Development and Application of Mobile Technology in South Korean Libraries

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Development and Application
of Mobile Technology
in South Korean Libraries
Department of Library and Information Science,Konkuk University,Chungju-city,South Korea
Mobile library services are still lacking and insufficient to meet
the increasing needs of various users.This paper provides an
overview of the development and application of mobile tech-
nology in South Korean libraries.It presents the service
contexts and issues for the future application and access in
the mobile library field.This paper categorizes real world
examples.It identifies the newmission for building high qual-
ity mobile library services and discusses the future of mobile
library architecture.It also presents a summary of key aspects
of mobile library projects in South Korea and suggests major
areas for future planning anddevelopment.Finally it envisions
the future of mobile library technology.
The modernage of informationexplosionposes stiff
challenges in providing the necessary information
to users at the right time.Mobile technologies have
made communication and information access very
convenient and timely to users fromthe comfort of
their own homes and offices,and from wherever
theyare while onthe move withtheir cellular phone
units or PDAs (personal digital assistants).The new
ways of working afforded by mobile technologies
are often characterized in terms of access to
information and people anytime,anywhere.The
term“mobile“ used by itself is wireless parlance for
the client device,such as a cellular phone,PDA or
laptop.Mobile (or wireless) library service is any-
time,anywhere service utilizingmobile devices and
includes the concept of mobile Internet service.
Experts predict a cellular phone revolution(Perry
2008).Use of cellular phones is especially wide-
spread in South Korea with an estimated 42 million
users.Cell phones have seen a huge rise in popular-
ity.Just between 1995 and 2007,the percentage of
cell phone users has leaped from 9.7% to 84.6%.
About 74 percent of the users sent at least one SMS
(short message service or text message) a day.
Today’s cellular phones have more features and
capabilities than ever before,including mp3 play-
ers,picture messaging,streaming video,and more.
In South Korea,hardware and Internet infrastruc-
ture are well-established and mobile devices are
ubiquitous,thereby making library services using
mobile devices appear natural and imminent.
Although the mobile library is in its beginning
stages,it has bright prospects.The abundance of
wireless and mobile technology has the potential to
increase flexibility for library services and is pro-
viding a powerful solution to libraries by imple-
menting real-time data access with instant,up-to-
date information (Herman 2007;Karlimet al.2006).
In this paper,the present state of mobile technol-
ogy in South Korea is explored and applications of
Wontae Choi is a professor in the Department of Library and Information Science,Konkuk University,Chungju-city,South Korea.
Libri,2009,vol.59,pp.14 – 22
Printed in Germany,All rights reserved
Copyright Saur 2009
ISSN 0024-2267
mobile technology primarily in South Korean
libraries are discussed.This paper provides prac-
tical examples of problems and issues faced by a
mobile library and describes the service contexts
and issues for the future application and access in
the library field.This paper presents a summary of
the key aspects of mobile library projects in South
Korea and suggests major areas and the future
trends of mobile technology application in South
Korean libraries.
Current state of mobile technology
In2004,under the title “IT839”,SouthKorea phased
in a new growth strategy of nurturing eight new
services,three infrastructures,and nine hardware-
related businesses.The eight new services are:
WiBro (Wireless Broadband),DMB (Digital Multi-
media Broadcasting),home networks,telematics,
RFID-based,WCDMA,terrestrial DTV,Internet
telephony (VoIP) services,and the three infrastruc-
tures are BcN(Broadband Convergence Network),
U-Sensor network and next-generation Internet
protocol.The nine hardware-related businesses
are next-generation mobile communication devi-
ces,digital TV/broadcastingdevices,home network
devices,IT SoC (System on Chip),next-generation
PC,embedded SW,DC and SW solutions,tele-
matics devices and intelligent service robots.
Telecommunication technology is developing at
such a rapid speed with wireless communication
standards and capabilities evolving rapidly across
the spectrum.The first generation (1G) standardfor
voice was developed in 1979.This was followed by
the second generation (2G) standard using global
systems for mobile communications in 1992.The
most recent standard that followed is called 3rd
Generation (3G).3rd Generation networks are fully
operated in many countries across the world.
However,South Korea is one of the few nations to
use WiBro and HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink
Packet Access) networks.The introduction of
WiBro and HSDPA that enables access to the
Internet even in mobile status is expected to change
the patternof the future telecommunicationmarket.
