I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
So I decided to look at three apps for the iPad, including:
RedLaser Barcode and QR Scanner, which I thought could possibly apply to library work, maybe finding the correct title of an item if there is no barcode or RFID tags (this does happen), looking up series info, or just getting publishing info/pricing for ordering.
Google Search, which just seemed like a fun tool.
Transit App, which is a free app available for use with Metro Transit in the Twin Cities, and would be great for figuring out how to get to work on the bus, as well as for patrons trying to figure out bus services in their areas.
Working with Transit App was pretty easy, although the suggestions that popped up as I put in locations were not extremely helpful, i.e. as I typed Minneapolis (I was putting in Minneapolis Central library for my destination) it suggested "Sitel Moneygram Minne" and "Gold Mine Antiques." And when I entered my full search of "Minneapolis Central" that option only came up third in results. Since I left out the "-" in Minneapolis-Central, my search wasn't quite exact enough, but it was only a .5 second delay to my true result. A fail though on some locations, for example, "Minnetonka Library" just doesn't exist.
If allowed the app will detect the users location and brings up nearby bus routes right away, which can be helpful, and gave the direction, bus stop location and minutes until the next departure. All good info, and just a couple taps gave more times and maps.
Transit App would definitely be something I would use.
Google Search, is another I'd probably download, and is pretty much what you'd expect. You can search, if you allow it to detect your location Google will customize results to your location, if you add your Google+ account, you can get alarms, weather, etc. Useful info, but pretty specialized to one user.
RedLaser Barcode/QR Scanner is one I might recommend to patrons, it's free and once a barcode is scanned it will give information from all sorts of sellers, but best of all, if you scan the code from the back of a book, cd or DVD you can also check the localized results to see if a nearby library has the item, it will take you right to the library website. The next time at B&N instead of buying a book, or leaving and forgetting it, a user could now scan it, read some reviews, check the library and even put in a request right from there.
Downsides, if no one has reviewed it, there's no link to other review sites, like BookLikes or Goodreads, and many things that aren't on bestseller lists or popular in the media don't have reviews. Also, I scanned two foreign films and neither of them appeared in the database.
A final Thing, I also noted the suggestion of StandApp in the list of Apps and immediately thought of my cataloger brother. That would be a great app for him, since, his job requires him to spend many hours sitting at his desk. He might like a reminder to walk around a bit and get away from his desk. I'm certain he'll also appreciate the suggested exercises since he's just started a new regime!