Ask a Librarian – Mobile App

Want a quick way to have your patrons and students chat with a librarian right from their mobile device?

Well, now there’s an app for that.

The Ask A Librarian App is available in both iTunes and Google Play.

To get your hands on the latest app from AAL, go to the iTunes app store or the Google Play store  and search “Ask A Librarian”.

We will have a marketing piece for online and print promotion available within next week.

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Is your Library Website Mobile Friendly?

Does your library have a mobile page deployed on their website? If so, you can add an Ask a Librarian link! Ask a Librarian has a mobile friendly site allowing users to easily access their local library to chat, email or text right from their device!

We have designed a mobile friendly image for libraries to use. Please feel free to add this to your site as well. Download the image here.

 

If you need help or have a question, please email, Jessica Riggins.

Here is a list of custom URL’s for each library’s mobile local portal page:

Library Mobile EZ-URLs List

(more readable URL which redirects to longer portal/local page URL)

LibraryEZ-URL
Alachua County Library Districtaskalibrarian.mobi/alachua
American InterContinental Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/aiu
Ana G. Mendez State University Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/suagm
Anthem Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/anthem
Art Institute of Tampaaskalibrarian.mobi/ait
Barry Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/barry
Baptist College of Floridaaskalibrarian.mobi/bcf
Bartow Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/bartow
Bay County Public Library/Northwest Regionalaskalibrarian.mobi/baycounty
Bethune-Cookman Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/bethunecookman
Brevard Community Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/brevardcc
Brevard County Librariesaskalibrarian.mobi/brevard
Broward Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/browardc
Broward County Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/broward  
Bruton Memorial Library (Plant City)askalibrarian.mobi/bruton
Cambridge Institute of Allied Health & Technologyaskalibrarian.mobi/cambridge
College of Central Floridaaskalibrarian.mobi/cf
Charlotte County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/charlotte
Chipola Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/chipola
Citrus County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/citrus
Clay County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/clay
Collier County Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/collier
Daytona State Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/daytona
Delray Beach Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/delraybeach
Dunedin Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/dunedin
East Lake Community Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/eastlake
Edison State Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/edison
Eustis Memorial Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/eustis
Everest Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/everest
Everglades Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/everglades
Florida A&M Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/famu
Florida State College at Jacksonvilleaskalibrarian.mobi/fscj
Florida Gulf Coast Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/fgcu
Florida International Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/fiu
Florida Keys Community Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/fkcc
Florida Memorial Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/fmu
FSU Librariesaskalibrarian.mobi/fsulibraries
Florida Virtual Schoolaskalibrarian.mobi/fvs
Fort Walton Beach Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/fwb
Goldstein Library (FSU)askalibrarian.mobi/fsu
Gulf Coast State Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/gcsc
Gulfport Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/gulfport
Hernando County Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/hernando
Hialeah Public Librariesaskalibrarian.mobi/hialeah
Hillsborough Community Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/hcc
Hodges Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/hodges
Indian River State Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/irsc
Jacksonville Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/jpl
Keiser University Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/keiser
Florida Gateway Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/fgc
Lake County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/lakecounty
Lake Sumter Community Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/lscc
Lake Wales Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/lakewales
Lake Worth Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/lakeworth
Lee County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/lee
Leroy Collins Leon County Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/leon
Maitland Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/maitland
Manatee County Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/manatee
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beachaskalibrarian.mobi/westpalm
Marion County Public Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/marion
Martin County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/martin
Miami Dade Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/mdc
Miami Dade Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/mdpls
Monroe County Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/monroe
Nassau County Public Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/nassau
New College of Floridaaskalibrarian.mobi/ncf
North Florida Community Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/nfcc
New Port Richey Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/npr
Niceville Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/niceville
North Miami Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/northmiami
North Palm Beach Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/npb
Northwest Florida State Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/nwfsc
Nova Southeastern Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/nova
Orange County Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/orange
Osceola Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/osceola
Palm Beach Atlantic Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/pba
Palm Beach State Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/pbstate
Palm Beach County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/palmbeach
Palm Harbor Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/palmharbor
Parkland Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/parkland
Pasco – Hernando Community Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/phcc
Pasco County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/pasco
Pensacola State Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/pensacolastate
Pinellas Park Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/pinellaspark
Polk State Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/psc
Saint Leo University, Cannon Memorial Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/saintleo
Sanford-Brown Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/sanford
Sanibel Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/sanibel
Santa Fe Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/sfcollege
Santa Rosa Countyaskalibrarian.mobi/santarosa
Sarasota County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/sarasota
Seminole County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/seminole
Seminole State College of Floridaaskalibrarian.mobi/sscf
South Florida Community Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/southfloridacc
Southeastern Universityaskalibrarian.mobi/southeastern
St Johns County Public Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/stjohns
St Johns River State Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/sjrstate
St Lucie County Library Systemaskalibrarian.mobi/stlucie
St Petersburg Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/spc
St Petersburg Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/stpetersburg
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasotaaskalibrarian.mobi/scfms
School District of Palm Beach Countywww.askalibrarian.mobi/palmbeachschool
State Library of Floridaaskalibrarian.mobi/state
Suwannee River Regional Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/suwannee
Tallahassee Community Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/tcc
Tampa Hillsborough Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/hillsborough
University of Central Floridaaskalibrarian.mobi/ucf
University of Florida Libraries, Smathersaskalibrarian.mobi/uf
USF Librariesaskalibrarian.mobi/usf
USF Polytechnicaskalibrarian.mobi/usfp
USF St. Petersburgaskalibrarian.mobi/usfsp
University of Tampaaskalibrarian.mobi/ut
Valencia Collegeaskalibrarian.mobi/valencia
Volusia County Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/volusia
West Florida Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/wfpl
Wilderness Coast Public Librariesaskalibrarian.mobi/wild
Winter Haven Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/winterhaven
Winter Park Public Libraryaskalibrarian.mobi/wppl