However,the industry predicts that the collision
between WiBro and HSDPA,the two services that
are being launched at a similar period,is somewhat
inevitable (Choi 2007).
HSDPA is a 3G mobile telephone communica-
tions protocol in the High-Speed Packet Access
(HSPA) family,which allows networks based on
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
(UMTS) to have higher data transfer speeds and
capacity.Essentially,the standard will provide
download speeds on a mobile phone equivalent to
an ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) line
in a home.This removes any limitations placed on
the use of phones by a slow connection.It is an
evolutionary improvement on W-CDMA,or Wide-
bandCode DivisionMultiple Access,a 3Gprotocol.
HSDPA improves the data transfer rate by a factor
of at least five times over W-CDMA.HSDPA can
achieve theoretical data transmission speeds of
8–10 Mbps (megabits per second).Although any
datacanbe transmitted,applications withhighdata
demands suchas videoandstreamingmusic are the
focus of HSDPA.
WiBro is a wireless broadband Internet technol-
ogy being developed by the Korean telecommuni-
cations industry.WiBro is the Korean service name
for IEEE 802.16e (mobile WiMAX) international
standard.By using a 2.3GHz bandwidth,WiBro is
designedto maintain connectivity on the go tracking
a receiver at speeds of up to 37 miles per hour
(60 km/h).The world’s first launch of the WiBro
service is also receiving global attention.Korean
WiBro operators including KT and SK Telecom
launchedcommercial services in June 2006.With its
great enthusiasm for wireless technology,Korea
promises to provide a solid testing ground for
RID (Radio Frequency Identification) applica-
tions provide batch access,storage mass data and
reprogramming that are better than barcodes.
Components of RFID systems include tags,tag
readers,computer hardware (such as servers and
security gates) and RFID specific software (such as
RFID system administration programs,inventory
software,etc.) The RFID has developed into a new
technology and service called a mobile RFID
(mRFID) which is a hybrid product with the mobile
telecommunications in South Korea.In 2006,the
government was planning to proceed with mRFID
terminal development and undertake it as a busi-
ness model.There are almost as many RFID
applications as there are business types such as
automotive,animal tracking,asset tracking,con
tactless commerce and supply chain.RFIDsystems
can be integrated into existing library systems to
improve the efficiency of the mainprocesses carried
out in any library to increase the quality of services
Development and Application of Mobile Technology in South Korean Libraries
provided.In libraries,RFID technology can enable
efficient anti-theft detection,inventory,security,
circulation operations,etc.However,RFID intro-
duces many issues such as cost,access rate,privacy,
security,and patents (Curran and Porter 2007;Lee
and Kim2006;Singh 2006;Yu 2007).
Inthe fieldof mobile technology,no one candeny
that mobile technology will be a next-generation
leading industry.IT industry forecasts a period in
which established services and trends will greet a
full-fledged growth period.We can now focus on
selecting the best technical solutions for building a
high quality mobile library.These technology
solutions will range fromcutting-edge technologies
and emerging technologies such as 3G broadband
networks like Wibro and HSDPA,RFID,Bluetooth,
GPS,Web 2.0,Library 2.0,UCC,IPTV,DMB,andso
on (Karimet al.2006;Ryu et al.2005).
Current status of mobile library service
Currently there are many activities and projects in
South Korea with respect to mobile library service.
The application of mobile technologies is not
considered new in South Korea.Many institutions
and libraries,such as telecommunications,e-Book,
academic libraries,and public libraries,have been
providing mobile services to their users.On the
other hand,the provision of library-related services
is still considered at the beginning stage (Library
technology reports 2008).Not many examples can
be foundinrelationtoother mobile services.Table 1
illustrates the core examples of mobile library
services in South Korea.
Mobile campus
‘Mobile campus’ gives users easyaccess to academ-
ic administration,library,e-mail,news,search,and
more – right fromthe mobile device.Users can get
the latest information at a glance with easy-to-read
visuals,plus one-click access from their mobile
devices.This service started in 2004 and is now
being used at the 70 universities.Currently only the
KTF (Korea TelecomFreetel) subscriber can use this
service.There are differences inthe range of services
and the content available in every university.Users
can get alerts on many kinds of mobile devices and
only need to set up a user ID.This service can be
usedby presenting a mobile student’s identification
card (two dimension bar code) in his or her cellular
phone or PDAwhen the student goes in and out of
libraries as well as when books are borrowed.
