Yesterday we launched our txt reference service. Students can send their question in a text message to 021 488 155 during working hours and we will reply.
Our statistics for the chat service have gone up and down and I’ll be interested to see what the overall picture looks like once we’ve had 12 months worth of service. The numbers are low compared to f2f queries but anecdotal evidence suggests a high satisfaction with the chat service.
Most of the queries fitted into a reference query or lending query category. We’ve had a few strange ones too. For example, the chat equivalent of telemarketers trying to sell us services and somebody clearly extracting the Michael by asking if alcohol is allowed in the library. (Answer: only if you bring some for the librarians).
Texting a query to the mobile number results in an incoming query on our computer screen so we don’t actually have to use the phone’s interface at all. Our replies go back to the person’s mobile and are limited in the number of characters that can be sent.
Normal txt costs apply.