Monday, July 20, 2009

Launch of My Info Quest TXT 4 Answers

Contact: Kitty PopeAlliance Library System309-694-9200 ext. 2101Email:
DATE: July 20, 2009

My Info Quest
International Collaborative Text Reference
Service Launches today
East Peoria—July 16, 2009
It’s official! People are now sending more text messages than they are making cell phone calls. Librarians are aware of the popularity of texting and are ready to take their professional services to cell phones.
Starting today, patrons of approximately 50 libraries from all over the US will be able to text a question to (309) 222-7740 and a real, live librarian will respond within minutes. The service is free of charge, but standard text messaging rates do apply. Staffed by librarians from around the country, answers are sent to cell phones by librarians in 320 characters or less, or the equivalent of two 160-character text messages.
It’s a different way of helping people get the answers they need, wherever they are at the time, with professional assistance. The service, named My Info Quest is the first collaborative text messaging reference service of its kind. Alliance Library System ( in East Peoria, Illinois has partnered with participating libraries, Altarama ( and Peoplewhere ( to build this exciting new reference service. The pilot program will extend until December 31, 2009. Other partners include San Jose State University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, South Central Regional Library Council in New York, and TAP Information Services.

“Text reference service is the next big “thing” to hit libraries,” said Kitty Pope, Executive Director of the Alliance Library System. “It is important because it augments traditional core reference services and meets our customers where they are. I would like to thank all the libraries who are so eager to learn this new service and to our great partners Altarama, Peoplewhere, San Jose State, TAP Information and the South Central Regional Library Council in New York; without your enthusiastic support and encouragement this project would have been impossible!”
"The technology is the easy part. The hard part has been months of planning and preparation by dozens of creative and committed library professionals, and we're delighted to be along for the ride," said Arthur Brady, President and CEO of Altarama.
The hours of service will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information about My Info Quest and for a list of participating libraries, check out

The project is still accepting new library members to join in August. Please contact Lori Bell at, or 309-694-9200 ext. 2128 if you would like to join or more information on the project.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You're invited to join InfoQuest

We invite you to join the Infoquest collaborative text messaging project which will kickoff on July 20, 2009. We have over 35 libraries of all types participating and we wouldlike more to meet our goal of 24/7 coverage. The only requirements are that you staffthe desk 2 hours per week, attend online meetings and training, and participate in evaluationactivities. There is no cost to join this exciting pilot project which runs through December 31,2009. If you would like to join, please contact Lori Bell at Alliance Library System at You will be sent some informational documents andan agreement form to fill out with library information and your preferred coverage hours. If you would like to join the project communications group, go to hope you will join us.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Handheld Librarian

In an effort to raise funding for the Infoquest project, we are putting together a mobile libraries online conference. The conference will take place in collaboration with Learning Times on July 30 and 31, 2009. We have two excellent keynote speakers lined up and are in the process of lining up and contacting presenters and finalizing program ideas. If you have any ideas or topics of interest, please let us know!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A major effort of participation

I have been lucky enough to be part of this project as an individual librarian. I saw the posting about Infoquest on a listserv and was immediately interested. Thanks to the nature of Participatory Librarianship, Lori Bell allowed me to take part.

I am amazed at the collaboration on this project. There are a large number of libraries involved - all of different purposes and types. Through participation and collaboration, we have managed a solid start on the project. Everyone has an opportunity to have a voice, whether it be in establishing policies and procedures or planning for PR.

I believe that Tom Peters is right in his idea of the "Summer of Mobile Library Services." We plan to launch this project mid summer and look forward to patrons and users of all types benefiting from the effort!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Infoquest Informational meeting

We have had requests for another Infoquest informational meeting. You
are welcome to attend or send to a colleague. You need to click on the
link below and register to get meeting info. Thanks, Lori

InfoQuest Project Meeting - Hosted by the Alliance Library System &

Join us for a Webinar on April 9

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

This is the second of two scheduled open sessions for those libraries
interested in participating in the InfoQuest Reference Collaboration
Project. Here is the agenda:

I. Welcome - Kitty Pope, Executive Director, Alliance Library System

II. Introduction to Text Messaging Technology – Why this project is
important - Tom Peters, TAP Information Services

III. Overview of the project technology - Arthur Brady & Linda Arret,
Altarama Information Systems

III. Project Overview – Purpose, time line, scheduling, participant
expectations - Lori Bell, Alliance Library System

Please complete the registration form below and we'll send you the
session link and telephone instructions for joining the session.

See you there!


InfoQuest Project Meeting - Hosted by the Alliance Library System &


Thursday, April 9, 2009


9:00 AM - 10:00 AM CDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing
information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer