The Radar

Helping You Zero in on New and Exciting Technologies

Feb-13-2009

Text Messages From Your Library!

smsI’m incredibly excited to announce a new service at Skokie Public Library – text message account notifications. Using SMS (Short Message Service) techology, we can keep you up-to-date on all your library holds, overdues, and early due date (courtesy) notices. You can even send a text message to renew your items!

Signing up is easy. Simply send a text message to skokie@shoutbomb.com with the word SIGNUP in the message text. The service will contact you back with further instructions. It’s that easy!

Once you’re signed up, here are the commands you should know about:

TEST – Tests your connection.
HL – Request a list of items currently on hold.
OL – Request a list of current overdue items
COURTESY – Toggles 2-day due date warnings on or off. Default setting is on.
OVERDUE – Toggles overdue warnings on or off. Default setting is on.
HOLDS – Toggles hold notices on or off. Default setting is on.
RESEND – Sends last message.
QUIT – Cancels text messaging service.

How do you text to an email address? More instructions are available after the jump.

Nearly every text-capable phone has the ability to send messages to an email address. Sometimes it’s a little tricky to find the right command. These instructions should cover the majority of phone models.

Most phone models: (This includes many of the popular “clamshell” and “candybar” phones.)
1. Go to Messaging and create a new Text Message.
2. Open up the Send To box to designate the recipient.
3. Some phones have a separate field for Email and Phone Number. If this is the case, enter skokie@shoutbomb.com in the Email field.
4. If not, look for a box that says 123 on the menu screen. (This means that you’re entering a number, to designate who you’re texting.) Press the relevant button (typically the Shift key or one of the Option buttons) to switch this to ABC.
5. Enter skokie@shoutbomb.com as the designated address. Send the message SIGNUP to this location.
6. Add this contact info to your Address Book.

BlackBerry:
1. Click on Messages.
2. Press the BlackBerry button and select Compose SMS Text.
3. Select [Use Once]. When it asks “Which Type of Address?” choose Email.
4. Enter skokie@shoutbomb.com as the email address. Send the message SIGNUP.
5. Add skokie@shoutbomb.com to your Address Book.


Google (Android) Phones:
1. Open up Messaging and select Compose New Message.
2. Set skokie@shoutbomb.com as the recipient.
3. Set SIGNUP as the message text.
4. Save skokie@shoutbomb.com as a contact.

Apple iPhone:
iPhones have no direct way of sending a text message to an email address. If your phone is set up to receive email messages, you can send a SIGNUP message to skokie@shoutbomb.com.

Still Having Trouble?

If none of these options apply to your phone, please email the Library or call 847.673.7774. Be sure to include your phone model and wireless carrier.

Text message notifications are provided by Shoutbomb, LLC. While this is a free service offered by the Library, you may incur per-message charges depending on your wireless plan. Please contact your wireless provider for more details.

Funding for this new service was provided by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library, a Department of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), under the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

Posted by Toby (former employee) | Posted under Mobile
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  1. Rich said,

    Hmm…I didn’t realize that about the iphone. I wonder if there’s an iphone app that would make this easier. Anyway, this is cool. Nice work on this!

  2. Max said,

    Can we these instructions in form of short cheat-sheet to give out to patrons?

  3. Toby said,

    A cheat sheet is forthcoming. We just need to get it printed.

  4. theanalogdivide » Blog Archive » Always. Be. Closing. said,

    [...] also held classes, talking up the service on the Library blogs, and I’ve been training staff on ways to “sell” the service to patrons. [...]

  5. Skokie Public Library’s Mobile Catalog and Other Services…03.21.09 « The Proverbial Lone Wolf Librarian’s Weblog said,

    [...] also held classes, talking up the service on the Library blogs, and I’ve been training staff on ways to “sell” the service to patrons. Later on, [...]

  6. PabloG » Blog Archive » links for 2009-05-19 said,

    [...] The Radar » Blog Archive » Text Messages From Your Library! "I’m incredibly excited to announce a new service at Skokie Public Library – text message account notifications. Using SMS (Short Message Service) techology, we can keep you up-to-date on all your library holds, overdues, and early due date (courtesy) notices. You can even send a text message to renew your items![…]" (tags: SMS mobile library bibliothèques library2.0 tic technology phone) [...]

  7. Liz Rowe-Rawlinson said,

    We are looking for an inexpensive way to send text message holds notifications to patrons. I have a question. How expensive is it to use shoutbomb for text messaging? Thanks. LIz from Rocky River Public Library, Rocky River, Ohio.

  8. Jennifer Wu said,

    Hi Toby,

    I have the same question as Liz R (#7): Liz Rowe-Rawlinson said,
    “We are looking for an inexpensive way to send text message holds notifications to patrons. … How expensive is it to use shoutbomb for text messaging?” And how to start? I think the info will be useful to other librarians who are interested to connect with their patrons via text messaging.

    Thanks,
    Jennifer Wu,
    North Seattle CC

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