Saturday, November 14, 2009

Remote Enquiry Services - anyone using text / SMS?

We have started looking at options for remote enquiry services, when I say started, I mean we are literally just starting. Previous investigations into Meebo and a couple of commercial messenger-style packages have been carried out and we are now revisiting these ideas in a wider context, also looking at text services for example.

There are already various options being used by a range of libraries, for example;

Wolverhampton Learning Centres are using ASSIST chat service and backing it up with the Ask A Librarian web form for when ASSIST is not staffed. This is a fairly popular model also being used by the University of South Australia. There is also the 24 hour chat option such as the People's Network Enquire service currently used by public libraries in the UK.

At Warwick Uni the IT Services team already uses a text service to provide information to students on where there are avaialble PC's on campus. But this is quite a specific service, not catering for other queries.

We already have Facebook and Twitter and a couple of enquiries have been fielded via these routes, but literally only a couple. They are more helpful for getting information out, rather than getting questions in.

Does anyone have a service for remote enquiries already, outside of the ususal phone and email options?

Is anyone using text services for Library enquiries? I'd be interested to hear about them.


Jo Alcock said...

I believe University of Huddersfield are using SMS, there was an interesting article is a recent issue of Update - will let you know if I find the details. Might be worth asking the Q on Twitter too.

Katharine said...

Thanks Jo, I am in touch with Huddersfield now, and a few others as well. Will write a blog post when I have something to report. :)