The ‘mobile campus’service solutionis improved
by the pop-up method using the HSDPA commu-
nication network.Moreover,the contents with high
concern and interesting user contents such as news,
language study,recruitment,UCC (user-created
content),and entertainment are offered.Figure 1 is
the main menu of ‘mobile campus’ in cellular
phones.It offers mobile device versions for a
number of standard services:
• Mobile student identification card – is a mobile two
dimension bar code in cellular phones and PDAs as a card
in a newformand substitutes for an existing physical card.
• Library – gives user easy access to library services,notices,
in-house search,and more.(See below).
• Academic affairs administration – provides the latest news
and notices from a university.Users can select a menu and
see results that are designed specifically for mobile viewing.
Table 1.The core examples of mobile library services in South Korea.
Program Category Organization URL
Mobile campus
Seoul National University
Konkuk University mobile campus Company
KT Wibro
Konkuk University
RFID System
The National Library of Korea (NLK)
LG Digital Talking Book Library Library The LG SangnamLibrary
Electronic book Company
Kongju University Library
Yongin Digital Information Library
Daewoo Construction
Audio book
Paju City Library
Mobile document supply
Company SK Telecom
LG Telecom
Wontae Choi
This service includes grades,courses,lectures,academic
schedule,registration inquiry,student identification card
management,certificate of registration,and classrooms.
• Individual service – provides e-mail,personal information
management,schedule management,and electronic appro-
val.Email service offers access to user mail.Users can read,
write,send,and delete e-mail anytime,anywhere.Personal
information management has the functions of inquiry and
revision.Schedule management records appointments,
meetings,and events.Electronic approval checks and
inquires the result of an electronic request users submitted.
• Community – provides flea market,study community,blog,
and professor column.Aflea market is a place where goods
are sold and exchanged.Study communities offer class
assignments,announcements,and concerning schedules.
Blogs are a place where people discuss and share informa-
tionona particular subject.Professor columns offer acolumn
written by the professor.
• Campus life – offers university announcements,university
news,job information,food service information,phone
number search,andcampus directory.Universityannounce-
ments are active information and announcements provided
by the university.University news provides university news
andactivities.Job informationprovides informationon part-
time work,full-time work,internships,and job information
exchange.Foodservice informationprovides foodmenuand
announcements.Phone number search provides a directory
of university and related department’s phone numbers.
Campus directory provides the map of campus and infor-
mation on major campus facilities.
• Multicenter – is organized as weather and headline news.
Weather news offers the latest weather information at a
glance with easy-to-read visuals.Users can check out the
weather report for today or the next five days in their city or
anywhere in the world.Headline news offers news,photos,
and more for all their favourite news including sports,
• Usage guide – is composedof mobile student’s identification
card,library,academic affairs administration,and informa-
tion use charge.Users can get the latest information at a
glance on their mobile device.
The major library services are as follows:
• Notices – provide the latest news andnotices andreachusers
wherever they might be via SMS and MMS from libraries.
Users can get notified instantly with notice alerts:alerts on
overdue books,outstanding fines,reminders to return
library items,library event information,etc.
• In-house search – accesses a variety of library-owned
resources and databases.Users can just enter search terms
and see results that are designed specifically for mobile
viewing.This service includes OPAC (online public access
catalogue),integratedsearch,and original document search.
• My library – provides the following services such as lending
extension/inquiry,return information/inquiry,interlibrary
loan requests,SDI service application,email service of
academic journals,database use education application,etc.
My library is a personal library space where users can find
information and resources of their choosing.Users can read
alerts,check records,renew resources,request items,track
interlibrary loans and document delivery requests,set up
email notices of new books and journal articles,set up
preferences for catalogue searching,etc.
• e-Contents –offers access toavarietyof databases anddigital
resources suchas e-Books,e-Journals,Webdatabases,NDSL,
dissertations,and article databases.Users can get fast
relevant answers whenever needed with e-Contents Search,
search designed just for mobile user.
• Library guide – gives users the best of library guide
information such as library use guide,question answering
service,andlibrary statistics delivering rich content in a way
that works best for users.If users have questions andwant to
contact the librarian for help,they can get a fast response
from the library via the mobile device and find the
appropriate information needed.
