Ubiquitous Technologies for Hybrid Library Services

1st Supervisor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Schrader

2nd Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Christian Werner

With the emergence of new technologies and development of Internet, traditional libraries have now faced threaten from the increased usage of digitalization resources. Digital libraries, as the new form of libraries, provide increasing collections of digitalized or digitally produced media items, can be accessed online and become more and more popular especially in scientific domains. Although the trend that digital library will eventually replace the physical library exists, the information stored in tangible assets, like printed books, journals, electronic media, microform and others still have an important impact on human beings. In addition, traditional libraries are social places which serve for academic communication and learning. Hybrid libraries combine both worlds and provide access to non-tangible, digital media items as well as tangible assets in a physical library building often accompanied by a virtual representation of the institution in the cyberspace. With the enhanced possibilities of the ubiquitous computing paradigm, more advanced scenarios can be realized in the modern hybrid library. Many modern libraries such as McLuhan Documentation Center, have applied ubiquitous technologies to enhance their services. In this thesis, the usage of context-aware services in hybrid libraries will be investigated. The research paper consists of two parts. The first part gives an overview of the current state-of-the-art ubiquitous technology usage for library services. Therefore, the taxonomy of library types, stakeholders and service requirements is given. Afterwards, an overview of ubiquitous computing approaches to realize smart environments is given. A comparison between fixed installations used in smart houses and mobile services using autonomous devices is given. In both approaches, the use of sensors and mobile technologies in order to realize context-awareness is discussed. In the second part of the thesis, several prototypes of ubiquitous library services using context-aware smart environments or devices are presented. A feasibility study and use case descriptions are given for each scenario.