6 Questions to Ask When Considering Mobile Text Messaging Services 

Choosing an SMS / Text Messaging Vendor

Adding mobile technologies to your library services is truly exciting. As the world becomes more mobile, being able to communicate with patrons on their mobile devices is the future of libraries.

We put together this list of 6 questions you should ask when considering vendors regarding text messaging and your library services. If you're paying for a service, you have a right to know what you're getting and we hope this proves helpful during your decision making process. (Full list below the video)

1. Is the vendor certified by the mobile carriers? This is extremely important.

Ask potential vendors "is your company mobile carrier certified?"
Getting certified and approved by the mobile carriers is required to resell text messaging services on their networks. It requires an initial certification process taking several months plus ongoing audits by the carriers for the service to maintain reliability and compliance. Mosio's Text a Librarian is the only mobile carrier certified text messaging reference solution created specifically for libraries.

2. Does it use screen-scraping or violate another company's terms of service?

Ask potential vendors if they are using Google Voice as part of their SMS gateway.
(Especially important to ask this if they claim they can get you a local number for patrons to text to.)
If the answer is yes, they are violating 2 of Google's Terms of Service. It is not permitted to auto-login (aka "screen-scrape" or "poll") to Google products or to resell them as part of a service.

Don't take our word for it, search and see how many legitimate businesses are using/reselling Google Voice as part of their text message services. In your search you'll likely find our blog post:
"Why We Don’t Use Google Voice as an SMS Gateway"

3. Does the service require you to buy or lease web servers and hardware or have heavy IT Department involvement?

Text a Librarian is 100% web-based, accessible by any computer with internet access.
There is no hardware or additional software for you to buy and you can be up and running immediately with no training required.

4. How is your patron privacy and data security managed? Are phone numbers shown?

We've never had a librarian tell us that patron privacy isn't important.
Our service assigns a random Patron ID to every incoming text message question and we never show their phone numbers. Our service also uses SSL encryption, the same used for online banking.

5. Will the application automate and streamline your processes?

We provide you with up to the minute reporting and statistics on your usage, exportable transcripts and collaborative features that make sharing easy.
We also provide customizable auto-responders to let patrons know you're closed and when you'll get back to them. You can create custom answer templates for questions that get asked repeatedly. Be sure and take our tour or sign up for a Text a Librarian webinar for a full demonstration of the service.

6. Is there a dedicated support team to help your team when you have questions?

Your Text a Librarian license includes access to service and support when you have questions.
Mosio's growing popularity in the library market is due to our great customer service, something we do not take lightly.

We hope these questions have been helpful during your consideration of mobile and text messaging service providers. If you have any additional questions, comments or concerns, please contact us.


The Text a Librarian Team

Mosio's Text a Librarian
Mobile Reference Simplified.

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