Archive for March 23, 2010

SMS Reference thru LibAnswers, and it’s FREE for the first year!

Bigreally big, huge news! We are super excited to unveil the SMS reference module for our LibAnswers platform. R U Serious? Yep, you heard it right – LibAnswers is now the only reference system to aggregate asking reference questions from the Web, from Twitter and via SMS, with an extensive reporting capability to boot. If you thought the news couldn’t get any better, get this – the SMS Reference module for LibAnswers is FREE  for the first year, with rock-bottom prices afterwards. Check out these features:

  • Each library is assigned a dedicated local phone number. Whoa, that’s cool – no short codes to remember or special keywords for patrons to memorize. We have big plans for further development of mobile and voice apps for libraries, and having a dedicated local number provides the platform to build exciting mobile and voice apps on top of it. Folks, we’re just getting started!
  • The SMS capability is fully integrated into the current LibAnswers workflow. Any incoming SMS messages go to the Unanswered tab (email and IM notifications work for SMS, too). You answer SMS questions in the same way you currently answer any other LibAnswers questions. You can collaborate on answers, claim questions, release claims, pass notes, see who answered which SMS, etc.
  • SMS statistics are fully integrated with LibAnswers stats. Want to see the monthly/daily/hourly distribution of SMS questions? Want to compare SMS stats with Twitter stats or Web reference stats? We provide a variety of reports on SMS reference usage. Furthermore, with the Analytics module for LibAnswers you can go even deeper and analyze the reference trends and staffing needs for each reference channel – an essential tool for evaluating and improving your reference service.
  • LibAnswers widgets, which you can embed into any web page on your library site (and beyond – put them on blogs, courseware pages, etc) to advertise your SMS reference number, with the ability to ask reference questions from any widget. These widgets are a great marketing tool for your SMS reference.
  • Auto-responders for those times when you are not available.
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous logins. All your librarians can have an account in LibAnswers and answer SMS questions. There are no limits to the number of accounts or the number of users logged on at the same time.
  • Fully hosted solution. You get your own local phone number without having to buy (and tote around) a dedicated phone just for SMS. Plus, all your data lives in a cloud (nine) which means we take care of the back-end infrastructure for you.
  • Pricing – FREE for the first year, save for a one-time setup fee of $149. You get 400 messages per month (incoming + outgoing) and you can carry over any unused credits from month-to-month, during your annual license term (hello, AT&T)! This means you have 4,800 FREE messages for your first year.
  • Ongoing charges – After the free first year, choose between the following plans:
    $30/month 600 messages/month, i.e. 7,200/year (incoming + outgoing)
    $50/month 1,200 messages/month, i.e. 14,400/year (incoming + outgoing)

    You can carry any unused credits from month to month for the full year. Need more message credits? Sure, buy a pack of 1,000 for just $50. If you anticipate needing more than 15K messages a year, talk to us and we will give you an even better deal!

There you have it –  a simple and affordable way to offer SMS reference, all part of the fully-featured web 2.0 reference platform for libraries. Web Questions, Twitter Questions, SMS Questions – we’ve got them all covered. In-depth statistics and analytics for any reference channel? Check. Automatic Q-and-A knowledgebase and FAQ builder? Check.  A complete reference platform, priced orders of magnitude less than paying for separate reference tools? Double check!

Pardon our enthusiasm, but this is disruptive, revolutionary, and very exciting at the same time.

Email us at and we’ll help you get started on LibAnswers and SMS reference.

Monthly LibGuides Stats – February 2010

We added 60 new libraries to the LibGuides community in February – and that’s the shortest month of the year!

Community Sites: 1132
Librarian Accounts: 17,900
Total Guides: 76,813
Total Pages: 488,073
Unique Visitors: 1.24 million
Page Views: 33 million