it) for the ILS to find the proper book. Smart Prefix™ search exposes results to the user as they are typing, avoiding the unnecessary submit button and making it as easy as possible to discover and consume content on a tablet or smartphone.
Another major benefit of Boopsie’s Smart Prefix™ search is the ability to search across multiple “search fields” all at the same time. Many web-based ILS searches require patrons to enter text into multiple search fields (title, author, etc.), which can be incredibly cumbersome on a mobile device. Since Smart Prefix™ search can search across multiple fields, if a patron only remembers parts of a book title and the author's first name, Smart Prefix™ search will still be able to return the proper results.
Summary benefits of Smart Prefix™ search by Boopsie:
Optimized for mobile devices: can get relevant search results without typing full words
Search across multiple 'search fields' quickly in one search box: title, author, publication year, and more
Search and receive results even with only partial information
Real-time results displayed while typing in search box
What is BookLook Mobile™?
Imagine that you are at a bookstore and you are about to buy a book. But wait! Did you know that it might be available FOR FREE from your local public library?
BookLook Mobile™ by Boopsie is the first system to cross-reference ISBN data and disparate ILS systems and include library account functionality. By simply scanning or entering the ISBN barcode data, library card holders can determine if a book is owned by their local library, the branch where it is located and place it on hold. Additional information such as publisher reviews, bibliographic sources such as Syndetics and crowd-sourced services such as GoodReads are also available through BookLook Mobile™.
Using BookLook Mobile™ in Your Library App, enables your patrons to scan books they find in bookstores and quickly see if they are available at your library before purchasing it themselves.
BookLook Mobile™ helps you increase your library's circulation 24/7, wherever your patrons might be.
What is Boopsie BookCheck™?
Boopsie BookCheck™ is an optional feature for Your Library App that allows patrons to check out a book, CD, DVD, or any other borrowable material from anywhere in the library, directly from their mobile device! BookCheck links directly to your ILS system so it can manage checkouts, making any mobile device a self-checkout terminal.
If you are already using self-checkout terminals in Your Library, BookCheck™ makes it even easier for your patrons. Now every patron is carrying a checkout terminal right in their pocket!
Boopsie BookCheck™ provides Your Library with a cost efficient alternative to stand alone self-check terminals. Libraries that are not using security gates, or that have deactivated this feature will enjoy a very streamlined process enabling their patrons to check out items from anywhere in the library! If you are using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology for library theft detection in Your Library, patrons can use the camera on their phone to scan the library bar code and then BookCheck updates the ILS records to indicate that the materials are checked out. Then, as patrons are leaving the library, they simply place the checked-out materials on a desensitizer and the items can be safely removed from the library without setting off any alarms. If you are using EM (Electromagnetic) Detection, you’ll need to have desensitizers available for self-use for patrons after checking out items on their mobile device, to insure they don’t set off the alarms when exiting the library.
BookCheck™ makes it faster and more efficient for your patrons to check out a book and reduces the time required by your staff to help.
I am Not Technical and I Don’t Have an IT Department. Is Boopsie Still an Option for My Library?
Boopsie for Libraries is not only incredibly intuitive and easy for your patrons and students to use, it’s also very easy to get started and maintain. We’ve dramatically simplified the process for you and your staff. Launching a mobile app for your library typically requires less than a day of your time. Here’s a summary of the launch process:
1. Library provides test accounts, catalog extract, promotional text, and creates their iTunes account
2. Boopsie builds first version of the app
3. Client reviews the app, provides any feedback
4. App is submitted for final approval and launch
We have a stellar customer-support team that can walk you through every step of the process. Whether or not you have technical staff to assist you, not to worry, we can still build you a fully-functional, branded app that will put the wealth of content you provide through your library directly into the hands of your patrons.
How Much Time is Involved for Library Staff to Keep a Boopsie App Current and Up-to-Date?
Great news! Very little, if any, time is necessary to keep your Boopsie app up-to-date. In most cases, we pull feeds for content, as well as integrate directly with other databases and catalogs.
Average library staff-time spent updating/managing Boopsie app: < 2 hours per month
“Maintenance of the app is surprisingly easy ... For example, I realized one night that I had forgotten to post Labor Day closings. No problem! In my PJs on my sofa at home, I posted an alert on the app noting the closure. When I have more challenging problems, staff responds quickly and creates a sense of shared ownership of the problem with the customer, committed to find a solution.”
Tim Dabareiner, Multnomah
We automate the process of data collection so that once we’ve built the initial app, it pretty much runs on its own with very little interaction from library staff. However, every once in a while, manual change requests do come up. If you do need to make a change with your app, we’re ready to help you in making that change live for your app as soon as we can.
You’re there to serve your patrons, let us manage your app! Call us today to learn more.
Does Boopsie Work with Library Consortiums?
Boopsie loves library consortiums! We currently work with many different library consortiums.
We recognize that each consortium might have slightly different needs; we have seen almost every type of integration possible. Sometimes a single Boopsie-made app services the entire consortium. Often member libraries are part of an integrated app. Other times, Boopsie builds individual member libraries individually branded apps.
The Boopsie platform offers flexibility to our library customers to meet their diverse needs when implementing a mobile strategy.
Can I Make Changes to My Boopsie App to Add, Delete, or Modify Content in the Future?
Absolutely. And one of the additional benefits to working with Boopsie for Libraries is that once your app is launched, many changes can be made without having to resubmit your app for approval.
