Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Implementing SMS and Texting Reference Services: Got a Q?

This guide demonstrates how librarians at USD's University Libraries are using SMS and IM. Featured are examples of IM interactive capabilities, resources, and links to conference presentations.


Welcome! This guide was created to demonstrate SMS and IM interactive capabilities and resources. Please contact us if you have any questions about our presentation, or would like more information.

Resources discussed during our presentation:


Got a Q? Text a Librarian! Implementing SMS and Texting Reference Services

Presentation Abstract:

Just as libraries strive to remain up-to-date in terms of providing access to electronic resources (electronic journals, databases and eBooks), many libraries have also updated their reference services to include instant messaging and text messaging in an effort to meet the information needs and preferences of contemporary library users. In this session, The University of South Dakota will share their experience with implementing Libraryh3lp, a jabber client chat service and Springshare's LibAnswers, a hosted out-of-the-box reference platform which includes an optional SMS reference module. Issues surrounding service implications will be presented and the advantages and disadvantages of Instant Messaging (IM), and SMS and texting reference interactions will be explored.

  • What are the challenges of learning the technology?
  • Are there limitations to texting as a reference service?
  • How does my chat client work alongside these services?
  • What are other uses of SMS and IM for internal library functions and communication?

Additionally, we will discuss marketing new services as a crucial step in the process. Multiple ideas and examples on how to advertise virtual reference to any library will also be discussed.

Footer for USD LibGuide v2.0