Weather Forecast


Dakota County librarians to begin fielding questions via text messages

Dakota County librarians have to know a little bit about a lot of subjects, but we're about to find out just how well they know their LOLs from their TTYLs.

Starting Sept. 7, Dakota County libraries will accept questions from the public via text message. The new system joins a growing list of technology-enabled methods for getting questions answered. Librarians already take questions by e-mail and through online instant messages.

"There's a whole population of, especially younger people, that doesn't even use e-mail," said Maureen Gormley, information services manager for the Dakota County Library system. "We wanted to have just another way to reach people"

Gormley said about half of the questions librarians get electronically are about circulation, and half are research-related. They also get questions from people looking for a good book to read. She expects the breakdown to be similar among text questions.

Librarians won't have to limber up their thumb muscles as they get ready to answer all of these text questions. They'll be able to respond on their computers. Text questions will be available for librarians at any branch location to answer.

The first time they ask a question by text, residents will have to text AskDCL to 66746. They'll get more instructions after they send the message. For future inquiries residents should only have to text their question to that number.

The library will not charge for the service, but regular charges for text messages will apply.