Following the ‘self serve’ trend that has become the apparent choice for many of late, I think a basic app for each state library that could act as a guide or help desk for the particular library should be created.
A few necessary features would include:
General information such as opening hours, contact numbers, address and internet availability.
Information on becoming a member of the library, what you need to be able to become one and what being a member enables you to do.
A map of the library, along with a brief description of each reading room, location of toilets and drinking fountains, lockers and information desks.
A program that would locate a specific call number, allowing you to enter in the call number of a particular item and have its location displayed on screen (this could be as general as the room or as specific as the aisle).
Information on rare printed books, manuscripts etc. and how to get access to them.
Certain things that are not made obvious to patrons of libraries – such as whether or not it is a lending library and how to access the internet – could very easily be put across through an app such as this. Having the information available in multiple languages would make it easy for everyone to have access to.
I think both libraries and patrons would benefit from an app such as this, and I also think that this is the next logical step to keep libraries relevant in the digital age.