Konkuk University mobile campus
Three major operators,KT (Korean Telecom),
Konkuk University,and Samsung Electronics,de-
veloped the world’s first Wibro mobile campus
systeminJune 2007.This project offers the functions
that resemble the KTF’s mobile campus system;the
biggest difference is the use of KT’s Wibroinsteadof
KTF’s HSDPA.This project provides a variety of
advanced mobile systems by connecting it with the
university systemincluding mobile student identi-
fication card,academic affairs administration,in-
dividual service,community,campus life,multi-
center,usage guide,etc.This project focuses all
efforts in service areas by introducing e-Learning
media products,such as virtual classrooms,com-
puter-aided assessment,blogs,online community,
wikis,discussion boards,etc.This project also
Figure 1.The main menu of mobile campus in cellular phones.
Development and Application of Mobile Technology in South Korean Libraries
provides personal media products such as blogs
and is hosted by numerous Web portals.
Currently Konkuk University is planning to set
upsome mobile learningpolicies at a formal level so
students can participate in mobile education at any
time by logging on to the various VOD (voice-on-
demand) lectures without additional activity.KT is
providing Wibro networks mainly in Seoul and
major metropolitanareas,but its service area will be
expanded throughout the nation.KT will also
expandthe KTmobile campus through cooperation
with other universities.
RFID System
Many libraries are implementing RFID solutions
supplementing or replacing the traditional barco-
des on library items (books,CDs,DVDs,etc.).The
RFID tag is the most important link in any RFID
system and has the ability to store information
relating to the specific item.It provides the location
of the itemandits availabilityinreal time,andplays
a role in connecting users and services.The major
RFID library services are as follows:
• replace both the security strips and barcode;
• simplify user self check-out and check-in;
• support library circulation;
• offer anti-theft protection;
• provide high-speed inventory and identify items which are
out of proper order;and
• provide a basis for analyzing usage patterns.
The RFID Systemwas introduced by the Korean
government and the Korean local self-government
bodies.Originally,the Ministry of Culture and
Tourism started a business initiative called “2002
Business Establishment of the Digital Information
Center for Public Libraries.” The Ministry selected
four libraries and built the RFID system in the
libraries as a business model to start the initiative.
Eun-Pyoung District Library introduced the RFID
systemfor the first time in Korea in May 2003.The
National Library of Korea (NLK) has operated the
RFID system linked with the library card registra-
tion policy since July 2005 (Kim2006).
The NLK set up two types of service facilities to
provide users a more convenient environment.One
facilityis designedfor users whophysicallyvisit the
library and the other facility is for users who access
it through the Internet remotely.First,a library user
can use his or her library card and place the desired
item with its attached RFID tag on the reader to
check the item out of the library.This new equip-
ment allows both librarians and users to save time.
Additionally it set up a new system that let users
check out items on their own using the self-check
kiosk.Second,The NLK has built a new feature
called my library which is linked to a library card
system and an RFID system.The library card
system is employed for user online registration,
and it provides better quality services through the
subject specialist librarian support system.The
subject specialist librarian support system is a
management systemthat librarians use to manage
the user’s special interests to improve one-to-one
customization services.My library provides users
information on their used resources in the library,
details of service requests (photocopy and mail
request),and search information on the homepage.
LG Digital Talking Book Library
This project offers a comfortable information envi-
ronment for the print-disabled,including the blind
and physically handicapped,by using mobile
technology (Bae et al.2007).This project is com-
posed of three services.The first service offers a
Digital Talking Book (DAISY) over the Internet
(Kerscher 2001).A user with a NFC (near field
communication) reader-equipped cellular phone
simply touches a dongle that is connected to a
computer and enables the computer to conduct
NFCandBluetooth communications.After the user
is identified using NFC,the Bluetooth communica-
tion systemis used to send content froma PC to a
cellular phone.By combining NFC for short-range
communication andBluetooth for high-speed wire-
less communication,two information devices can
identify each other immediately and transmit con-
tent to each other wirelessly.
The second service uses a wireless connection to
the Internet via cellular phones.The users searchfor
books through wireless Internet networks,and
download the retrieved contents to their cellular
phones.The downloaded contents are text-file-
formed DAISY files,which contain document
structural information.Then a TTS (Text-to-Speech)
engine embedded in the cellular phone plays the
voice files.Another major wireless network service
offered by the library is a mobile RFIDservice.The
library attached RFID tags to posters or book
brochures to create an environment which enables
users to download identified content directly to
Wontae Choi
their NFC reader-equipped cellular phones.The
phones can identify the RFID tag on a poster.The
third service uses voice services via a telephone to
access the library services.The telephone service is
provided via the Public Switched Telephone Net-
work (PSTN) to help users take advantage of the
Library service in situations when no personal
information devices are available.This service
works in connection with normal telephones.To
support the service,the library has built an IVR
(Interactive Voice Response) system to which a
VXML (Voice Extensible Markup Language)-based
voice identification solution is applied.As a result,
users are able to search for books using the voice
recognition technology.
