Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sending Out an SMS - Joe Murphy

Considers the ability to send a text message a "core competency" for librarians today.
Twitter: @libraryfuture
Tweetable: text messaging is the focus of mobile communication and info exchange. It is the most important addition to library services of our time. The role of SMS in our lives is growing. Alerts by SMS include weather, air lines, 911, politics, ordering pizza, emergency alerts and more.
More popular that phone calls. Expectation experiential gap.
Contact point, information service, portal.
Text messaging coupons... great application, but the technology isn't there yet.
Social networking: some do it better than others. Facebook isn't even quite there... you can get a message that someone wants to be your friend, but you can't friend them without going to the Facebook application.
Joe engages with ~400 text messages per day for personal communication, news, current awareness and searching.
SMS is now used for so much more than communication; it is also a major way that we engage with info. Journals, higher ed,
SMS transforms the phones in our pockets to discovery devices thru mobile answer and searching devices.
Through Mobile search services such as Google SMS, ChaCha & KGB we search the web and get answers from real people in real time.
Every librarian should have a smart phone... The workstation of the future.
Never believe a librarian who tells you that Web 2.0 is free.
Thru the mobile use of social networking sites, esp twitter and Facebook, we use SMS for seeking info from social circle.
We also use SMS increasingly for knowledge management: tracking and sharing info and resources with SMS alerts.
Libraries can stay relevant in this evolving mobile landscape by offering answer and info services via text messaging.
Joe uses ChaCha and KGB to answer his information needs.
Choosing a technology for SMS reference can be tricky but is THE major concern affecting all aspects of the service.
The major considerations for evaluating SMS ref technologies: cost, staff workflows, meeting patron expectations, flexibility of tool.
Options for tech for SMS reference: SMS/IM mashups, direct with cell phones, web based, SMS/Email conversion software
Using a cell phone is best, gives mobility, no expectation gap, least steps for staff, flexible for future services. Helps bridge the gap between traditional services and virtual services. He recommends the iPhone, but in the next year things will be happening. Security issues: securing the phone, security for the patron.
Does the popularity of twitter make it a viable option for mobile ref or is the patron needing a twitter account too high a barrier?
Get the SMS ref phone # into patron's phones and foster the connection between that contact and their needed info.
We need a carefully planned management structure for SMS ref because it's a major service shift with unique considerations.
Staffing concerns
Mobile literacy: librarians need an emerging skill set for engaging info services thru mobile devises.
joeydigits on flickr - Social Networking Competencies for Librarians
Yale University Science Libraries. @ylescilib blazed the trail...
Tips to start an SMS re program: explore tehs, plan for management, train/play, test, launch. Contact @libraryfuture for assistance.
SMS can expand all ref services and is the keystone to mobile virtual reference.
We can get a good sense of what to expect for the future of SMS ref by keeping a finger on the pulse of SMS and mobile...
Consortia/Collaborations will be important for SMS
The slides will be on flickr

This was a very exciting session. Lots on interactivity. Lots of good things to consider as we shake up our customer service areas.

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