So Text Me—Maybe: A Rubric Assessment of Librarian Behavior in SMS Reference Services




Cassidy, Erin Dorris
Colmenares, Angela
Martinez, Michelle

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association


Assessment has become a persistently hot topic in the library world, particularly when it comes to establishing value for academic library services. In an effort to assess performance and develop training tools to improve text/SMS reference services for an academic library, we used the Reference and User Services Association’s Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers as the framework for an analytic rubric. We then used the rubric to assess academic librarian responses collected over a three-year period as part of text/SMS reference service. Results include implications for librarian friendliness, response time, attentiveness, and follow-up, as well as patron return rates. Comparative trends in text reference and the physical reference desk response times are also examined.



Library reference services--Evaluation, Text messages (Telephone systems), SMS, Reference librarians, Mobile communication systems, Electronic reference services (Libraries), Academic libraries--Reference services, Information technology


Cassidy, E. D., Colmenares, A., & Martinez, M. (2014). So text me—maybe: A rubric assessment of librarian behavior in SMS reference services. Reference and User Services Quarterly 53(4), 300-312. doi:10.5860/rusq.53n4.300