Can it talk to me yet? Chat/email, texting, or voice?

The Library has been considering the future of its “Ask a Librarian” chat reference service because the grant funding that makes it very affordable for a consortium of libraries all over the state runs out soon. It’s safe until until the end of January. Libraries in the state have been discussing options, including a couple of text reference services. Now, I don’t really grok the advantage of texting over sending an email or using the chat service. Frankly, I’d like to wait for the Next Big Leap, which in my opinion will be voice interface! You see, I never learned to type–correctly, that is, although I am a fairly adept incorrect typist!

So I was interested in an item in Library Hotline about an 8 year old who got frustrated with the voice recognition software on an iPhone 4S and called it stupid. The same item tells me that I can expect students who come here in a few years to be those who are leaving blogs for options that provide more immediate results, like texting (see Pew research findings summarized).

So, would it be useful to you if the Library could offer reference help via texting?

About Barbara

I am a Reference & Instruction librarian, head of that department in Andersen Library, an associate professor, and a member of the General Education Review Committee and Faculty Senate. I've been working at UW-W since July 1, 1990.
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