Handheld Librarian kicked off today with a keynote from Tom Peters, CEO of TAP information services. He focused on providing reference via mobile services & started by focusing on some statistics that talked about how rapidly cell phone technology has been adopted (he asserted that the cell phone became popular faster than the toaster :)).
He observed that reference services tended to focus on solving information-need type questions and likewise were often short & simple. He also focused on relevance of ‘social search’ as opposed to ‘web search’ for providing reference services. His list of guidelines for developing mobile reference services (simple, short, open, crowd-based) certainly build on that theme. His theme was that reference needed to become a mobile & 24/7 based service – yes he did say “lose the desk.”