Category Archives: Text 66746 (MOSIO)

4 Ways Text Messaging Can Improve Your Patron Communications

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A recent Pew study revealed that 80 percent of American cell phone owners use text messaging as a means of communication, sending or receiving an average of 41.5 text messages per day. For the 18-24 age group, 97 percent of cell phone owners text, sending or receiving an average of 109.5 texts per day.

One look at these numbers and you know instantly how to reach a majority of your current library patrons and an even greater majority of tomorrow’s library patrons: via text.

Text messaging is a fast and efficient means of communicating with your library patrons and there are many ways in which you can use text messaging to improve your patron communications. Here are just a few types of messages you can communicate to your patrons via text:

1. Circulation Notices Such as Holds and Overdues.

Emails today convey much less of a sense of urgency than they did a few years ago, especially to younger library patrons. To catch your users’ attention with important circulation notices, try sending them via text instead of email. This way, they can act on the notices immediately.

2. Promotional Polls and Contests

A great way to keep your patrons engaged is to link promotions to programming and other library events. Your library can have contests where you send out polls or questions via text for prizes such as first row seats to an upcoming speaker (ie. “The first three patrons to text us the author of Tender Is the Night win front row seats to our October Author Speaker Series Event”). You can also hold a text vote to choose between two programming possibilities for an upcoming date.

3. URLs to Newsletters or Other Library Publications

Does your library publish a monthly newsletter? A terrific way to get the newsletter into the hands of your patrons so they may have immediate access is to send them a short text with the URL right when it is published. Your patrons can be reading the newsletter that your staff worked so hard on literally within seconds of publication.

4. Programming Reminders

In today’s fast-paced and information-packed world, we need to be reminded of things. A great way to promote your library programs is to send your patrons text reminders of upcoming events, along with URLs linking to further information if available. This way, they can check their schedules on the go and even add the events directly from your text to their calendars.

Try these text messaging tips to improve communications at your library. We think your patrons will appreciate it.

Buttons to Launch Your Mosio for Libraries Support Widget

Want to add a button to your website that launches your widget?

Most libraries are able to add our widget code to their footer files or use our plugins for Drupal, Joomla! or WordPress, but others are using shared websites with their schools, cities, etc. While we offer an embeddable widget, if you do not have the freedom to add the support tab to every page of your website, we suggest using one of our buttons and placing it everywhere you can.

Here are instructions, a link to give you the code you need and some buttons you can use.

MFL_Groovy_Buttons

After you login, click on this link and it will give you code for adding an Ask a Librarian link to your site or launch from a button.

To update the button, simply change this image url in the code: http://www.mosio.com/biz/images/btn_s_org_askaq.png
to a url of the button you want to use. Here are some buttons you can use of ours. To find the url for the image, Right-Click the image and pick “View Image” – You’ll see the url for the image in the web browser.

So login now, click this link and start adding your buttons!

https://biz.mosio.com/par/example/support_widget_link

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25 Great Text Messaging Acronyms You May or May Not Need to Know for Your Text-a-Librarian Service

Do you speak text?

Mosio_TextSpeak_Translator

Your patrons speak many languages, and you can’t learn them all. But one thing you can do to improve service to your patrons is familiarize yourself with some of the more common terms and phrases in their languages of preference. If your patron is text-savvy enough to be texting his or her librarian, then one of his or her languages of preference is chat and chances are he or she is up on the latest text messaging acronyms.

A great way to enhance chat service for your patrons and maximize your efficient use of time is to become familiar with some of the most common and helpful text messaging acronyms. Speaking your users’ languages, especially in online communications, will help them feel more comfortable and give that personal touch so they don’t feel like they are talking to a robot.

There are thousands of text messaging acronyms, but we want to stick to the ones that can be used in a professional environment and that are not too obscure. These are the ones your users will likely be using, and these are the ones that you should be using as well. You will want to tailor your chat acronym use to each session, gauging each individual user’s chat acronym expertise level by the acronyms that he or she uses him- or herself.

Here is a list of 25 text messaging acronyms which you can add to your arsenal of reference tools.