Ask a Librarian Texting Webinars

Confused about Texting in Ask a Librarian? Register today for a Texting Webinar:
Monday, October 15, 10-11 am ET

 Space is still available in these Ask a Librarian Texting webinars, which offer staff a step-by-step reminder of how texting works in Ask a Librarian. Find out exactly what your patrons or students need to do in order to ask a question via text for your library, and learn how Ask a Librarian staff answer those text questions in the Ask a Librarian software.
Ask a Librarian Mobile Chat

Ask a Librarian Mobile Chat

Do you hate coming to a website that doesn’t have a mobile friendly interface? We certainly do!

When you try to type on the small screen,  does it become difficult to type because the keyboard hides the rest of the screen?

Well Guess What??? On February 15, we will be launching an enhanced mobile site that allows you to chat directly with a librarian!

You will be able to chat with a statewide librarian or scroll down and find your local library right from your mobile device! Once you select your library, it will allow you to chat, e-mail, or text.

  • If you select chat, it will open in a new screen, and allow you to enter your name, email, and question. Once you select chat, the new mobile interface will open and you will be chatting live with a librarian!
  • You also have the option to text message directly from the new interface. Once you select this option you can click on the phone number, and your phone will open to your texting screen. Don’t forget to enter your 3 letter code.
  • If you decide to send an email, your new screen will easily allow you to enter your name, email, subject, and question and send that email!
Ask a Librarian Mobile Chat
Ask a Librarian Mobile Chat

Hot Topics: OverDrive E-Books & Audiobooks Webinar Series

Introducing two new Hot Topics webinars on OverDrive… register for both today!

Hot Topics: E-Books! Putting OverDrive E-Books onto eReaders: A Guide For Library Staff

Wed., Jan. 11, 2012, 2-3 pm ET

Hot Topics: Audiobooks! Putting OverDrive Audiobooks onto Portable Players: A Guide For Library Staff

Wed., Jan. 18, 2012, 2-3 pm ET

Audiobooks and E-Books

 

OverDrive audiobooks & ebooks are popular with library patrons. But many of them have a hard time putting it all together: finding available e-books or audiobooks on the digital download site and then transferring them to their PC, e-reader, or listening devices. With information presented by TBLC’s own resident genius & System Administrator Al Carlson, these two webinars will equip public service staff of all library types with the skills they need to assist patrons at any stage of the process.

