Juxtaposition: Mobile Devices, Libraries, Public Policy

Looking for input to share on a forthcoming report

The report aims to draw from rapid spread and eventual ubiquity of mobile devices, like smartphones, e-book readers, multimedia delivery tools, looking towards the future of mobile devices from a public policy perspective with regards to libraries

  • Examine briefly the social trends and changing norms in using mobile devices
  • Examine library environment in how libraries use mobile devices
  • Goal is to explore potential benefits
    (Broadly how can mobile technologies serve library users better and get them the information they need and want?)
  • Challenges:
    • Copyright considerations and content licensing for mobile devices
    • Privacy (digital technologies can track user activities, analog books can’t) and location awareness technologies (GPS and location broadcasting services)
    • Security and bandwidth considerations for library networks (increasing mobile delivery of content, and rich multimedia content—how does this affect bandwidth planning if I want to be able to download a ebook or audiobook or film from a library to my mobile device?)
    • Access and openness issues in platforms and information standards and compatibility, DRM
  • More

What sorts of trends and/or issues do you see at the intersection of mobile devices, libraries, and existing public policy (copyright, fair use, DRM, anti-circumvention, etc.)?  What pieces of current public policy (laws, interpretations, policy decrees, etc.) support or block or run counter to user trends and/or technological abilities should an educational / informative report cover to better educate / inform legislators and policy wonks?

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