Mosio for Libraries FAQs

Mosio for Libraries is an all-in-one solution, offering Chat, Text Messaging and Email through a single dashboard, along with support tabs for your website, blogs or online resources.
Yes indeed! In fact, we guarantee that Mosio is the fastest way to respond to patron questions. From the money and resources you spend, using Mosio to assist patrons is more cost-effective than using other software, even if it is free.
If you are using free software, it is likely that you are using different types of software for each channel (email in one place, chat in the other, etc). Even if the software is free, it is very likely that you are spending enough librarian hours across those various channels that you are actually costing you more than softare like Mosio would be. We made a Return On Investment Calculator to show you how.
Sure! The price is the same, though, so you may as well use all of the channels we provide. It is entirely up to you, if you want to start with just Email and Text Messaging, you can login to Chat when you want.
Not a problem. You can still be logged into Mosio for Libraries, but be logged out of Chat. If you are not logged in, it will not show up on the widget as a communication option.
Yes! As part of our new Mobile Patron Relationship Management features, you will be able to send out text message blasts to patrons who opt-in and also send single messages to patrons as part of a follow up (instead of a phone call or email).
Privacy and Security is a top priority and you are given the option to either show patron information or keep it anonymous. We are finding that more and more libraries are interested in seeing patron information because it enables you to offer better (and sometimes more personal) customer service. If you choose to have patron information as ANONYMOUS, then: When a patron sends in a question, s/he is assigned an auto-generated anonymous patron ID. Libraries do not have access to patron information other than this anonymous patron ID. Unlike workaround "hacks", phone numbers are never displayed and all information is hosted on our private and secure servers. See the image below for an example of a Patron ID. Patron Id and Privacy
Simply put, a microboard is a dedicated, secure website created for each library or library system where all of the questions and answers live. Librarians login to the password-protected microboard to view and answer questions, as well as to run reports and utilize other features. Patrons do not have access to the microboard. Your library's microboard can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection as long as you have the proper User ID and Password. There is no software to install or update and the only hardware you need is a computer (or a mobile phone with the ability to access the internet).
Microboard Image:
Microboard Image
We typically build one dedicated microboard for each library branch. Mosio's collaboration features will allow multiple libraries across campus to use the same microboard. And, we have catered our pricing structure so that additional microboards are discounted as the need for growth and patron usage increases. We are happy to explain how other libraries are using the service and to help determine what will work best for your library system. Please contact
The questions and answers will live on the microboard indefinitely so that they can be archived, searched and referenced.
We have created some marketing materials (posters, table-tents, website logos, t shirts, digital assets, etc.) that your library can download, edit and print to include in your library or on your library's website. Patron Marketing
We recently introduced what we call "Text for Instructions". All you need to do is have patrons text your library's keyword to 66746. You can promote it in the ways mentioned above or through simple instructions on your website, like this:
Have questions on-the-go? Text us! Text librarykeyword to 66746 for instructions!

They'll be sent an auto-response with instructions about how to use the service along with details about saving information in their contacts. Mosio for Libraries will remember that their phone number is associated with your library, so after they text your keyword to 66746 they'll only need to remember to text questions to 66746 in the future. Easy!

If you'd like to try it now, text ASKTAL to 66746 from your mobile phone and you'll see how it works.