Most common change requests:
Update library hours based on seasonality
Update contact information (email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, etc.)
Depending on the size of your library, we may provide that service for you. Just let us know what you’d like and we’ll make the changes. Or, we can enable you to have access to documents to make those changes yourself.
What Can Boopsie Offer Me for My Mobile Strategy That My Existing ILS Can’t?
Many ILS providers today claim to offer Mobile Solutions for Libraries using their technology. However, these “solutions” are usually limited to basic catalog search and maybe some location-based information. Boopsie for Libraries can offer so much more, and a much better mobile experience than your existing ILS!
60% of the content being accessed via Boopsie apps is non-cataloged data and resources. Simply implementing your existing ILS’s mobile solution will leave your patrons and students frustrated and unsatisfied.
“We had a decent web optimized interface that was an afterthought from our ILS vendor. It was pretty rudimentary. Thanks to a grant from our Library Foundation, we were able to take it to the next level with Boopsie.”
Multnomah County Library
A Boopsie for Libraries app offers the same access to catalog data, but will also provide access to non-catalog data and services, as well as seamless integration with 3rd party databases. This is particularly important, as the popularity of accessing eBooks, eAudioBooks, and other forms of digital content is continuing to grow.
Our apps also offer proprietary features not found with any other mobile solutions provider, including multilingual capability, BookLook™, and BookCheck™ just to name a few. Contact us today to learn about all the different features you can include in your Boopsie app for your library!
A Custom App Sounds Expensive. Can My Library Afford It?
Going mobile might sound a little intimidating, but it’s certainly not expensive. Boopsie for Libraries offers a tiered pricing model for our customers. Pricing for public libraries is based on population-served and patron count. Pricing for academic libraries is based on the total number of full-time-employees.
"While we had a mobile website, we didn’t have the staffing to develop an app for every platform out there. We want to reach our patrons wherever they are – and Boopsie helps us do that."
King County Library System
With our tiered pricing structure, EVERY LIBRARY has the opportunity to mobilize at an affordable level for their particular budget situation.
Is Your Library Seeing The Traction in Usage in Your Purchased Third-Party Databases That You Had Expected When You Spent the Funds?
One of the biggest challenges facing libraries today is that their websites have a tremendous amount of content. Most of that content is trapped in silos, where it's very challenging for the patron to try and find services such as Mango or Tutor.com.
Why not make it easy-for-your-patrons and enable a single-point of access. Using your Boopsie app as a portal with an icon on the phone of your patrons makes all of your third-party databases easy-to-access. Now, with one-click from an icon on their mobile device, patrons can see ALL of your great services and resources that you've provided for them. Using your mobile app from Boopsie, patrons can finally really get the most out of these databases that you've already purchased.
What Kind of Results Should I Expect Once I Launch a Boopsie App for My Library?
Your community will love it! They will have they wealth of your library right at their fingertips whenever they want. This is especially true of younger audiences, who use mobile apps all day long. If they can't find it on their phone, they’re probably not going to find it at all!
25% + of all web-based activity occurs on mobile devices now – Smart Insights
Number of Americans using mobile devices to access library websites and resources has more than doubled in the last 3 years, from 6% in 2009 to 13% in 2012
Boopsie for Libraries customers see dramatically increased usage and engagement with both catalog and non-catalog data and services. The largest increase in circulation is typically with eBook and eAudioBook content, as consumers can now access it directly from their phone or tablet.
Customers also find they have better visibility into their own community. Through the use of our 'Ask a Librarian' feature, you can now interact one-on-one with your patrons to assist them in finding the information they need.
Does Boopsie Provide Technical Training and Support?
Absolutely! We can structure training and support to meet your individual library's needs. We've got an amazing customer support team that is available to assist library staff with any issues (technical or non-technical) or questions that may arise. We also have a sales staff to provide any on-going training, sales support, webinars, etc. to help educate library staff as well as the broader library community.
"The support was awesome … I would send off a question or request, and I had a response within minutes, sometimes seconds. The support was fast, efficient, helpful and kept a sense of humor, which made it even better!"
Marissa Priddis, Alexandrian Public Library
Your Boopsie for Libraries App is not only for your patrons, but for you as well!
Our team works hard so you don't have to!
Once I Have My App, How Can I Best Promote It to My Patrons and Encourage Use?
Once your Boopsie for Libraries app has been submitted and approved and is available for download by your patrons, the next step is to Promote Your Library App. We provide a variety of marketing and collateral templates that you can use to customize and then Promote Your Library App. This includes bookmarks and posters that can be placed up throughout the library to promote download and usage.
Press releases can also be a very powerful tool for promoting the use of your app to your local community. We suggest having all library staff utilizing the app on their device of choice, so they can show it off to patrons and students when they're in the library. The best promotion is sharing the experience!
In the last 9 months, one of our top libraries doubled the number of people using their app monthly to over 15,000 of their patrons. This growth is predominantly due to making the app highly visible on the home page of their main website. And now their app is getting almost 120,000 queries every month!
We're always here to help, and are happy to brainstorm with you on creative ways to further Promote Your Library App to your patrons. Give us a call today!
“Boopsie Apps have over 1M unique users.”- Boopsie, 2013
Learn More about Boopsie for Your Library!
Deliver your bookshelves to all patrons' smartphones or tablets