In my last post I mentioned how nice it would be to have an academic mobile chat reference service. I was very rightly corrected by Mosio (see comments on blog post 1/11/09). I now, of course, remember reading about their service in Library Journal ( 11/1/08, vol.133, issue 18, p 22) and it is true, to the best of my knowledge they are one of the only “commercial” services offering a way to have a mobile chat reference that is staffed by librarians (or any other kind of vetted information professional).

My problem with Mosio’s service is that it is not comparative in some crucial ways to the other free services I mentioned in my last post. Mosio’s Text a Librarian service is run out of an academic institution and is intended to be used by that institutions community not the tube-o-sphere like the other free reference services.  The academic institution must pay Mosio for the service and it is nicely integrated into whatever IM or chat ref service they have already set up including archiving which I admit is very cool for the institution. While this is a good idea as an addition to a 24/7 reference service that ones institution also pays for it is yet another bill from another service that I suspect will be added at some point soon to the 24/7 package we are currently purchasing (for my insitution that would be OCLC’s Question Point).