AAP – Always a pleasure
BIF – Before I forget
BRB – Be right back
BTW – By the way
EOM – End of message
F2F – Face to face
GL – Good luck
HAND – Have a nice day
IANAL – I am not a lawyer
IMA – I might add
IMO – In my opinion
IOW – In other words
ISWYM – I see what you mean
JIC – Just in case
OIC – Oh, I see
OTOH – On the other hand
PD – Public domain
SOW – Speaking of which
THX – Thanks
TTBOMK – To the best of my knowledge
TYVM – Thank you very much
WB – Welcome back
WRT – With regard to
WTG – Way to go!
YW – You’re welcome

The patron texting a question is typically expecting a quick response and librarians need to be prepared to answer text-a-librarian questions promptly. Lots of chat acronyms, such as ROFL and L8R, are designed for close friends. Your users may employ such acronyms, but you will want to restrict your use to the more professional ones such as those in the list above.

And if your patron sends you a puzzling collection of letters and you have no idea what they mean, Mosio’s text speak translator will give you the help you need with its 800+ text messaging acronym definitions.

A few creative ideas to make Customer Support fun at your Library

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing” – Dale Carnegie

Oftentimes we seem to have the misconception that teaching must always be thought of as a serious act of imparting education to the receiver of such knowledge. There’s very little that is taught in a serious manner that couldn’t be improved upon by adding some light humor or fun.

Rethink your instruction classes
Begin with rethinking how you deliver instruction or information to your patrons. One way of delivering customer support is through the instruction classes given by your library. Along with teaching your regular classes on Microsoft Word, keyboard skills, or Introduction to Twitter, consider adding classes that address one or more areas in which you receive the highest amount of questions from your patrons.

Instruction with customer support in mind could include “How to navigate our databases  from your home,” “Use the online catalog without driving to the library,” or instruction on the use of your library’s “Ask-a-Librarian” type of service that your library features. Consider teaching some of your library classes online to encourage greater inclusion and participation from your homebound patrons.

At the college library where I currently work as an academic librarian, one of our former instructors used candy to motivate students in his classes during instruction. For the student chosen who then provided a correct response he would toss a roll of Smarties. If an incorrect answer was given, a Dumb Dumb sucker would soar their direction. This created an active and fun participation while at the same time, engaging the students in the subject content. It has been researched that when we engage in more than one of our senses at a time, this can reinforce the learning process.

Using gamification

Gamification represents the 21st century creation of adding game mechanics to make something more engaging to the users, similar to playing a game. Gamification is often used for the purpose of training. In the past we only had training programs like “Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.” Although Mavis was a fictional character, she probably helped more individuals learn keyboard skills than many non-fictional instructors. Many of Mavis Beacon’s students probably forgot while participating in the training process they were learning a skill. That’s one of the goals of gamification. Gamification can lend itself to being used to create self-training programs for patrons to better acquaint them with using your existing library services and support programs.

Awards

Have you ever heard your colleagues or patrons express that they have received too many awards or certificates of recognition? Awards usually make us feel good. Including tutorials on your library’s site which allow the patron to print out a certificate following completion of learning a new skill such as “How to read a library e-Book from home” can motivate users to stay current in using all of the library’s programs, databases, and resources your library has to offer them. Consequently, this can reduce some of the time your library spends answering customer support questions while at the same time empowering your patrons.

Point System

The point system is another motivator especially if the points can then be traded in for something valuable to the holder of the accrued points. Offering points to patrons for completing online or physical feedback forms while at the same time offering points to staff who receive positive feedback, the library can then award items such as a coupon “Redeemable for 1 complimentary paperback from our bookstore.” This cannot help but motivate patrons to continue to improve your library services while continuing to strengthen the library staff’s ongoing customer support skills.

Marketing Lessons from NYPL – 3 Great Executions that Built a Buzz

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“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself” ~ Peter F. Drucker

The unparalleled way to promote your service or product would be to intrinsically build within that product or service the finest features the customer would want that type of product to embody. This accurately defines the formation and continued success of the New York Public Library (NYPL).

Originally executing its architectural grandness, continuing with the library’s holdings while staying current with technology, NYPL continues to grow with the times while remaining a historic landmark.

There was considerable wisdom exercised in the amalgamation of great architecture with a great library, the one can’t help but complement the other. This is one of the original defining executions of the New York Public Library. The Beaux-Arts masterpiece, constructed with white Dorset marble, featuring a wide staircase guiding library patrons to three grand arches next to Corinthian columns supporting relief sculptures representing philosophy, romance, religion, poetry, drama and history. Edward Clark Potter’s famous sculpted stone lions Patience (Lady Astor) and Fortitude (Lord Lenox) guard the library’s south and north side, respectively.

