Reference in 160 Characters or Less: The Role of Text Messaging in Virtual Reference Services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study focuses on how and why academic library patrons choose text message reference, particularly when other mediums are available. Researchers evaluated three years of text reference data to assess the peak usage times, types of questions received, the number of unique and repeat users, and the complexity of questions. Our analysis of data shows that text reference can fill a role within virtual reference services. We further identify reasons why text message services have not seen greater use, including students’ lack of awareness, limitations of the medium, and patron satisfaction with other modes of reference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-179
Number of pages17
JournalInternet Reference Services Quarterly
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014

Keywords

  • SMS reference
  • mobile devices
  • text reference
  • virtual reference

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