The Plainfield Public Library has recently partnered with Mosio for their “Text a Librarian” service. We went live with the service in the beginning of April and have received dozens of actual questions along with more than few ridiculous ones. We’ve found that patrons are much more willing to use this service than the IM and Askaway services which are both offered. We have gotten several compliments and no complaints since implementing the service.
How it works
A patron sends a text to 66746, begins the message with askppl, and then enters their question (go ahead, give it a try, I dare you). The question is then sent to the librarians signed on to the service, at the Plainfield Library this is the 3 youth service librarians, 3 reference librarians, and the assistant director. The question is sent to every librarians email or phone (depending on the preference of the librarian). Then it is a mad dash to be the first to pull up the service on the computer you are working on to answer the question. If more than one librarian tries to answer the question the second person will get a message that someone else is already answering the question. When answering a question you are given the option of creating your own message or sending a canned message. The canned messages consist of answers about openings and closing, library location, and contact information. The answers must fit in the space of two text messages (302 characters) which is an adequate amount for your typical text questions. The patron may reply directly to thelibrarian thus making this a popular for service checking on book availability and putting items on hold.
The company that provides this service has excellent customer support and great training opportunities. Mosio is constantly seeking out different technologies and adding new features which include a text language translator, an auto responder for when the library is closed, and quick links to add websites to your response at the touch of a button. All in all the Plainfield Public Library is extremely happy with this service. Have a question? Send it to 66746 and start your message with askppl ; )