Tag Archives: Text a Librarian

Google Talk Workarounds for Mosio for Libraries Notifications (Not Using Hangouts)

Virtual Reference Software Tips - Web Chat / Instant Message / Mosio

A Public Library Mosio patron writes, “We’ve been using Google Talk to notify us of new Text a Librarian questions. Now that Google Talk has been discontinued (and sort of replaced by Google Hangouts), we’re finding that Google Hangouts is not notifying us of new Text a Librarian messages. What do you recommend for a library in our predicament?”

To make sure you don’t miss out on any more of your Text A Librarian messages, we suggest the following workaround. Download a different chat client, such as either Pidgin or Trillian. We recommend Pidgin. When setting it up, enter your Google Talk email address in the section for accounts. Then use the client to view your messages.

Can personalized library customer service survive in our increasingly digital and mobile world?

Mosio Picture

The image of the library in the modern world is changing as rapidly as technology. Gone are the silent, cavernous collections guarded by scowling librarians. Libraries of today are as much about computers and information technology as they are about books. But, one of the things that has always made the library experience so special is the personal touch that customer service provides. The human aspect of libraries is something that can never be replaced by technology, and indeed, today it is more important than ever due to the massive amount of information that is available to patrons.

In the libraries of yesterday, patrons may have sought help in using the card catalogue or locating a book on the shelves. The customer service aspect of those times was much narrower in scope. A patron today may need assistance with a variety of media; books, software, internet databases, and more. Even though so much can be accessed in a solitary fashion, i.e. the patron perusing materials independently, the library experience can be made so much better with strong, personalized customer service. And, thanks to ever-evolving options, the way that customer service can be provided is as diverse as technology itself.

Customer service no longer has to be limited to the actual brick-and-mortar library. Texting, which is vastly popular in society as a whole, is a wonderful tool for librarians to use when helping patrons. A patron can literally be anywhere and still be able to get personalized help and important answers. As much information as there is in the world, there is still no substitute for having an actual knowledgeable person to help a patron with a question. Personalized customer service is as vital today as ever—perhaps even more so! It is a very reachable goal for all libraries to foster strong interaction with their patrons through ever more diverse means. Pursuing this ideal will ensure that libraries remain the most vital source of information that they can be.

About the author: Lizabeth C.S. Bell has worked as a librarian, and has a great appreciation for the power of information. She has degrees in English literature and library science. Currently, Lizabeth is a freelance editor and writer. Follow her on Twitter @LizBell9.

Mosio for Libraries – Ask a Librarian Software | Condensed Webinar

We’ve been getting a lot of requests lately for more webinars on different days/times, so we went ahead and made a condensed webinar showcasing all of the features and functionality of Mosio for Libraries. Spend 15 minutes and see how Mosio saves librarians hours every month by combining patron communications normally splintered across channels into a single, web-based dashboard.

We have plugins and apps for Drupal, WordPress, Joomla! and Facebook and adding patron support to your popular online databases and electronic resources is a breeze. We’ll stop here and let the video show and tell…

mfl-header-newsletter

 

 

Library News: Library Introduces Book-A-Librarian, E-Books Grow at Libraries, 10 ‘Little Libraries’

Are libraries important to our children?

Read More

Library eyes e-book effort

Read More

What libraries give to students speaks volumes

Read More

Amarillo Public Library introduces Book-A-Librarian

Read More

Library embracing technology, electronic reading

Read More

13-millionth Volume Acquired

Read More

10 ‘little libraries’ to open new chapter in Parkside

Read More

Poland’s National Library acquires Czeslaw Milosz treasures

Read More

Demand for e-books grows at libraries

Read More

Library of Congress shows diaries from Civil War

Read More

 

For information about how your library can deploy patron support software, please get in touch with us. We offer free consultations and a quick quote based on the needs of your library and have helped over 800 libraries across the US and Canada.

Compiled by Mosio’s helpdesk software for libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Get a Free Online Quote Now

 

—-

Library Thought Leaders Q&A: Courtney Young (Penn State Greater Allegheny)

Today’s library thought leader is Courtney Young, Head Librarian and Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Penn State Greater Allegheny.

Hi Courtney, thanks so much for your time, here we go…What does the idea of Patron Relationship Management in libraries mean to you?
For me, Patron Relationship Management means a supportive collaboration. That includes getting to know your users, provide them with the types of services they expect, and create opportunities for your patrons to discover something new at your library. PRM is outreach, opportunity, and advocacy rolled into one.

