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RULA wins CLA tech award

Members of the Library Information Technology Services Team show the new BookFinder app at the Learning Commons Open House. From left to right: Cynthia Ng, Stephen Marsden, David Quast, Fangmin Wang.

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has awarded Ryerson University Library and Archives (RULA) the 2013 CLA/OCLC Award for Innovation Technology for the RULA BookFinder application.

The award is given in recognition of the groundbreaking and innovative use of technology to provide exceptional library service to members of the community.

The BookFinder application helps Ryerson students, faculty and staff more easily find library materials in the stacks while searching the library catalogue.

“When we started working on the RULA BookFinder app, our goal was not necessarily to create a piece of technology. Our goal was to create an amazing and unique library experience,” says Library Technology Services Team member and award winner Fangmin Wang.

The team integrated the application into the library catalogue and developed a sleek interface that works on both desktop and smartphone screens. Then they created an easy-to-use search tool on the app, and designed and installed simplified shelf signs (without call numbers) on the physical stacks to direct library patrons.

“This app has truly delivered the type of mobile library service users have been asking for,” says Wang. “Since the application was launched, as much as 40% of the BookFinder app usage is from smartphones.”

Wang added that the team is now developing a touch-based wayfinding kiosk based on the BookFinder app technology framework, to help find services like study rooms and computers. The RULA kiosk will be available to Ryerson students this fall.

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