I must confess that once I hit the Libarry 2.0 pavilion at the ALA Expo, I never got out. Though there were less than a dozen vendors occupying that piece of show floor real estate, each had a fascinating story to tell.
When Mosio co-founder Jay Sachdev caught me taking a photo of Mosio’s Text a Librarian booth, he invited me in for a demo of the service that can empower your virtual reference desk.
Though those who text-in to your library remain anonymous, the software gives them a unique ID which helps you track the transaction. You can set up autoresponders by time of day for politely informing readers who text in during off-hours that you have a real life, too, and will get back to them in the morning. The software has reporting features, too. And the best news of all is the price tag, which Jay said is $100 a month for up to 10 library laptops.
Sounds like a great way to take your reference desk virtual.
For questions where 100% accuracy may not be the key requirement–and who says the winsdom of the crowd is wrong?–Mosio has also been offering a Twitter based Q&A service, where anyone can text in a question for other Twitter members to answer. Kind of like KGB, for free? To Learn more and see what questions are being asked and what answers are being given, check out: Twitter Answers . . .
Supporting mobile users is one of the hottest topics in libtech these days and was a key discussion point during LITA’s Top Tech Trends forum earlier this week.
Jay says Text a Librarian will integrate with your existing email and IM/Chat services, there’s nothing to download and no software to install, and as an extra bonus you’ll get RefStart, a web-based reference application that will help you answer all those questions that come streaming in.
Sounds like a good deal. Check it out here.
Dick Kaser, ITI VP,Content
PS: At ALA, Mosio was powering the conference’s Text an Ambassador Service for show goers who wanted to find things out about the conference without having to search for an official information booth.