North Carolina Libraries, Vol 67, No 1 (2009)

265010 JoynerRef: Text Message Reference Service @ ECU

Mark Sanders


Many libraries have embraced email and IM reference service, but have yet to offer reference via text message.  But like e-mail and IM, text messaging represents just another method among a suite of online options to meet the reference needs of library patrons.  In fact, if a library is already able to receive IMs via American Online’s Instant Messenger (AIM) then it already is able to offer text messaging as a free service.   This article explains how a recent AIM modification, or “hack”, has given libraries and patrons access to a feature that was previously unavailable.  AIM is by far the most popular IM client, with more than 55 million active users.   A recent study at UNC – Chapel Hill’s House Undergraduate Library found that students prefer using AIM because its familiarity allows multitasking and lacks formality

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North Carolina Libraries is the official publication of the North Carolina Library Association.