The collection housed within the New York Public Library is itself another inherent marketing attraction. Some of NYPL’s permanent in-house residents include the Gutenberg Bible, an original manuscript copy of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, Charles Dickens’ favorite letter opener, a 1493 copy of Columbus letter announcing discovery of the New World, Jack Kerouac’s crutches, Truman Capote’s cigarette case, approximately 40,000 restaurant menus from the 1850′s to current and for the children or children at heart, the original Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animals along with the thousands of books and items including musical scores, historic maps, art, recordings and manuscripts.

NYPL is hardly resting on its historical laurels alone in continuing to market their distinguished resource. Staying current with technology represents another mark of success with the NYPL. Patrons today can be seen throughout the library accessing Wi-Fi on their laptops. The library’s automated book delivery system sends books within minutes of request by conveyor to the Rose Main Reading Room (seats more than 600 readers) where the public can read with the help of the original Carre-and-Hastings lamps. NYPL’s marketing understands the value of social media, employing sites such as Twitter where in March 2013 they encouraged their Twitter followers at @NYPL to submit “poetic tweets” for their poetry contest. Along with Twitter, the library is staying current in marketing by using other sites including Facebook, Google, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Continuing to embrace its past while staying mindful of the future, NYPL accommodates to changes that are necessary to continue forward. With its structural integrity, magnificent collections and current technologies, NYPL has continued to prove itself a marketing success.

Diane Perrine is a freelance writer and an academic librarian at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida. She resides in Ocala Florida.
Her hobbies include gardening, hiking, bicycling, volunteering and learning something new everyday.

This article is provided by Mosio for Libraries. To receive these directly in your inbox, please register for our Patron Support Tips Newsletter.


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6 Ways to be More Efficient with Your Virtual Reference Services

Text a Librarian Tips from Mosio | Virtual Reference Chat Widget

Virtual references services can broaden the scope of library services, and help you to reach new patrons, but one of the keys to a successful virtual reference program is efficiency.

1. Create a FAQ for you and for patrons. A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list is a helpful resource for any library website that both benefits patron service and saves staff time. Patrons can answer their own questions quickly without aid of a staff member, staff can direct patrons directly to the appropriate question and answer, or staff can use the FAQ to help answer the questions themselves.

2. Have devoted time blocks for staff members for virtual reference. Virtual reference services should provide patrons with the same quality service as traditional service. If staff members are multi-tasking or prone to interruption while performing virtual reference, it may impede the quality of service. If you can’t set aside blocks of devoted time, or it doesn’t make sense given your virtual reference traffic, have staff working on projects that are easily interrupted and set aside.

3. Select your virtual reference tool wisely. Do your research before selecting a tool for your virtual reference services. You want a tool that can handle the virtual reference traffic efficiently, and you don’t want staff having to troubleshoot technical glitches while providing service.

4. Keep virtual reference limited to ready reference. Virtual reference services should be limited to questions that can be answered quickly and easily. For questions that require more extensive research, request the patron’s contact information.

5. Keep key reference sources at your fingertips. Create a set of shared bookmarks for online resources so staff can refer to them easily and quickly. If there are books that are frequently used to answer reference questions, have staff keep those on hand while engaging in virtual reference.

6. Consider Collaboration. Many libraries collaborate with other libraries on virtual reference service. This can be done through organization with an established consortium, or by reaching out to peer institutions.

Four Ways to Promote Your Ask-a-Librarian Service

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Your Ask-a-Librarian service is a powerful research tool for your patrons, most of whom have come to expect quick and easy access to information and answers. Here are four promotional ideas to get the word out and help your patrons take advantage of this service.

1.  Instructional Sessions and Classes

One of the best ways to promote your Ask-a-Librarian service is to tell your patrons about it directly in informational literacy classes (for academic libraries) or computer and other instructional classes and workshops (for public libraries). A live demo in a class or group setting will really grab your patrons’ attention so they remember to use the service the next time they need information remotely.

2. Posters with QR Codes

Another great way to promote your Ask-a-Librarian service is by placing posters around your library building (and campus community, for academic libraries) advertising the service. Be sure to include a QR code to take patrons directly to your Ask-a-Librarian information page, where they can learn more about and use the service.

3. Social Media

Does your library have a blog, or a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest account? A great way to inform your patrons of an online service such as Ask-a-Librarian is to reach them when they are already online. If they are reading about your Ask-a-Librarian service from any of your social media accounts, then they are either on a computer or a smart phone, and they can go straight to the service and utilize it immediately.

