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Wherever you go, there we are! Mobile access to our library.

June 1, 2012

There’s an app for that.  Indeed.  The real question is do you actually want to use it?

Why would you want yet another app for your mobile device?  If you are like me, you’ve downloaded many an app only to decide to remove it because it doesn’t work well, has limited functionality, or crashes the phone.  How many “force closes” do you have to see before you dump it?   Sometimes apps are so full of glitches  I’m amazed that anyone would use them!

I’m happy to report to you that the library has a new app and it’s one well-worth downloading.  More about that in a minute.  First, let me give you some background.

The library has been working with a software company that specializes in mobile apps (with libraries as one of their main markets).  Their name is Boopsie; for what reason, I’ve never learned.   If they were looking for an unforgettable name, I believe they succeeded.  Though my own memory is sketchy at times, I haven’t yet *ever* forgotten their company name.

Back to the app.  It works on all platforms: Apple/iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm, Windows Mobile, etc.  It even works on the Kindle Fire.  You can see a live demo of what the app looks like at http://fort.boopsie.com.  Go to the same site on your mobile device to be redirected to the appropriate download for your device.  Apple and Android users can also simply look in the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace. If you are searching in the market, type in “fort atkinson” to find the app.

It’s free to download.  After you download the app, you can move it to your SD card if you need to preserve your device’s internal memory for other programs.

What can this app do?  With the app you can quickly search the SHARE catalog, place holds, and renew your items.  The app also makes it easy to download e-books and digital media directly to your device through OverDrive,  check library hours and upcoming events, follow our blogs and Tweets, contact staff (without even having to enter our phone number!) and more.  You can use the camera (if your device has one) to utilize BookLook  which scans the UPC code/ISBN and automatically checks it against our catalog in case you are wondering if the library owns an item.

The catalog search is very smart and designed to reduce the need for typing, something very helpful when using a mobile device. Simply type in the first few letters of your search and see results display as you are typing. For example, type in “Lor Ni” to fetch results for author Lorine Niedecker. Or for the title A Supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again: essays and arguments all you have to type is “sup fun th” and there it is!   As a librarian, I have considerable admiration for the way the search engine is structured.  As a user, I just care that it delivers.  And that it does!

This app is very deliberately designed to make connecting with our library resources as seamless and easy as possible.  We’ve been working with the developer for awhile now and do still have more changes to make and access to add.  However we felt it was ready enough to be released and it has now been approved for both the Android and Apple markets.

Try it and let me know what you think!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2013 1:51 pm

    I tried to get the Boopsie app on my iPhone and discovered that I actually had to get the specific “Fort Atkinson Public Library” app instead. The app itself works great–I love all the features, however, I was a little frustrated to be pointed to the Boopsie app in the first place and to have downloaded an app I didn’t need (and of course, they live in your Apple account forever, even if you delete them from the device).

  2. January 9, 2013 2:10 pm

    I’m glad you are enjoying the app! I’d love to know which link sent you off to the wrong place so I can do a better job of pointing people in the right direction. Please feel free to provide the URL that needs changing. Thank you!

    • January 9, 2013 2:38 pm

      I think the confusion for me was that I saw the name of the app early in your post and searched the name “Boopsie” directly in the App store. When I tried it and couldn’t pull up Fort Library within that app, I came back to your post here and saw the link to the App store website (but had originally ignored it because it just looked like a general link the the store, not to a specific app). Personally, I rarely use those apps because I don’t use iTunes on the computer very often for app shopping. Does that make sense?

      (P.S. Thanks for lending us Minetta at our high school book club meetings. It was an early one today, but it’s nice that Fort Library has been helping us out.)

  3. January 9, 2013 4:36 pm

    Thanks for the additional information. It’s helpful to know how someone might read the post and search for the app. And I’m glad you are able to work with Minetta. She’s an amazing resource–a real gem!

  4. J. Vlasak permalink
    March 7, 2013 5:03 pm

    All I get is –timed out???

    • March 7, 2013 5:18 pm

      Can you give me some more info about where you are getting timed out? Are you on the mobile app or the website? Thanks!

  5. July 4, 2013 8:16 am

    I downloaded it and try to log in and I get a message that “Authentication Failed.” I’ve tried it multiple times. I have the right library account and password. So not sure what the problem is. Would love to use it! ;)

    • July 4, 2013 8:45 am

      Could you please call the library at 920-563-7790 and ask for Connie Meyer? I will try to troubleshoot this so you can use it!

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