San Jose Public Library Begins Text a Librarian Service…08.18.09

18 08 2009


From the Librarian in Black today:

Today our library, the San Jose Public Library, launched our new Text a Librarian service. As far as I can tell, we’re the first public library in California to offer text messaging services.

Here are the details:

The service is run through Mosio’s Text a Librarian.

Text your question to 66746 and start the message with AskSJ

The library responds to the user through the interface of our choice (web browser, email, IM, or text messaging) and the answer shows up to the customer as a text message

Customers are encouraged to add 66746 as a contact for easy future access

The library currently is answering questions from 1-6pm, Monday-Friday

The service is completely secure & private – customers are assigned random user IDs so the library staff don’t see phone numbers connected with questions

The service is mobile carrier certified, so we don’t need to worry about Verizon or AT&T blocking our number from sending messages to customers.

It’s staffed jointly with the San Jose State University Library librarians and a number of our public library staff at our main King Library and at our many branches…”

MyInfoQuest Presentation – “A Collaborative Project from a Librarian’s Perspective…07.30.09

30 07 2009

Thanks to IamLibrarian for posting this presentation about MyInfoQuest by Alison Miller.  In a recent post, I highlighted the MyInfoQuest service.
View more presentations from Alison .

My Info Quest Launches Text Reference Service Today…07.21.09

21 07 2009


From the MyInfoQuest release information:

“…Starting today, patrons of approximately 50 libraries from all over the US will be able to text a question to (309) 222-7740 and a real, live librarian will respond within minutes. The service is free of charge, but standard text messaging rates do apply. Staffed by librarians from around the country, answers are sent to cell phones by librarians in 320 characters or less, or the equivalent of two 160-character text messages…

The hours of service will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m…”

MyInfoQuest – Collaborative Text Reference Service…07.02.09

2 07 2009


Welcome to My Info Quest!

Here IamLibrarian blogs about the new “Infoquest collaborative text messaging project which will kickoff on July 20, 2009“:

“The time is approaching…MyInfoquest will launch on July 20th.  We currently have 36 libraries participating in this collaborative text reference service.  The advisory committee and subcommittees have been meeting regularly and working hard.

This project is a pilot project slated to run through December, 2009.  We are working on securing funding to continue the service.  One of the ways that we are doing this is through an upcoming conference “The Handheld Librarian.”  This is a one-day, virtual conference offering presentations on a wide variety of topics…”

This is from MyInfoquest page:

On the go and need an answer? Text your question to an InfoQuest librarian and have the answer delivered to your phone in any zone with My InfoQuest: txt 4 answers!

  • Call 309-222-7740 and enter your library’s code – after July 20, 2009
  • Txt your question
  • A librarian will text an expert answer within 10 minutes during the hours of service
  • It’s easy and accurate!

InfoQuest is brought to you by your library!

Visit here for a list of participating libraries.

Roving Reference and Other Tools…06.26.09

26 06 2009


From Justine Shaffner, the Librarian is IN, comes this from her post New Roving Reference and Assistive Technology Tools:

“Back in the days when libraries weren’t quite so busy, if I didn’t have a constant stream of questions at the reference desk, I’d get bored and start trawling the stacks for people who looked confused.  I was delighted when we got a tablet computer as I no longer had to drag the patron over to a PAC or run between them and my computer for call numbers and answers. Having the internet with me at all times helped a lot when I needed to show the customer searching the art books for Van Gogh’s Starry Night how easily she could find it on Google Images, but while I could see the same catalog interface as our patrons, there wasn’t a way in to the staff side of our materials database.  That put a damper on my speed as quick, powerful searches and circulation functions still had to be done from the reference desk.

So I was intrigued by three of the products in the May/June 2009 issue of Public Libraries. EnvisionWare now has a LibraryPDA(TM) that can evidently do all staff side functions (plus inventory).  And for those of you with a SirsiDynix ILS, there’s Horizon PocketCirc 1.0 with functions similar to the LibraryPDA but with remote access also available, so you no longer have to write down titles and barcodes while checking out books at a school, offsite program or town event.

The third product would be great not only for visually challenged patrons, but also for commuters wanting to make effective use of travel time. ReadSpeaker works with WilsonWeb’s many full text databases and converts articles into audio for immediate listening (will wonders never cease – let’s hope all our database vendors follow suit)…”

“Ask, The Libraries will Answer” – Spain’s New Multi-Lingual Virtual Reference Service…06.02.09

2 06 2009


Thanks to the Biligual Librarian for this about Spain’s new online reference service:

The Ministry of Culture and the Autonomous Communities in Spain have joined forces to offer a new online reference system called “Pregunte: Las Bibliotecas Responden” (Ask, The Libraries will Answer). The project’s goal is to answer questions through email, and virtual reference, in an effort to encourage the active use of local libraries and their services.

The services functions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and librarians promise to respond to inquiries within 3 days. The site functions in Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Galician, and English…”

Libraries and Next Gen Mobiles…05.26.09

26 05 2009

Here is an excerpt from our Aussie friends at Libraries Interact:

“…How do you think these may affect librarianship? How can library staff use them? How can we offer our services to our users with next gen mobiles? Do you have a favourite app that you use and would recommend to others?

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • In February, Kenley Neufeld listed his Top 10 iPhone Apps for Librarians .
  • Aaron Schmidt from the DC Public Libraries has released the code for an iPhone App that allows library users to search the catalogue, place holds and find opening hours ,DCPL iPhone application ready for download
  • The University of Bath Library has added QR codes to records in the catalogue so that users can scan them using free software that will then show them the author, title and location of the item, QR Codes in the Library.
  • The Abilene Christian University in Texas has produced a video showing a fictional account of what could happen if the entire campus of students and academics were connected using a next gen mobileConnected