4. Signs on Computer Monitors

Finally, placing small and unobtrusive announcement “bubbles” in the upper right-hand corner of your library’s computer monitors will certainly catch your patrons attention without being a distraction. One of the best methods to create these announcements is to use dialogue bubbles from MS Word. Type in your message, laminate the announcements, cut them out following the dialogue bubble outlines, and then attach one to the upper-right corner of each of your monitors using Velcro or another adhesive method.

These are just four ideas to get you started with your Ask-a-Librarian promotions, but you can come up with many more. The key is to be creative and have fun! When you connect your users with your library’s services, everybody benefits.

Michael English is an academic librarian and freelance writer/editor.

Mosio’s Patron Support and Help Desk Software for Libraries [VIDEO]

Hello!

This video explains all of the great reasons why more librarians choose Mosio. Our patron support software for libraries enables you to help more patrons wherever they are, faster. We offer simple copy/paste widget code for your website, blogs, content management systems and online resource areas. When patrons have questions, they click the tab, type in their question and choose their communication channel of choice: Web Chat, Text Messaging or Email.

Based on our popular Text a Librarian platform, patrons can also send/receive text messages from their mobile phones with your library, giving them communication access when they are online or on the go. Or you can just watch the video which does a great job! :)

To sign up for a webinar or get a quote for your library, visit us at www.textalibrarian.com

See the Next Generation of Library to Patron Communications with Mosio @ ALA Midwinter

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Mosio has something fun planned for all that visit our booth #2701 at ALA Midwinter this year and you really won’t want to miss it! Come see us and get your picture taken with one of America’s favorite literary giants and find out why Mosio is leading the way in Library Helpdesk Software. You can also learn about all of our great new features and functionality that make Mosio the only Patron Support Tool you should be considering for your college, university or public library as well as the discount being offered to all of those that stop by to see us.

Not attending ALA? No problem, we have also scheduled some informative webinars in the months of January and February and anyone that attends a webinar will be eligible for a free implementation fee. This will be a 30 minute demo to give you an in-depth look at why Mosio’s Communication Platform is the future of library communication. Attend the webinar to learn about:

  • Why TAL is the leading Library Helpdesk Software solution serving public and academic libraries.
  • The new chat feature which allows us to provide libraries with a time saving, all-in-one, communications tool.
  • Details of the Mid-Winter ALA Discount offered only to those attending the webinars or stopping by our booth #2701

There are a variety of days and times to choose from. Click here to sign up now, space is limited!

If for some reason you cannot make the webinars give one of us a call and we can schedule a quick personalized demo.

Take care,

The Mosio Accounts Team

4 Fresh Themes to Market Text Message Reference | Patron Support Tips

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4 Fresh Themes to Market Text Message Reference

Lisa Carlucci Thomas

There’s been a noticeable trend shift in the past year: mobile is coming of age. More and more people are upgrading feature phones to smartphones, apps and mobile web sites are increasingly available and sophisticated; and emerging research about mobile behavior provides deeper insight into the how, when, and why of mobile interaction.

In libraries, text message reference consistently provides real-time, expert support at the point of need. As the mobile community continues to grow and mature, it’s essential to reach out to customers and be sure they know how, when, and why to use your library’s text message reference service.

In the recent Pew Internet study, Just-in-time Information through Mobile Connections , “70% of all cell phone owners and 86% of smartphone owners” sought “just in time” information via mobile communications over a 30 day period.  Among the objectives cited:

  • To solve an unexpected problem
  • Find information to help settle an argument
  • Obtain real-time traffic or public transit information
  • Get help (in an emergency situation)

Reference librarians receive these types of inquiries daily; why not more by text message? With the back to school rush right around the corner, now’s the time to revitalize your text message marketing to focus on the just in time behavior of mobile customers in 2012.

Need inspiration? Take a look at these retro library posters, then design your own based on the Pew findings. Tweet your designs to @textalibrarian & @lisacarlucci to be featured!

4 Fresh Themes to Market Text Message Reference:
SOLVE A PROBLEM | Text A Librarian
SETTLE AN ARGUMENT | Text A Librarian
REACH YOUR DESTINATION | Text A Librarian
GET HELP | Text A Librarian
Lisa Carlucci Thomas is the Director and Founder of Design Think Do, providing innovation and technology consulting to libraries, publishers, and information partners. Follow Lisa on Twitter @lisacarlucci

RETRO POSTER - In the Library