Yeah libraries might not seem hip and cool anymore, but here in Vancouver the VPL is a great place to get some work done. Nice free wifi, quiet, comfort, lots to read. While we thought Vancouver was pretty cool, the Edmonton Public Library system has done us—and all of Canada—one better: they have an app for that:
EPL Mobile allows customers to browse the Library’s catalogue right from their Apple mobile device, like the iPhone or iPod touch. Customers can find and discover what materials are available online as well as manage their accounts right from their iPhone or iPod touch. Better yet, Apple’s mobile devices can use its GPS functionality to map out exactly where the nearest branch is for our customers.
via What’s New at EPL?.
Yeah it wasn’t cool enough that they have book vending machines in train stations, no, they had to have a cool app made for them too. I couldn’t test all the features of the app, since I don’t have an Edmonton library card, but I could look at recommended books, find the closest library to me (a long, long way away), and search through the catalogue.
I really like that Edmonton is trying to embrace new tech to engage people and get them into the library. I have a local VPL branch close to me and when I went there to get some work done…wow I had forgotten how nice a library work area can be!
Hats off to the EPL and their iPhone app. It certainly looks great and works slick…now if an Edmontonian could chime in with some insight now how well it works if you’re a library patron, I’d be much obliged.
You can get the EPL Mobile app for free from the App Store
Update: As you can read in the comments, Edmonton wasn’t the first library system to have an app! The honor goes to the Yellowhead Regional Library. Which, interestingly enough is not far from Edmonton. What’s in the water up there in Alberta with all these great apps!