Library, library tour, analog, digital, mobile, first year writing


Evolution is a progressive change from something inadequate in a given circumstance or environment to a new or modified state with the ability to perform better in that new environment or situation. Evolution occurs in organizations, organisms and processes. One aspect of evolution is the ‘survival of the fittest’ which is that the most adept at survival will continue and propagate. In technology it is much the same as one technology becomes obsolete (dies), it gives way to the next better able to serve. For examples consider the cassette tape or the LP record and their demise. Often technology changes occur as a result of what the patron is using at the time, or in other words from external forces. It is also the case that changes occur because of internal forces or pressures from within the organization. Academic libraries have moved to mobile technologies because of both these reasons: handheld devices are the main means of access to information for university students, faculty and parents (external); and mobile technologies are also useful for librarians in their day-to-day management of the library and services (internal).

Libraries, like other organizations, often make changes to procedures, processes or services in an evolutionary manner. These changes or adaptations are made to organizational schemes, technology and other services. Libraries have changed the tours of the library building, its organization, services and resources in a similar manner.

Being the main consumers of academic library information, students have the ability to influence the direction of library technology and services. These consumers determine how they want to utilize the information and it is up to librarians to provide the information in a way that it will be best appreciated.

This paper will describe changes that occurred throughout the history of the library tour in the Harold B Lee Library (HBLL) at Brigham Young University (BYU). Specifically, how the tour evolved from in person to analog to digital to mobile. The benefits and drawbacks of each mode will be mentioned as well as the compelling reasons for following the path to the current implementation of the tour.

Original Publication Citation

M-Libraries 5: From Devices to People

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL




Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor