NLB SMS Reference Service

17 Apr 2006 (Mon)

SEND AN SMS to ask a research question and get answers within a day? We can now do this with a new SMS Reference Service trial at the National Library Board (NLB) these two months.

The SMS Reference Service, the latest initiative from NLB [was] launched during the FIND IT campaign. Customers can SMS their reference queries to the National Library by dialing 9178 7792 on their mobile phones. The SMS Reference Service is targeted at educators, designers, entreprenuers, researchers, consultants, academics and tertiary students who need to find the sources to answer their information, reference and research needs. This service adds to the suite of email, fax, phone and onsite reference services currently provided by reference librarians and gives customers the option to pose their queries from virtually anywhere and on the move.

Sample SMS queries:

  • Info on history of Hoover Park Estate in Singapore (related to the Heritage Collection)
  • Info about the beauty industry in Middle East. Where can I find the info and resources? (related to the Business collection)
  • I want information on early childhood education, including journal articles. (related to the Education collection)
  • What is the role of design in Adidas? What are some of their famous products and what is their design significance? (related to the Design collection)

The operating hours of this service are as follows:

Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm
Sunday 1pm to 5pm
Closed on Public Holidays

Each SMS is limited to 160 characters. If more than 160 characters are sent, the message will be broken up into 2 or more SMS. Users of this service will receive an auto-generated SMS reply after sending out the enquiry. The turnaround time for an actual response to an enquiry will be up to one working day. SMS enquiries received after 9pm on weekdays, after 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays and on public holidays will be attended to the next working day. An automatic acknowledgement SMS will be sent to users, informing them of the above. This service is free of charge and users need only pay their mobile phone service provider the usual SMS charges.

What you can expect from the service :

Reference librarians from the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library at the new National Library will recommend materials from our library collections as well as electronic and web resources to help you with your information needs. For simple fact-seeking questions, we will also be able to SMS you quick answers. The turnaround time for recommendation of resources would be about one day while quick answers could be provided as soon as we can!

What a great idea! When will such sms services be available industry-wide? For example, sms support services for advice/help, sms sports/beauty centres to book or cancel sessions, sms restaurants to order meals, sms taxi companies to book a cab, sms a corporate mobile line to apply for urgent leave and to inform colleagues…

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Posted by J.K. in Discursive, Explorative, Mobile, Technology | View Comments |

  • JK

    SMS bigger than movies, video and software

    Some statistics about SMS revenues (from Open Gardens, via Amy Jo Kim’s site):

    Total SMS revenues in 2005 were about 75 Billion USD. To put it in context, Hollywood box office is a bit below 30 B USD. Global music industry revenues are about 35B. Videogaming, consoles and all software are about 40. And the total value of all laptop computers sold in 2005 was about 65 B USD. SMS alone earns more than any of those industries…. And SMS is still over 90% profit. Do we love this industry or what?

  • JK

    Ah, a new Web service! We can now go to Google SMS and enter a search term (like an SMS) to get the following:

    • Local listings: e.g. “hospital San Jose CA”
    • Phonebook: e.g. “2122269817″
    • Driving directions: e.g. “pasadena CA to santa monica CA”
    • Movie showtimes: e.g. “ice age 94110*”
    • Weather: e.g. “weather dallas tx”
    • Stock quotes: e.g. “tgt”
    • Q&A: e.g. “population of Japan”
    • Product prices (Froogle): e.g. “price mp3 player”
    • Definitions: e.g. “define prosimian”
    • Sports scores and schedules: e.g. “duke, detroit nhl, lakers, sf giants”
    • Calculator results: e.g. “160 pounds * 4000 feet in calories”
    • Currency conversion: e.g. “5 usd in yen”
    • Area code look-up: e.g. “650″
    • Zip code look-up: e.g. “94043″
    • Translation: e.g. “translate coffee in french”
    • Help: e.g. “help”
    • Tips: e.g. “tips”
  • maria ane

    very informative, thanks :)

  • Rand

    Well nice article thank you for that, but especially for JK’s comment. It worked for me fine.

  • Sidkof

    Well, I was tasked to post NLB SMS and Email Reminder Service on Y.O! blog and was just wondering what to say to you when I spotted the write-up by Hui Yie, our Y.O! blogger.

    However, I need to highlight to you that the steps to register SMS and Email Reminder Service in the post are no longer valid because NLB website took on a new look yesterday (15th April 2008) plus there are 2 new websites for the National Library’s users and the Public Library’s users.

    But no worry, just click -> JUST CHECK if you want to sign up for the service.

    [By the way, this post wasn’t solicited by us and minimal editing has been done to present the write-up in its original form as much as possible :) ]

    Thanks Hui Yie!)

  • Adam

    Very nice services, sms marketing is gonna to be hot soon and then fade rapidly probably to other mobile technology.

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