Electronic books
Booktopia U-book service creates their contents
using XML.Once purchased,Booktopia’s U-book
canbe viewedat no additional cost ona PC,PDAor
cellular phone.Also,Internet bookstores federated
with booktopia service offer users a paper copy of
the book as well as electronic copy that can be
viewed on PC or cellular phone.
In South Korea,utilization of electronic books
varies fromlibrary to library.At Kongju University
Library,with just one checkout,electronic books
can be viewedon PCandPDAas well as on cellular
phones.At Yongin Digital Information Library,
users can download various e-Contents – video
lectures,children’s educational programs,electron-
ic books,and digital contents.Daewoo Construc-
tion’s Pureugio Electronic Book Library provides
about 30,000 books including the latest bestsellers
andbooks onfinance,economy,business,andother
fields.In addition,Daewoo Construction specially
created a children-only electronic library dedicated
for infants and children and the first EBS e-learning
broadcast contents at an electronic book library in
the nation.Electronic books will expand further
with their advertisement on Internet TV(IPTV) and
FTTH(Fiber to the Home) in the future.
Audio books
The audio book is considered a valuable learning
tool because of its format.Audien is a service
developed by Inticube and provides audio books
through file download (for MP3,cellular phone,
PDA,and computer),streaming,and library Inter-
net broadcast.This service enables users to select,
download,and store the audio book via their
mobile handsets.Users can select the format – CD
files,MP3 files,or real-time broadcast.SK Telecom
and KTF currently provide audio book services.
Users can download audio files to a mobile device
or MP3 player and listen to them anywhere,any-
time.For example,PajuCityLibraryprovides audio
book contents developed by Inticube.This service
can be used conveniently by local residents,stu-
dents,the visually-impaired or physically disabled.
When a user locates a title of interest,they check it
out and download the title from the library’s
Mobile document supply
The mobile environment and technology present
new opportunities for sending document requests
and scanned images and monitoring the use of
collections as well as the automation of adminis-
trative operations.It can support electronic funds
transfer,supply chain management,e-marketing,
online marketing,online transaction processing,
electronic data interchange,and automated inven-
tory management systems.Mobile payment service
is an example of a recent trend and a significant
application for both enterprises and consumers.
The development of a new mobile commerce
paradigm will let customers send and receive
electronic cash and various multimedia files from
their cellular phones and PDAs.
Even if there are many services and technical
possibilities,they are limited to passive services in
document supply at South Korea’s libraries.This
lack of active services is perhaps due to many
constraints;most resources in libraries may be
protected by the Korean Copyright Law and The
Korean Reprographic Transmission Rights Center.
There is conflict and tension between the user’s
desire for open access and the intellectual property
rights of the owner.Copyright negotiations with
copyright holders will be complex and difficult.
Therefore,library mobile document supply is
limited due to various copyright issues and con-
straints and is mainly offered in the form of SMS
services instead of original material transmission
such as notices,request,payment,etc.
In South Korea,as a result of the settlement of
various copyright issues,the supply and usage of
electronic books using cellular phones and PDAs
Development and Application of Mobile Technology in South Korean Libraries
has been commercialized and mobile document
supply is implemented via the mobile Internet.
Three major operators,SK Telecom,KTF and LG
Telecom,currently provide mobile electronic book
services.Mobile document supply differs fromthe
general Web access in its interactive nature and
services;it typically includes the following capa-
bilities and features:
• search and browse databases and electronic resources in an
integrated environment;
• create a copy request in different formats;
• offer mobile payment methods payment services;
• support download of material and mobile delivery using
mobile Internet and Wibro – cellular phones,PDAs,etc.;
• manage the entire request and supply process and track the
order status at any stage of the supply process;
• provide an activity summary using reporting facilities and
manage statistical information;
• provide alerts on the latest news,events and notices.