You were recently the Twitter moderator for Library Journal’s “Power to the Patron” virtual tech summit. What ideas stuck out to you in the convergence of patron empowerment and technology?
I was really impressed with the creative ways libraries were bringing content of interest to their communities as well as improving access to their resources using technology. The walking tour of San Jose mobile site drawing from images in the library’s collection takes digitizing a collection to a new level. Cuyahoga County Public Library’s decision to stop tattle taping their print collection and encouraging self check-out via a mobile app is the ultimate in patron empowerment. These projects and others from the tech summit highlighted that being user focus has changed, and the implementation of these services using technology effectively provides an opportunity for patron empowerment. Dan DeSanto summed it up during his talk on the Long Trail digital collection when he noted by creating mobile apps libraries create access to digital collection at “point of interest”.

It feels a little odd to say libraries “compete” with other entities, but when it comes to patron attention, companies, social networks and the media are all competing. What can libraries do to maintain the attention they have? Is it different for Academic Libraries vs. Public?
Libraries will likely continue to do the type of work that users traditionally expect, but it is very important that we continue to transform in the eyes of our users by experimenting with new models for providing information and other resources to our respective communities. The “Power to the Patron” virtual tech summit presentations are a glimpse into the possibilities for libraries to capture and maintain that attention. Outreach and advocacy must go hand-in-hand with strategic risk-taking. It is also important that no matter what libraries decide to do they must do it well.

While the missions of academic and public libraries can make the way this is carried out look different, there is definitely overlap in strategies for keeping your users’ attention. This includes awareness of user needs and implementing programs and services to meet those needs. It has been my experience when having conversations with public and school library colleagues there are more commonalities than differences. Sometimes we use different terminology, but our goals are usually the same.

What is an example (technology-oriented or not) of how a library has done a great job with “customer/patron service”?
There are a lot of libraries out there doing an excellent job with “customer/patron service”.  There are school libraries lending e-readers to students, a program that not only fosters literacy skills but also technology skills. There are public libraries providing diverse programming and events such as author lectures, live musical performances, book groups, and technology training. There are academic libraries collaborating with students to allow them to create LibGuides from the student perspective as well as teach software functionality skills (ex. creating high-impact tables and graphs, working with images to create slides for presentations). All these examples and more illustrate positive PRM.

What tips or resources do you have for libraries looking to improve patron experiences and service?
Educate your staff so they have the tools to succeed. They know and build relationships with your patrons, so their understanding of new programs, services, and technologies will allow them to directly provide patrons with positive experiences. Decide what skills everyone needs and what members of your team should become specialists or experts with certain products or services.

Ask for feedback from your library users and your staff. Not only will you find out what could be done better, but you may be surprised to find out what you are doing well.

Identify libraries providing the types of services and programs you want to provide at your library and contact them for advice and strategies. The library community is very generous with its time and eager to share information. In addition to how they decided to implement a particular program or service, you can often find out what modifications they made as a result or approaches they would have liked to have taken if they were planning it again for the first time.

Thanks for your time and insights!
Thank you again for the opportunity!

About Courtney:
Courtney Young is currently Head Librarian and Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Penn State Greater Allegheny. Courtney is an active leader in the American Library Association (ALA), serving on the ALA Executive Board and as a past President of the New Members Round Table. In 2011, Courtney was named a Library Journal “Mover & Shaker”, recognized as a Change Agent for her ability to successfully make connections among a diversity of duties in her library, on campus, and in the profession. She graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio with a B.A. in English and minors in Black Studies and Women’s Studies.  She received her M.S. in Library Science from Simmons College.

Before coming to Penn State Greater Allegheny, Courtney worked at The Ohio State University, Michigan State University, where she received a Staff Achievement Award as the assistant instruction librarian, and Penn State’s University Park and Beaver campuses. Courtney frequently presents and publishes on issues related to academic librarianship, diversity, African American studies, women’s studies, virtual reference, and professional development.

Follow Courtney on Twitter at @librarycourtney and visit her blog at http://librarycourtney.blogspot.com/

New Text a Librarian Feature – Automatic Bit.ly Generator

Text a Librarian’s Bit.ly Linke Auto-Generator: More Links With Less Characters

We have a handful of new features coming up over the next month, but wanted to quickly let you know about our Bit.ly generator, suggested by our customers as a “great to have” feature.

Bit.ly is a handy URL shortening technology that makes it easier to crunch long urls into less characters. Now with Text a Librarian, you can paste a long URL, check the Bit.ly box and it will shorten it for you.

After librarians send the message, if they mouse over the bitly link, it’ll show them what the real URL looks like, see below for an illustration.

More features and exciting updates coming soon!

Thanks,

The Text a Librarian Team

“Text a Librarian? I didn’t know you could do that.”

