How SMS in libraries create real added value

Public libraries have been an indispensable part of public life for centuries, and academic libraries have preserved important knowledge for thousands of years. 

Digitization is creating new possibilities and opportunities that libraries are also investing in to benefit from. In this article we discuss how SMS in libraries can help to improve communication with customers and which services are useful. 

SMS reminders when due date approaches

It’s annoying for everyone involved when books are not returned on time – especially when reminder fees are due and when there has been a hold placed. With a short automated SMS, you can remind your customers in good time of the expiring loan period. Because SMS are read particularly reliably and quickly, your customers really do know in time and can act accordingly. Customizable personalization options ensure individual messages that are guaranteed to go down well. Simply customize the name, date, or other details using placeholders.

Fewer missed loan deadlines mean: SMS reminders save time and no small amount of hassle – not just for you, but more importantly for your customers. This is one of the most popular ways in which SMS in libraries are used to optimize communication.

SMS service for renewing books

Would you like to offer your readers an additional service that makes their experience smoother? Allow your customers to send you an SMS and thus – for example – extend their loan. The advantage: Your customers save time and don’t have to wait for your opening hours to renew a book. Instead, they can conveniently extend their loan while on the move – even without an Internet connection. Other libraries have been using this service for many years.

All you need is your own number and a connection to your software. Here you likely have several options. Check if you can already integrate SMS gateways into your software. Alternatively, the setup is often also easy to realize by using webhooks.
By the way: Our service can also be used via IFTTT, so you can realize many different scenarios in just a few minutes.

Receive SMS

To be able to work with incoming SMS you need your own phone number.
In our blog post we have compiled an overview for you.

Send a notification when media are available

How do you notify your customers when a media they are on hold for becomes available again? Phone calls and sending letters have long been outdated and are too time-consuming or costly. E-mails are often read very late, in the worst case not at all, because they get lost between dozens of other mails or end up in the spam folder for unknown reasons.

On the other hand, when your customers receive an SMS, they usually open it within minutes. Here, too, they know what’s relevant immediately and can pick up their medium as quickly as possible. The result: more satisfied customers and smoother processes.

SMS with code to pick up media outside opening hours

This option is more complex to implement than simply sending an SMS, but it is going to be very relevant for the future: flexible pick-up options.

This is not just a dream of the future – various variants are already being tested in different areas – mostly in public services.

Public authorities, for example, are introducing flexible pick-up options so that citizens can pick up their documents outside opening hours. The documents are deposited in an issuing terminal and the respective persons receive an SMS with a pickup code. This means they no longer have to rely on picking up their documents during opening hours – a service that is particularly beneficial to those who have to work during opening hours themselves.

Such a service can be implemented for libraries alike, making it easier for your customers to borrow and return books.

How SMS in libraries create real added value

Other notifications

Of course, the everyday life of a library is not all about borrowing books. Usually, libraries are extremely involved in local cultural life and organize readings, exhibitions and other events. You can send out invitations to these events via SMS to ensure that all interested parties receive the information quickly and reliably.

Perhaps you also organize activities such as reading camps, workshops, lantern making or a repair café? Maybe you even organize raffles from time to time?

SMS are perceived as particularly personal because we receive them where we also communicate with our friends. An invitation via SMS is therefore very well received in most cases and can lead to your events being attended by more people than usual.

Also, if you need to tell people about about closing times due to illness or other unforeseen events, SMS help you to reach a large number of people fast, reliably and easily.

SMS in libraries – service and effective communication

Sending SMS in libraries has the potential to make your communication more effective and personal. In particular, information about borrowing can be sent quickly and automatically.

Other notifications also benefit from the particular effectiveness of SMS, whether it’s invitations to events or to communicate last-minute changes, such as unforeseen closing times.

When SMS is used in libraries to improve communication with customers, both sides benefit. Libraries can save money and improve their operations, and their customers enjoy personalized, reliable communication and exceptional service…. and are happy to come back.

Do you know of other examples of how SMS in libraries can be used to improve communication? We look forward to hearing from you!

All the best
Your sms77 team

Header picture by Daniel Forsman via Unsplash

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