Text ASKTAL to 66746.
None. There is no hardware or software needed. Mosio for Libraries is completely web-based and accessible on any computer with internet. Of course, a username and password is always required to access your microboard.
We will work with your library to develop a custom proposal based on your needs. Please visit our Get a Quote Page for more information.
We do not charge overage fees. If you approach your monthly message limit, your administrator will receive a notification. At that time, you may purchase additional messages or upgrade to the unlimited package if you choose to do so.
If a patron forgets or mispells a keyword they will receive an auto-response asking for it. On their first text, patrons should text your keyword to 66746 and they will receive instructions on saving the number and your keyword to their contacts.
No. Patrons only need to text your KEYWORD to 66746 once - we call this "Text For Intructions". This assigns their phone number to your Mosio for Libraries service. From then on, they simply send their messages to 66746 and they are delivered to your microboard.
If your library subscribes to both Mosio for Libraries and QuestionPoint, you can answer text message reference questions in the QP interface by entering your library's QP ID in Mosio for Libraries. Read more here.
Great question. Chances are you might be using what is called a "hack" – a workaround patch that allows text messages to be sent to your instant messaging service. Or you might simply be using a dedicated library mobile phone to receive and answer text messages. Either way, you may be exposing and openly storing patron's private information in various ways. Further, these methods do not take advantage of the statistics, reporting, collaboration and ease-of-use that Mosio for Libraries provides. In addition, Mosio for Libraries was built with patron and librarian experience in mind as well, so that answers are formatted in a way that resembles how the text message response will appear to the patron. Please sign-up for a webinar if you are interested in learning more about how our service differs from the alternatives out there.
Google Voice is a great service for personal communications, but lacks the features to securely and efficiently manage text message reference services: multiple users, patron privacy, reporting, auto-responders, answer templates, etc. Additionally, as with any other free Google products, technical support is limited to user forums.

Please note: It is a direct violation of Google's terms of service for a 3rd party to use the Google Voice SMS gateway to sell services. For more information, please read our blog post Why We Don't Use Google Voice as an SMS Gateway.
We think Twitter is great and we are big fans. We developed the Twitter Answers App in October 2007 and have received awards and press coverage for it. That said, Twitter is a VERY limiting tool for reference questions, especially if you are using it for SMS/text messaging reference?
  • Twitter users make up only 6% of the number of mobile phone subscribers in the US and 55% of those Twitter users have never sent a message ("tweet").
  • More than 60% of U.S. Twitter fail to show up the following month according to Nielsen Online.
  • There are multiple steps required (including registration, phone validation, double following and detailed direct messaging instructions) for a non-Twitter using patron to ask you a reference question privately, from their phone, not posted to the internet.
  • Twitter is limited to 140 characters and lacks an orderly threading system for follow ups.

