Connect with Your Library: A Mobile App for Washington

The Washington State Library is partnering with the Paul G Allen Family Foundation on a mobile application ("app") that will connect citizens to their library and its services. Allen Family Foundation funding will be used to pay for one full year of public library subscription costs for the app. A portion of the Allen Foundation funds will also be used to publicize the availability of the application to Washington State citizens.

Public, tribal, and non-profit academic libraries are eligible to participate in this project. LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funding will pay development costs for both academic and public libraries. Academic libraries will pay their own subscription costs. Public libraries will be expected to provide their own funding after the one year of provided subscription funding expires.

A formal procurement procedure (release of an RFP, proposals received, scored, vendor selected, contract awarded and executed) has been completed. The vendor for this project is Boopsie, which has developed a similar project for the State of Virginia, and which has both the King County Library System and Seattle Public Library as current customers in Washington.

Libraries that returned a completed and signed Intent to Participate Form by Friday, April 19, 2013 were included in the initial development phase, with a projected "go live" date of August or September, 2013. Libraries which signed up after the initial deadline were included in subsequent development phases, with "go live" dates later in 2013. Libraries can still sign up at least through January 31, 2014.

Related documents:

The app features include:

  • Library Locator, including hours of operation;
  • Catalog Search using mobile-specific Smart Prefix Search (desktop search approach also possible);
  • ILS Integration for holds, renewals etc.;
  • BookLook (scan ISBN numbers to check availability in library);
  • Ask A Librarian, including deep linking with Ask-WA;
  • Events, Calendar (limited to 10 iCal feeds);
  • Social media (depending on which media a specific library uses);
  • Third party subscription database access (limited to 20 links);
  • Integration with digital download services such as Overdrive;
  • Virtual library card;
  • Library staff contact info as desired;
  • Support for QR codes;
  • Meeting room information (integration with existing services, when available);
  • Custom-branding for individual libraries (logo and color scheme);
  • Usage statistics, including a self-service online dashboard, or equivalent functionality, both for individual libraries, and for consortial level statistics;
  • Ongoing hosting, maintenance, and platform development;
  • User satisfaction survey in mid-2014 (WSL provides survey questions/content);

Boopsie links and demo information:

The anticipated project timeline is as follows:

  • App Development completed by September, 2013
  • Most participating libraries go live by December 31, 2013
  • First year of subscription fees cover Jan. – Dec. 2014

Contact Information:

Carolyn Petersen, Assistant Program Manager
Library Development
Library Recruitment and Marketing
[email protected]; 360.570.5560
Will Stuivenga, Cooperative Projects Manager
Library Development
Technical Oversight and Vendor Relations
[email protected]; 360.704.5217
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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).