Saturday, July 18, 2009

Google Voice SMS -- Libraries

I've been playing with Google Voice since I received the invitation to pick my GV number.

Awesome things I like about GV:
  1. Use GV SMS. When people text me back, I can receive their text messages either from my cell phone or my GV interface.
  2. Forward my home phone to my GV number and choose to listen to voice messages or view them in my email right from my computer.
  3. Transcribe voice messages left at my home phone to text messages and email messages and deliver them either to my cellphone or GV interface.
I still consider myself a beginner of using GV and there are more GV features for further exploration and experience.

While I was testing GV SMS, one thought came to my mind: can libraries use this feature to provide SMS reference service? We can call it Text a Librarian. Thinking about this I immediately sent a request to get a GV number for the library.

I can almost see how Text a Librarian comes live:

Patrons send text messages to the library's GV number from their cellphone, desktop, and laptops. Librarians login libraries' Google Voice account and answer questions using GV interface like the way they were using Instant Message.

Note that pick a GV number carefully. If you want to change your GV number later, you will be charged $10 for the change fee.

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