Future application and
work in mobile library services
Mobile library service is necessary to diversify
services for individual needs and an essential
solution for anyone with a mobile device.It needs
to develop more specialized services such as a
customized information service for individual
users,more accessibility through ubiquitous envi-
ronments,and collaboration among organizations.
It needs fast,efficient and flexible services to meet
the external demands and challenges of today’s
ubiquitous environment.The expectations of users
are increasing at the same or faster rate as informa-
tion and communication innovations are being
developedinthe future library.It must first consider
which services will be more suitable for the mobile
environment and continually seek to identify its
role in contributing to social outcomes and objec-
tives in the library field.The following are some
issues and challenges related to the further im-
provement and work in mobile library service.
1.Real-time service – Although a variety of library services
have been made available over the Internet,mobile library
applications allowreal-time,anywhere,anytime connectiv-
ity to services.Real-time service gives a user anytime,
anywhere access to the familiar online content and services
users know and trust right from the user’s mobile device
(Farkas et al.2006).It helps users instantly get where they
want togointhe mobile library,sende-mail,uploadreports,
download files,search for answers,check notices,or get
news.All this and much more are available through real-
time service and a mobile device.It will include not only
searchengines anddirectoryservices but alsoa great variety
of information services.Operators have to put extra efforts
in identifying and partnering with new concepts and
technology to develop personalized real-time services.
2.Location service – Location service is an information service
which provides location-specific information to mobile
users and resources moving from location to location.
Many location-aware mobile services have been proposed
for public spaces such as museums and exhibition areas.In
museum multimedia systems,location information is typ-
ically used on one hand to aid navigation,and on the other
hand to show information about the exhibits nearby.
Searching books in large libraries can be a difficult task for
novice library users.In libraries,users are in different
environments and are typically searching for particular
resources concerning certain topics.The problemis howto
locate the target resources fromthe numerous shelves of the
library.It also broadens the range of service by combining
current services and convergence of new telecommunica-
tion and broadcasting technology.Operators also plan to
enhance user convenience and facilitate service by devel-
oping newmodels that combine current library service with
technical services such as RFID,mobile networks,mobile
devices,etc.For example,SmartLibrary provides map-
basedguidance tobooks andcollections onaPDA(Aittola et
3.Personal service – Personalization and customization typ-
ically involves presenting users with services that depend
on personal characteristics,current location,activity,and
surrounding environment (Lee 2007).Personal service
allows users to collect all favourite parts of mobile library
service in one place.Personal service is typically used to
reflect personal interests,provide new information,alert
users of services according to their chosen profile,and to
collect the user’s favourite content in one place.It needs to
transfer information quickly or transmit personalized
information,etc.It must take more active steps to provide
a specialized service different fromwired Internet’s services
in the future andattempt to individualize user service using
methods such as My Library,CRM(customer relationship
management),RSS (really simple syndication),etc.My
Library supports a framework for libraries to provide
enhanced access to local and remote sets of information and
knowledge.CRMuses the resources of the Internet or other
digital media (for example SMS,mobile data or interactive
television) to deliver elements of a marketing relationship
with the user.RSS provides Web contents or summary Web
contents together with links to the full content and other
metadata (Kajewski 2007).
4.Multimedia service – Multimedia include a combination of
text,audio,still images,animation,video,etc.Compared to
existing wireless Internet services that are typically limited
to SMS andsmall amounts of information,operators should
plan to provide multimedia-based services to meet user
needs by addressing a variety of scenarios that reflect the
user’s pattern and sensitivity (Bartolomeo 2006).Currently
the most common mobile devices are not smart phones or
PDAs,but cellular phones or other devices that utilize dial
pads.Not only does the limited size of the LCD screen
prevent presentation of large amounts of information,but
the devices’ input system also presents difficulty.For
example,voice recognition input or reading methods may
need attention.Operators are also planning to broaden the
Wontae Choi
range of services by combining mobile multimedia with
newtechnology convergence.
5.Mobile service – The current goal of mobile service is to
enable all services currently provided through wired
Internet to be available through mobile networks and to
overcome the limitations of current wireless Internet service
(Crawford 2006).Operators must analyze the processes of
the library services being used by users and the patterns
needed in a mobile environment.Then,they must look into
gathering innovative information for the application and
improvement of mobile library service.They also plan to
enhance user convenience andintegrate possible services by
developingnewmodels that combine current libraryservice
with new technology and convergence services
suchefforts,libraries canupgrade mobile services toa wired
Internet service level that provides diverse and abundant
service.It also broadens the range of service by combining
current service and new technology.An example of this is
creation of the mobile office and integration with user
information devices to make a variety of services available.
