Name:Boopsie BookCheck CCPL mobile
Platform: Android, iPhone,iPad, J2ME, Palm OS, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry.
Cost: Requires access to a library using Boopsie for mobile access.
You may be wondering why the App of the Week is BookCheck, but the actual app link is to the CCPL (Cuyahoga County Public Library) app. I’ve set up the review this way because BookCheck is a new app in a suite of mobile library apps powered by Boopsie. CCPL in Ohio is the first library to offer the app, which allows patrons to check out library books via their smart phones.
It works like this: You download the app either from the library’s website (in this case CCPL) or from your device’s app store. Then, just like with apps like Facebook, you create a BookCheck account. The app stores your information so that you don’t need to type in a library card number (after initial setup) to use the service. Then, when you locate a book in the stacks that you want to check out, you open up the CCPL mobile app and select the SelfCheck option. This brings you to BookCheck which allows you to scan the barcode of the book using the camera’s phone and check it out.
Robert Rua of CCPL states that the app has had broad appeal to all smartphone users and that library patrons have all been impressed with how easy the system is to use. When I tested out the system, I was surprised with how well the barcode scanner actually worked. Normally, those are the bane of my existence because the object being scanned has to be held just right. While the best way of scanning a barcode is to have the object lying on a flat surface (not the easiest when you’re in a hurry), there is also the option to enter the barcode using the keypad of your device. I found that both scanning and typing worked well.
This app is great for when you just want to run into the library and grab something quickly or at the last minute. I jokingly told my co-workers that it would be awesome for someone like me who is always busy right up until our circulation department has shut down the computers for the day and as a result frequently misses the opportunity to check items out.
While Cuyahoga County is the first to offer BookCheck, six other libraries across the country will soon be introducing the app to their mobile patrons, and Boopsie has recently partnered with TechLogic to develop kiosks that will allow patrons to use the BookCheck app in libraries that use RFID.
I hope this trend continues because I would love to be able to check out books, dvds, cds, etc with my phone.