How A Mobile App Helped Houston Public Library Better Serve Its Users
Demco Software today shares how its partnership with Houston Public Library resulted in a custom mobile app that provides convenient access to the library’s services for the system’s users. The launch of the branded app yielded an increase in resource usage — specifically the comic books and graphic novels in the their extensive collection — and easily trackable return on investment for the Library.
Before partnering with Demco Software, Houston Public Library knew that it needed to offer an engaging experience to compete with the non-library digital resources that users frequently rely upon for their information needs. People are becoming more and more reliant upon their mobile phones as portals to conveniently access information. Specifically, the number of adults who have a smartphone has risen significantly and according to the Pew Research Center, about three quarters of U.S. adults (77%) say they own a smartphone.
Houston Public Library had 3 specific goals:
1) To find one provider that offered a suite of products customized to their individual requirements
2) To provide convenience for users and
3) To increase usage of their resources through the app in an easily trackable way
The Library saw an immediate increase in their online resources after launching the mobile app and the usage numbers have sustained since the app’s inception in 2012. Six years later, the app boasts an impressive number just shy of 100,000 total downloads, and averages 250,000 monthly queries!
“What we’re most excited about is that like our library system, Demco Software is focused on continuing to improve the service they offer on a regular basis,” said Saima Kadir, Virtual Library Services Manager of Houston Public Library. “We’re excited to work with Demco Software and look forward to new ways of improving access and services.”
“Preparing case studies is a great way to perform analysis of just how well our customized apps are working for libraries,” says Mary Casey, Marketing Manager at Demco Software. “Seeing a 400% increase in average daily circulation of the Library’s Digital Comics and Graphic Novels subscription shows us that we’re doing it right, but we won’t stop there. We’re excited to continue working with Houston Public Library to further enhance their app, with our ultimate goal being to help them achieve their mission of linking people to the world.”
In the time since this article was first published, Demco Software has taken over product development and ownership of the mobile apps and customers formerly owned by Boopsie, Inc. Subscribe to our email list to receive updates as we continue to evolve the suite of engagement tools we offer libraries.
About Houston Public Library
We are a dynamic organization that serves one of the largest service areas – both population and area – in the country. More than 2 million residents in the City of Houston are the primary beneficiaries of a comprehensive customer-focused service delivery strategy. Our system is comprised of 44 public service units including 31 Neighborhood Libraries, four Regional Libraries, three Special Collection Libraries and four Express Libraries, the HPL Mobile Express and a satellite library located at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Our flagship facility, Central Library, located in downtown Houston, anchors this constellation of service points.
HPL links people to the world, through a broadly defined platform of educational, recreational and cultural programs and services for persons of all ages, ethnicities, and life stages throughout Houston and the surrounding region. Houston Public Library holds 3.6 million items, and in the past year served 7.2 million in-person and online visitors, answered over 667,546 reference questions, circulated more than 6.9 million books, magazines, and audio-visual materials and attracted nearly 189,050 participants to our programs. Notably, all services and privileges that accompany the Houston Public Library card are free to all residents in the state of Texas.