Mobile office refers to services that helpprogress businesses
through access to the library’s intranet through mobile
wireless devices fromexternal sources.This transcends the
traditional sense of the library into an environment where
library business can be handled anytime,anywhere.
Through the advancements in mobile Internet services,
expansion of these new business approaches is being
accelerated.Many projects have also launched mobile
friendly versions.For example,mobile search is centred on
the convergence of mobile platforms and mobile handsets or
other mobile devices.Most search engines have implement-
ed a mobile optimized version of their products that take
into consideration bandwidth andformfactor limitations of
the mobile platform.Mobile question and answer services
allow users to text a question to a central database and
receive a reply using text and multimedia.
6.Mobile content – Mobile content is any type of media
viewed or used on mobile devices (Sugai 2007).It can be
categorized by three areas according to the content of
information,such as communication(SMS,e-mail,chatting,
community,etc),information (mobile advertisement,e-
tion,etc.),and entertainment (ringtone,VOD,game,music,
movie,TV,etc.).It is designedfor usage at mobile terminals,
especiallycellular phones andPDAs.Creatingandhandling
mobile content efficiently needs various techniques due to
the limitation of resources,such as processing power,
memory and communication bandwidth,and available
mobile terminals.Although library content has been made
available over the wiredInternet andlibrary,access fromthe
various mobile devices may not be as widespread as access
to wired library service.This may explain why a majority of
users don’t use the convenience of access,even if they have
positive views on mobile content and the library.Various
research activities have been launched to develop techni-
ques to implement tools and applications.A mobile library
also needs to develop a mobile portal that will provide
convenient and useful services to users.This will meet
various user needs by accommodating and providing high
quality external content along with those developed by
libraries.With recent convergence of wired and wireless
services,telecommunications and broadcasting such as
DMB and IPTV,mobile content is becoming a key criterion
in purchasing a service.In this perspective,libraries would
expect to gain great popularity with personalized multi-
media contents suchas interactive video,music,games,and
7.Mobile technology
convergence – The convergence of
telecommunications and broadcasting is expected to be-
come a widespread phenomenon in the future (Shin 2006).
This convergence of technology has significant impact on
the design of future library infrastructures.In order to
provide an effective convergence service combining wire-
less data and multimedia services,various solutions based
onthe terminal frameworkthat canensure user convenience
must be securedand terminals that can converge with other
high-tech industries must be developedsimultaneously.For
example,KT is developing multi-mode terminals that
feature various functions including GPS and voice recog-
nition and will continue to develop new concept models
such as specialized terminals and convergence terminals.
Communication and collaboration between Internet,mo-
bile,media,and library will be a top issue over the next few
years due to the technology convergence explosion.
The progress of mobile technologies on wireless
networks has largely changed the way people
access information.A mobile library is one area
being actively explored by many libraries to sup-
port remote users in their access to and use of
library resources.The widespread use of cellular
phones and mobile devices might have also led to
the positive opinion and perception on their appli-
cationinthe libraryservices.Mobile technology has
the potential to offer many new possibilities for
accessing informationfromonline catalogues,data-
bases,digital content,e-learning,digital library,etc.
The development and application of new mobile
technologies has brought about many changes and
possibilities and encourages users to increase uti-
lization of the newmobile library.
Mobile service,compared to wired Internet
service,has relatively slow transmission speed,
limited computational power,inconvenient input
andoutput interface,insufficient contents,andhigh
price.However,it also offers portability of infor-
mation use,convenience,and speed.A variety of
fields utilize wireless mobile technology for these
advantages in order to increase business produc-
tivity and efficiency.Technology improvement will
provide users to obtain relevant information more
easily and freely,and the library will actively study
and develop new service models to meet those
needs continuously.The further development of
emerging technology and new technology
gence will provide the ubiquitous library with new
Development and Application of Mobile Technology in South Korean Libraries
innovative ways of delivering its information
resources,services,andinstructions.It is impossible
to anticipate all new technologies.There is clear
recognition that mobile technologies and devices
are experiencing very high adoption rates in many
regions of the world.The current trend shows that
among the various models of mobile library being
adopted,the cooperative model is increasingly
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Editorial history:
Received 30 July 2008;
Accepted 14 November 2008.
Wontae Choi