Google Reveals “Google Voice”

What was formerly called Grand Central, acquired by Google in 2007, and released as Google Voice.

The service isn’t open to the public yet, but you can take a look at some of the features that will be available. From the list of features, I would have to say the SMS feature might be the most exciting for librarians. It would mean that we can take questions from text messages, and reply back without having to use a phone. This is especially a boon for any libraries out there that were shying away from a texting service because they don’t have enough staff with “mad txtng skillz”. Using this service will allow librarians to simply respond to text messages using the web interface from the comfort of their reference desk computers. Another option would also be to send a quick text of the book informmation to someones mobile phone, even for face to face conversations. No need to write down a call number. simply copy form the catalog, paste it into the SMS interface, and send it to a person’s phone number. There are other services that do this, but the Google version seems fairly simple to learn and use. That’s just one instance, and there are proabably plenty of other creative things librarians can use Google Voice services at their library.

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