Use of text messaging is skyrocketing, and our nation's libraries are
starting to explore new ways to tap into this increasingly popular
communication platform to connect with their patrons.  


Dr. Lili Luo, an assistant professor with the San Jose School of Library and
Information Science, will conduct the first in-depth research regarding how
libraries can meet their patron's information-seeking needs via text
messaging.  Thanks to a $122,683 grant award from the Institute of Museum
and Library Services, Luo will conduct a two-year study of how libraries can
use text messaging as a platform for providing virtual reference services,
as well as how they can collaboratively deliver services and expand their
ability to meet patron needs during challenging economic times.


Engaging a New Generation of Library Users: Exploring a Multi-Library
Collaborative Model to Deliver Text Reference Service will investigate how
text reference service is different from other types of virtual reference
services (such as email and instant messaging) and how it can fulfill users'
information needs.  Luo will also study whether text reference provides an
opportunity for libraries to engage new users, including our nation's teens
- the fastest growing group of individuals using text messaging.  


Luo will study the rich pool of data available via InfoQuest, the nation's
first large-scale collaboration by numerous libraries to provide text
reference services.  Launched in July 2009 by Alliance Library System, today
more than 60 libraries from multiple states participate in InfoQuest.  They
include a wide array of library types, including urban, suburban, and rural
libraries, small and large libraries, and public, academic, school, and law


The project's goal is to learn from InfoQuest's innovative national model,
gleaning new knowledge regarding how to implement, manage, and assess a
collaborative text reference service model, as well as factors libraries
should consider when deciding whether or not to participate in a text
reference collaboration.  Results will establish a solid understanding of
the text reference user community and provide a roadmap for libraries
interested in adopting texting to meet patrons' information needs.


The Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal
support for the nation's libraries and museums, announced the award on June
15, 2010.  View their announcement here:


To learn more about InfoQuest, visit


To learn more about SLIS, visit


For information regarding this announcement, please contact Lisa Valdez at
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Marcia Laughrey


School of Library and Information Science

San Jose State University

One Washington Square

San Jose, CA 95192-0029

Ph:   408-924-2490

Fax: 408-924-2476