Mobile/Dial up Public Access Catalogue

Registered by Ben Hyman

Sitka and KCLS are co-developing a mobile/dial up public access catalogue - essentially a SlimPac with my account functionality. Launched Beta at 2 locations in September 2010. Version 1.0 pending jQuery Mobile 1.0 Stable release, estimated to be available Sept or Oct 2011.

Source code is now available at Follow the issues tracker, which will record tasks to do and software defects to fix.

Blueprint information

Steven Chan
Steven Chan
Needs approval
Steven Chan
Series goal:
Beta Available
Milestone target:
Started by
Steven Chan

Related branches



Updated 2011.08.25 by Steven

Beta versions 0.8.8 and 0.8.10 of the mobile opac are being used by King County Library System[1] and by Sitka[2], at the Thompson Nicola Regional District Library, respectively. Beta version 0.9.1 is also available[3].

The mobile opac currently offers a reduced set of the full opac functions. Version 0.8 is essentially a working wireframe with no attempt at layout design. Starting with version 0.9.0, it uses the jQuery Mobile library, enabling it to work for a diverse set of mobile devices. The jQM library borrows design principles from iPhone-like widgets and attempts to make them work across as many modern mobile operating systems as possible.

The jQuery Mobile library itself is at 1.0 Beta 2 and will reach 1.0 Stable in September or October. A development plan for the near future involves synchronizing the mobile opac with jQM and doing some internal reorganizing, as follows:

Version 0.9.0 works with 1.0 Alpha 4.
Version 0.9.1 works with 1.0 Beta 1, although there are glitches.
Version 0.9.2 will work with 1.0 Beta 2 or 3.
Version 1.0 will work with 1.0 Stable.
Version 1.1 will involve some internal redesign without changing external behaviours.

Here is a list of features of the mobile opac, comparing against those of the full opac.

Do basic and advanced searches of public catalogue? Yes
View a list of search results? Yes, including cover art if available
View title and copy details? Partial. Cannot view synopsis and other collateral data. Cannot view MARC record.
Create holds? Partial. Title-level holds only.
Log in or log out? Yes
View fines? Yes
View, renew, or cancel checkouts? Yes
View or edit holds? Partial. Cannot suspend by specific date.

Do numeric searches? No
View related subjects, authors, or series? No
Browse by call numbers (‘shelfbrowser’)? No
View or edit patron profile? No
View or edit patron settings, and storing them as cookies? No
View or edit bookbags? No

For dialup users with a 56K modem using version 0.8, an initial download takes between 15 and 30 seconds and a user is able to complete all transactions, for example, renewing checkouts and managing holds, to completion. The display comes with detailed indicators to show download progress. In comparison, a dialup user accessing the full opac waits more than a minute for initial download, all subsequent transactions take too long to be useable. and there is sparse indication of progress.

For mobile devices using version 0.9 and beyond, the expected level of support is shown in the device support grid,



Work Items