New Mobile Application launched at the New York Law School

New York Law School's Mendik Library is proud to announce the release of Mendik Mobile, a smartphone app that gives library users mobile access to some of our key services. The app enables users to search the library catalog for books and course reserve materials. It provides channels for following the library’s blogs, and for contacting reference staff by phone, email or text. Users may review a list of books they’ve borrowed, and renew loans with just a click. Another channel links to the library’s popular DRAGNET feature, offering Google custom searching in free and reliable law-related Websites.

We created Mendik Mobile in conjunction with Boopsie, Inc., a major developer of library mobile applications. The app is a free download on all major smartphone platforms, including Apple, Android and Blackberry. Visit your app store, or point your smartphone’s browser to http://www.bit.ly/mendikmobile, and you will be automatically routed to the correct app store. We believe that we are the first law school in the nation to launch a fully featured library app for smartphones.

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Thanks, But No Thanks, for Patron Privacy Concerns

Thanks, LISNews, for tweeting this, and I RT'd it (@SafeLibraries), but no thanks. Using the Android market, I found <50 downloads, not a problem as this is new and I appreciate that.

My concerns come into play with -- patron privacy. I see no patron privacy here. Mendik Mobile may be free, but it requires fine, GPS location and coarse, network-based location. Now why would a library need to know my location before serving me information? Maybe it doesn't, but then why would a library allow a company creating/hosting such an app to collect such information? I mean patron privacy is so important that the former leader of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom complained when a "patron's privacy" was ignored when a librarian called the police -- on an actual 9/11 terrorist. Yet here we are collecting location data on people downloading the app, presumably including library patrons.

It also requires the right to take pictures and to modify/delete SD card contents. It suppose that might be needed for the functionality of the problem with invading my privacy, but still it makes me nervous.

Look, I could be totally wrong, but I won't be loading this app at this time. And I am not impressed that the announcement did not disclose the issue.

Of course it requires network communication, no surprise.

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