Sharman, Alison (2014) Roving Librarian: The Suitability of Tablets in Providing Personalised Help Outside of the Traditional Library. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 20 (2). pp. 185-203. ISSN 1361-4533

Emanating from the ground-breaking Library Impact Data Project, the aim of the Roving Librarian project first initiated in 2011 was to offer personalised help outside of the traditional library to library non users in social or academic settings using Android and the iPad tablets. It was thought that the portability and flexibility of these devices would allow staff to reach students and help them at their point of need. To test out this premise, an action study was carried out to examine the use of tablets and their suitability in facilitating the roving librarian project as well as evaluate roving as a vehicle for teaching information literacy on the move. Data was collected through peer observation, individual reflections and a questionnaire conducted with subject librarians to find out more about their usage of the tablet and to ascertain whether they have found it conducive in roving. The project demonstrated that the affordances of both devices enabled librarians to provide personalized mobile help to students whilst building stronger relationships and arguably having the type of conversations about library resources and facilities that would not have happened if staff had stayed within the physical library building.

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