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"Public Library App Provision Across Scotland: The Attitude and Opinions of the Authorities and Public." A. Kerr. D. Pennington. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2016. Download PDF (BibTeX) ILS

This study looks at the current provision of library apps in Scottish Public Libraries with the aim of assessing public opinion and the state of such apps across the country. Neither library apps nor Scottish Public Libraries have been subjected to such a study before, so should provide a novel insight into how public libraries are developing in this area.

Literature has concentrated on academic libraries or large national libraries when considering apps. The review covers Web 1.0 to Web 3.0 and Library 1.0 to 3.0 as background before considering the lessons to be learnt from commercial apps and the changes in public expectation.

Two online surveys, one for the Authorities and the other for the public were carried out . The results were analysed using Mann-Whitney and content analysis techniques.

Seventeen Authorities have a library app, two have an app in development and thirteen have no app. The main reason for providing an app was to offer an alternative means of communication with patrons and the main reasons given for not providing an app were cost and low priority. Librarians were satisfied with the core services offered but less so with others. The public are satisfied with current library apps however criticism was expressed on the complex procedures required to access external services. Patrons from Authorities without an app stated that they would use one if it was well designed and easy to use.

The results from this study should be of interest to local authorities, librarians and app developers. Hopefully it will inform them of the actual rather than perceived demands of the public and to help aid future development decisions in this area.