DCPL iPhone application ready for download

iphone details photo2

Hurrah for alternative OPAC interfaces! I’m very pleased to let you know that the DCPL iPhone app went live last night. You can download it from the iTunes app store here. Functionality in this version includes:

  • searching for library materials
  • seeing an item’s cover and reading a summary
  • placing a hold for pickup at the location of your choice
  • finding the hours, locations and phone numbers of DC public libraries

If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, please download it try it out. We’d love to know what you think and what we can do to make it better. You can leave feedback through this form.

photo3To my knowledge, this is the first iPhone application put out by a library. A big congrats to DCPL CIO Chris Tonjes who assembled a great team, and a big thanks to Brian Farmer for his coding skills, Bill McClendon for his knowledge of the SirsiDynix backend and Gilbert Luwaile for testing. You can read more about all of them at the DCPL Labs Staff page.

What’s even more exciting about this is that it is just the start of our efforts to provide mobile library services to the residents of DC. I have a bunch of notes written about improving the look and behavior of the application, expanding it, and we’re planning a mobile version of the forthcoming DCPL website.

For those interested in taking a look at the code for the iPhone application, we’re going to make it available for download at the DCPL iPhone Application page soon.

81 thoughts on “DCPL iPhone application ready for download”

  1. I see it in iTunes, but just tried to find it via the App Store on the iPhone, and it doesn’t show up yet. Didn’t realize there was a disconnect between the two.

    Just FYI.

    Oh, and FRAKING CONGRATS! This is such an awesome use of mobile tech.

  2. Jason – search for DCPL and you will find it. Aaron did the interface design and what we are doing next will be even better!

  3. Nice work Aaron, and really excited to see that you may be allowed to share the code too! I found the app by searching for “library”in the iTunes Store, but it doesn’t come up in the App store from the phone using the same search. Nor on a search for DCPL.

  4. Great! Even downloadable in the Netherlands. I’m going to try this inmediately! Looking forward for the code! Great service. Thanks

  5. Aaron,

    Nice work! I am very interested in doing something similar here at SCU. Do you know of anyone that is working on an implementation for Millennium systems? Let me know if you have a second.



  6. Hi there from australia. I downloaded the app from the itunes store have had a great time searching and playing. I absolutely love it. Needless to say I will be taking my iphone to work to use as yet another example why we need to have user friendly web pages and catalogues. Thanks so much :) I can’t wait to see/hear what happens next.

    Ps – tried to use the feedback form via the above link but it kept asking me to write my name -which was already there!

  7. Hello, I’m one of Japanese system librarian.
    I read this entry via another blog “Pittsburgh LIS Report”(http://norihalf.blogspot.com/) written in Japanese stay in Pittsburgh.

    This is very very good work! So exciting!
    If code arrive, I will try…

    And would you permit to use some screen shot in my blog? I think, many librarian in Japan interest your OPAC.(My blog is http://toshokan.weblogs.jp/ sorry, all written in Japanese.) If any problem please tell me.

  8. All – the app can be ported fairly easily to work with millenium, etc. Version 1.1 will be coming out in about a 60 days. After that we will make the code available. I do want two of the neighboring library systems (Fairfax County, Va and Montgomery County, MD) to have this first since they are also Unicorn shops.

  9. This is so cool! I am very interested in this app and will download as soon as I can.
    Mostly, I’m wondering if in the long term, people will use it.
    I am by no means, a technology naysayer. I have gone “Oooh, shiny! for numerous technology ideas such as Facebook catalog widgets, etc.
    Overall, I think this is great and can’t wait to try it out! I would also love to do work on something like this for the CLEVNET library system. We’re working with Sirsi-Dynix Symphony.
    Great job DCPL!

  10. Hi Aaron,

    Congratulations! I hope you will consider not just sharing the code (which is great!) but converting the project to Open Source and licensing it so that other library folk can build on it and adapt it to their ILS. And it will stay free. That would be much nicer that Sam, the iPhone Developer, working on it with you and making “really good and quick money” on the libraries.

    If I can help in anyway to make that transition…let me know. Great job!

    Lori Ayre

  11. To all have asked: Yes, like many things we have done, or are doing, we will share this in accordance with the terms of our Apple developer agreement. I expect to have this ready in time for the Sirsidynix user’s conference in April.

  12. I dloaded but doesn’t seem to be working. Won’t find any books or give me any locations. Server issues? This is how I am spending my superbowl halftime— testing your app!

  13. I hope more libraries will create their own applications! I for one would love to see the Chicago Public Library on my Iphone. Great article, thank you.

  14. I knew you were awesome, Aaron, but this is above and beyond. Major pat in the back to all of you, this is so cool. I am looking forward to playing with this for our Millennium system when it becomes available.

  15. You mentioned SIRSIDynix – can you tell me which version you are using/

    Would love to do the same thing for our Symphony 3.2.1 ILS.

    Is the code available yet?


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