We always wear our Text a Librarian T-Shirts (especially because we just got them in new colors). To work, on the weekends, whenever. Other than my “You Don’t Like Clowns?” tee from Headline Shirts, my Text a Librarian shirt starts the most conversations of any I wear. People always smile, some understand it immediately, some ask what it is and how it works, but the number one thing we hear is “I didn’t know you could do that!” Then, when we explain the context of it, being able to ask reference questions, see if a book is available and put it on hold, get notices about events happening in the library, the next thing always said is “what a great idea” followed by asking us which libraries offer the service.

Whether you use our service or someone else’s, we encourage you to keep letting everyone know you can Text a Librarian. More people will be pleased to know! :)

Text a Librarian Video Tours and Tutorials

Videos showing demos of a product or service are the best!

We now have video tours / tutorials of Mosio’s Text a Librarian available on the Text a Librarian website. They were made as a way of showing how the service works for those unfamiliar with it, but also as a video training guide for new customers. You’ll also notice two new features coming up soon that are part of regular Text a Librarian packages. We’ll be announcing them officially soon enough, so for now you can watch and see if you can find them.

The first one, showing how to receive and respond to incoming patron text message questions is below or you can view all of them at www.textalibrarian.com/video-tour.php

Mosio and Text a Librarian’s Post to Facebook Function: Now Live!

In February we launched a “Post to Twitter” function within the Mosio mobile messaging platform and Mosio’s Text a Librarian. We wrote a blog post about why this was good for libraries: user generated marketing.

I’ve pasted the original blog post about why it was good for libraries below. It’s great for every business and now the post to Facebook function gives organizations the ability to post questions and answers to the world’s largest and most powerful social network. If you’re a librarian you can read the information below as is, but if you’re a marketing or customer service manager at a company, simply replace the word “patron” with “customer” and “library” with “company” and you’ll see that the feature holds the same great function for either.

Enjoy!

Original Post

A “Post to Twitter” button on websites isn’t a new functionality, but after giving it some thought, we decided to add it to Text a Librarian. The reason? It’s User Generated Content that engages patrons and markets your library services.

SEO + Social Marketing + Patron Engagement
People searching online often type out an entire question in the search box, rather than just a few keywords, to see what results come up. Tweets are indexed by search engines like Google, Bing and soon Yahoo and when an individual searches online by typing out a question, your reference Q&A can appear in search results (aka helpful service + free marketing).

Here’s an excellent example of how the New York Public Library’s AskNYPL tweet of the question “What is the wingspan of a swallow?” is now indexed on Google, marketing their reference services.

Tweeting user generated content of funny, interesting and helpful questions and answers also engages Twitter-following patrons (and their followers through re-tweets) and informs them about your library’s reference services. We’ve seen great uses of Twitter by libraries engaging patrons with reference trivia and daily fun facts.

Spreading Love for Your Library
Many libraries are using Text a Librarian beyond questions and answers as a virtual suggestion box and for patron ideas and opinions about library services (questions, comments and feedback). When a patron texts good ideas and positive feedback, you can use the post to Twitter button to spread the love.

How Do I Start Using It? (for existing Text a Librarian customers):
The Post to Twitter button is an optional function of your service, controlled by your library’s Admin. Please visit the New Features section of your Text a Librarian microboard for details on how to turn it on.

Mosio and Text a Librarian on the iPad

Click for Bigger Image of Mosio's Messaging Platform & Text a Librarian on the iPad

Back in January I wrote a blog post titled “The iPad, Tablets and E-Readers in Libraries: Game Changers or are they just Another Mobile Technology?” My decision was that I was uncertain, but suspected they were just another mobile technology. This weekend I got one and I have to say, I love it. I think they can and will be super efficient in various work environments. I’m actually faster at typing on my iPhone. I’m sure as with anything, practice makes perfect, but unless I’m without my laptop, I won’t be typing any more blog posts or writing an proposals on my iPad. If needed, I’ll use my phone to get the thoughts out.

Naturally, my first inclination was to test out our software on the iPad and it works amazingly well. All of the moving text/flashing box notifications work and you can get around quickly if you need to open a new browser window for additional research. Is it as fast as working on a computer? Absolutely not. The iPad fills a strange gap between mobile phone and laptop. My biggest use for my iPad is what I thought it would be: to read blogs and online articles like a book. Only with this “book” i’m able to click on and watch a relevant video as well, very cool. I handed it to my wife to check out and after about 15 minutes, I returned to the room with 3 new games on it, she was playing on of them. I wasn’t too surprised.

I’m happy to say that Mosio’s Text Messaging Platform and Text a Librarian offer great experiences on the iPad, just as our CTO Jay Sachdev, said it would. As we continue to build out more features and solutions for our clients, we’ll continue doing our best to make sure the experience is a good one, regardless of what industry you’re in and which device you’re working on.