Library Organizations Announce Partnership on Text Reference Service

Alliance Library System(ALS), a regional library consortium in East Peoria, Illinois,  the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, TAP Information Services in Missouri, Cullom-Davis Library at Bradley University, and South Central Regional Library Council in New York are pleased to announce a partnership with Altarama (http://www.altarama.com.au/) to offer the first collaborative multi type library text-based reference service via cell phone.

“Several independent libraries are offering text based reference service,” stated Kitty Pope, Executive Director of the Alliance Library System, “but we did not see any collaborative multi type 24/7 service.  We think that in these financially challenging times public, school, academic and special libraries together can provide better and more comprehensive service than they could on their own. This is a wonderful example of collaboration and using the tax dollar wisely.”

Altarama will provide technology and training for project participants and will assist evaluators with non-standard data access and extraction.  “Libraries of all types – and the reference services community in particular-stand to benefit greatly from the outcomes of this unique and timely project, “said Arthur Brady, President of Altarama, “and we’re delighted to be an active partner.” 

Alliance Library System seeks library partners to participate in this exciting and cutting edge one-year pilot project.  Participating libraries will be asked to answer questions for a minimum of two hours per week and to promote the service in their communities.  Training and promotional materials will be provided that libraries can customize for their community.  More information on the project and how to participate will be announced in the next two weeks.  If you are interested in participating, please email Lori Bell at lbell@alliancelibrarysystem.com to receive information about upcoming online planning meetings. 

The School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University will be partnering with (ALS) on the project, with many of the School’s graduate students answering patron questions using the Altarama interface.

Altarama is a privately-held company whose librarians and technologists are focused exclusively on the reference function in libraries.  The text messaging platform to be used in this project comes from a rich family of reference management products used by libraries around the world.  For more information, visit http://www.altarama.com or call 888-982-9997.

Alliance Library System (http://www.alliancelibrarysystem.com) is one of nine regional library systems in Illinois with 260 library members of all types.  ALS provides consulting, continuing education, delivery and resource sharing services for its members and manages collaborative innovative projects involving members and other libraries from around the world.

South Central Regional Library Council is one of nine multi-type regional library consortia in New York State and serves 73 member libraries including six school library systems and 3 public library systems and their 400+ members. SCRLC offers collaborative projects, continuing education, resource sharing, a hospital library program, and digitization. 

The School of Library and Information Science at San José State University (http://slisweb.sjsu.edu) offers the world’s largest ALA-accredited master’s degree program in Library and Information Science, with more than 2,800 graduate students.  Students who are interested in pursuing a career in electronic records management enroll in the School’s Master in Archives and Records Administration degree program.  Additionally, the School partners with Queensland University of Technology to offer a doctoral program in Library and Information Science.  The School is a recognized leader in making effective use of leading edge technologies for distance learning. US News and World Report named it the #1 e-learning service provider in its discipline.

TAP Information Services (www.tapinformation.com), headquartered in the Kansas City metropolitan area, helps libraries, library-related organizations, government agencies, and other organizations innovate through innovative services such as OPAL (www.opal-online.org), a collaborative web conferencing service, and through coordination of Unabridged (www.unabridged.info), a multi-state downloadable digital audio book service for blind and low-vision users funded and governed by the participating states. 

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