 

 

Topics include:

  • Finding immediately available audiobooks (Hot Topics: Audiobooks!) or e-books (Hot Topics: E-Books!) on an OverDrive site, installing Adobe Digital Editions and creating an Adobe identity.
  • Downloading audiobooks (Hot Topics: Audiobooks!) or e-books (Hot Topics: E-Books!) to a PC, and transferring (sideloading) them to e-readers/listening devices.
  • Direct downloads to smart phones, iPads, and other web-enabled devices.

Register for both webinars today!

Using QR Codes to Market Ask a Librarian

QR codes are an excellent way to promote Ask a Librarian to your users.   A QR code is a 2-D barcode that can connect the physical and online world! Sounds complicated but its not.

A QR code is placed on a book, a poster, a bib record, a shelf, a name tag – you name it, a QR Code can be placed on it.   A user sees the QR code and uses their smart phone to capture the image.  The image is then read and the user is taken to a website, prompt a user to send a text message or given your contact information.

These might be new – but use is growing fast.  They can be seen in Best Buy, Sears and Sunglass Huts ads.  They can be seen in magazines like Wired and Lucky.  They are on billboards and movie ads.   Libraries too are using them to tie physical collections to the web.

The great thing about a QR Code is they are FREE and SIMPLE to CREATE and they are FREE and SIMPLE to use.

A QR code can be created at several free online generators. Personally, I use Kaywa and Google.  The generators allow you to type in the URL, phone number, contact info you want the QR Code to point to and hit “generate.”

A user reads a QR Code via a smart phone- androids, blackberries, iphones and itouches all have apps to read QR Codes.     I have an iphone and use BeeTagg.   A user just launches the app and points their phone – the reader does the rest!

Why are we talking about QR Codes?

QR Codes are a great way to promote Ask a Librarian’s new texting service.    Creating a custom QR Code can point users to your Ask a Librarian Mobile Page or provide them the info (including your keyword) on how to send a text message right to their phone!!!

We are planning to order stickers with QR Codes for interested libraries.  For more information about QR Code stickers, please contact us (askalibrarian – @- tblc.org).

Text Messaging Update

Text Messaging was introduced by Ask a Librarian on October 25th with little fanfare for the users. While all of us, were training, creating scripts and otherwise preparing – we expected initial growth to be slow and did little promotion for this new service point, with the idea that the new year would hold new wisdom we’d gleaned from our first few months being live.

However- users are finding us!!!! We are so excited with our first month of service’s usage numbers. In November, we answered 566 text messages! Not bad for a new service. As one of the first statewide services offering collaborative Texting, you are really part of a historic step for libraries!

Best Practices Update

Last Friday, the SMS taskforce got together to discuss the first month. We realize there are a few bumps – but we are looking at how they can be fixed. One of the biggest issues seems to be “threading” – a user replying to a librarian and the answer being picked up by another librarian. When answering a user with a question or answer that would likely generate a response from the user, here are a few tips to help you:

  • Mark the reply “Follow-Up”, which is the check box just to the right of the Send button.  Follow-up questions and answers are located in a shared tab so others can see your history.  Follow-up includes not only what users texted but how librarians responded.
  • Be On the Lookout!  Many texters who return do so fairly soon, so watch the queue for your user returning by their phone number and/or library designation.
  • Be vocal when leaving the desk. If you have expectations or knowledge that may help others help a returning user, definitely share that. Letting others know the situation in the agent chat room may prevent confusion on a returning text and prevent other staff from reinventing the wheel.  Speaking up helps everyone, including the user.

More information on best practice patterns is emerging every day; in the meantime, these should definitely help us to acclimate to and excel in this exciting new world of text reference. The taskforce will be doing some in-depth analysis of texts and hopes to have additional best practices recommendations as we analyze the past month.

Do you have another tip or trick you have found useful? Please let us know!!

Promotion: Where are all these users coming from?

Ask a Librarian has added your local texting phone number to your customer portal page, widgets and mobile pages.


Libraries are also promoting texting to their users. Here are some examples, we have seen:

Another Effective Promotional Tool is a QR Code. Here are two examples codes. These codes are easily generated and can be used on everything from bookmarks to handouts to business cards.

There are several free QR code generators – I personally use http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

What are you planning at your library in 2011 to promote Ask a Librarian and Ask a Librarian Texting?