Seeing as everybody and their dog is launching a smartphone these days I thought we should have a librarian smartphone, or since librarian and smart are just synonyms, we’ll call it the librarianphone (Lphone,) as well.
So, how would a Lphone differ from all the other smartphones out there? First and foremost it would be the ultimate tool for librarians.
The hardware would be something special. Totally dust resistant, impervious to any fluid (and trust me, librarians will encounter most fluids at one time or another during their careers), totally stealthy exterior, wireless and bluetooth-alerts that are transmitted to an appropriate wearable technology, wristwatch, earring, necklace, belt buckle or other item that is inconspicious but still gives the librarian an alert without disturbing the public. (it also tells you when you have forgotten the damn thing and buzzes discretly when you walk away from it). Scanners galore, barcodes, RFID, gold fillings, the works.
How about apps? What I really need in everyday life is a patron translator. An app that interprets the mumblings and incoherent questions you get and parse them to get to the core of the question. “Do you have books on animals?” is really “My dog is behaving weirdly, do you have anything on dog behaviour?”
Another app that would be great was a “follow the red light to the right shelf/computer/ bathroom”-app where a red light would appear in front of the library user and guide him/her/it to the appropriate place.
“The right book app” is of course a neccessity. Whenever a library user asks for a suggestion this app will identify the user from his/her voiceprint and analyze the social media footprint of the user and connect this data to the user record in the library system (totally illegal in Norway) and then reccomend a book based on this data and input from Amazon, LibraryThing, Goodreads and other sources.
X-ray alert. This app will let the librarian look through any obstacle in the library to identify situations in the library without having to run past shelves, interior walls/doors etc. This app must be connected to the “red alert”-app which identifies situations in the library and alerts the appropriate staff member as the situation arises. Toddler meltdown in the children’s section, skateboarding in the mezzanine or stolen newspaper is just a few of the situations this app would identify and hopefully give a staff member a good chance of solving before it escalates.
Drone control, pretty obvious that the next level of remote services will be by drones. Good bye book-mobile, hello Library-Predator drone. Controling the drone from the Lphone is a breeze, just tilt the phone to tilt the drone, and deliver library services to any location in the service area. With speakers and a small screen on the drone the children’s librarian can even do remote story hour anywhere.
Any other suggestions?