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Although offering mobile services is a tremendous opportunity to expand a library's ability to provide service to its community, the mobile Web is still a new technology and a seamless transition into mobile services is practically impossible. This chapter of Libraries and Mobile Services examines the most common issues and problems that librarians will face.
The mobile Web is a heady place. Users are presented every day with new, more efficient, and better ways to access information anywhere at any time. Library professionals should be excited about the opportunities presented by the rapidly increasing pace of mobile technology evolution. There are also some issues that deserve our ongoing scrutiny as stewards of information and access.
To a certain extent we've all become accustomed to the security issues that face us when using a Net-connected desktop or laptop computer. We know not to click links in suspicious e-mails. We've learned that no matter what an e-mail says, Nigeria has been a republic since 1999 and has not in modern history had a royal family any member of which needs your assistance to liberate their fortune. Unfortunately, we need to anticipate these same security concerns on the mobile Web, though perhaps with more disturbing consequences.
Recently, audits of the Android Marketplace have found dozens of applications that seem to do little but harvest information from users' phones. Masquerading as wallpapers or themes, these apps ask users for broad permissions to access the phone's file system. Unfortunately, even well-behaved Android apps also require this kind of permission, so it can be hard to distinguish the bad actors in the marketplace.
The growth in mobile …