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Easily Pushing Info Via Text Message

TechCrunch drew my attention to a service by Teleflip that allows you to SMS (text message) anyone’s cell phone without needing to know who their carrier is by simply sending an email to their cell number by adding teleflip.com: 2125551212@teleflip.com. This may sound simple, but it does away with the need to know the receiver’s cell carrier (Teleflip figures that out themselves), which means the sender’s job is much easier.

What really got me thinking was how we could use this in libraries.  Without having to purchase any additional equipment or software, we could use the customer’s cell number (with their permission, of course) to send reminders about holds, late items, etc., by simply entering their cell number (plus @teleflip.com) into the email notification field in our ILS software.  From that point on, all messages would arrive as SMS text messages, right on their cell phone.

But that’s just the beginning.  We could push small amounts of content to target audiences that signup for our services – once a week bestsellers to our rapid readers, upcoming teen events to local teens, baby-and-me events to new moms, and all through a simple email distribution that sends the messages to the customer’s cell as a text message.  The possibilities are great, and certainly worth examining.