If you LOVE Twitter and are offended at these statements, please understand that we love Twitter too. We know it can be helpful to libraries for announcements, feeds, posts, social buzz, etc, but it is not an efficient solution to manage SMS/Text messaging reference services. Rather than post more limitations, please take a look at the Mosio for Libraries features list to see all of the great system features built for librarians. Mosio for Libraries works with over 250 million U.S. mobile phones and does not require patrons to be members of a 3rd party service.
On the patron side, many mobile phones still cannot send a text message to an email address (including the iPhone). On the library side, mobile carrier spam filters do not like seeing a single email address or IP sending SMS messages to their customers via email accounts. The result is delays and/or the blacklisting of your library's email and IP address by that carrier. It really is not a question of "if" but "when" it will happen.
The only good thing about the AIM hack is that it is free for your library to use. That said, here are reasons libraries are using Mosio for Libraries instead of the AIM hack:
  • Patron-Librarian Experience - Mosio for Libraries uses a simple, functional message threading system optimized for the text messaging experience for both librarians & patrons.
  • Patron privacy - All patrons are assigned an anonymous, private user ID with no phone numbers displayed.
  • Archiving and Reporting - Growing, searchable knowledge bank of past questions for future reference with on-demand, flexible reporting tools.
  • Support – Mosio for Libraries offers dedicated support staff with a prompt response to all inquiries.
  • Textspeak Dictionary - 800+ word Text Speak translator to help you understand beyond LOL and BRB.
  • Keywords - Short and easy to remember (4-6 characters), only need to be used once by the patron. The system will remember them in the future.
  • Marketing Materials/Templates - professionally designed marketing collateral (print and digital) to provide instruction and raise patron awareness.
  • Additional Features - Custom and flexible auto-responders for when the library is closed, messaging footers, templated answers for frequently asked questions and multimodal notification system.
If you need one more reason why we think you should use Mosio for Libraries: We will always improve the service by listening to your feedback, expanding features and evolving with technologies.
We love mobile phones of all kinds (iPhones, Blackberries, Palm and others). They are great for peer-to-peer communications, but they are an inefficient way to organize and manage SMS reference services. Some specific reasons:
  • They are not collaboration-friendly.
  • Phones expose the privacy of patron information by displaying patron phone numbers.
  • They lack reporting, archiving and downloading of any data or transcripts.
  • Technical and customer support of the phone manufacturers and mobile carriers is neither dedicated nor easy.
  • Limited to 160 characters
  • Lack organization of handling multiple patron inquiries simultaneously
  • You have to buy hardware (the phone) and sign a 2 year contract with fees of $60-$150/month (not including overages, taxes, fees or insurance).
  • Texting on a phone handset vs. typing on a computer keyboard is significantly less efficient.
  • Mobile phones break, get lost, need charging and become obsolete.
  • Cell phone reception can be inconsistent or weak throughout your library.
Mosio for Libraries addresses all of the above issues and provides a suite of reference features that are not available using a mobile phone.
Yes. By design, each microboard has its own keyword to differentiate itself from other microboards.
No. Very early in development, we tried the method of auto-refreshing and found it to be quite frustrating and disruptive to workflow. Instead we use other indicators on the Microboard (moving text, red box, an optional sound) to let you know when a new question arrives. This is, of course, in addition to any custom notifications you set up using email, IM or SMS.
Please don't hesitate to email us with your questions. We are very responsive. Or if you'd like to sign-up for an online webinar, we definitely encourage you and your staff to do so. We find we get a lot of great questions from all the librarians that attend these online demonstrations. Email us at and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
By all means, please do so! Mosio for Libraries was built in conjunction and consultation with many librarians, and continues to evolve with the great feedback we have received by librarians. We take all suggestions to heart and do our best to address these in our product features if a) we can do so with the technology and b) if it will benefit all libraries using the service. Email us at and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!

General Text Messaging FAQs

Text messaging, or texting, is the term for the sending of "short" (160 characters or fewer) text messages from mobile phones using the Short Message Service (SMS). The individual messages which are sent are called text messages or, more colloquially, texts or SMS.
According to Nielson research, in the U.S. today, about 200 million of the 259 million wireless users subscribe to or purchase text-message capability. Of these, 138 million use text-messaging on a regular basis. In fact, text-messaging has become so pervasive that U.S. mobile subscribers now send and receive more text-messages in a month than they do phone calls. These numbers have been increasing exponentially over the past few years. Source: http://bit.ly/c2ADvM
No. Instant Messaging, aka Chat (Meebo, Trillian, Jabber, AIM, GoogleTalk) is typically conducted on a computer. Text Messaging is conducted on a mobile phone.
A short code is a 5-6 digit mobile phone number where patrons send text messages. Mosio for Libraries's short code is "66746", which spells "MOSIO".
The quick answer is it is possible, but the long answer is that you probably don't want to. It is a very resource-intensive and timely certification process with the mobile carriers. Leasing a short code can be expensive and take up to 10-12 months to set-up. In addition, there is ongoing carrier compliance to ensure that your SMS gateway is functioning within the parameters of their certifications. If you have further questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to let us know.
The keyword is a short, easy-to-remember word or combination of letters that libraries create (i.e. AskTal) to delineate their library from others using Mosio for Libraries. The patron texts your keyword to 66746 to get started. Our system will respond with detailed instructions. (i.e. Text ASKTAL to 66746.)
We have outlined a page/video called "6 Questions to Ask When Considering Mobile Text Messaging Services". It is worth taking a few minutes to watch.
Please don't hesitate to email us with your questions. We are very responsive. Or if you'd like to sign-up for an online webinar, we definitely encourage you and your staff to do so. We find we get a lot of great questions from all the librarians that attend these online demonstrations. Email us at and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.