Skip to main content
OCLC Support

Questions received by texting

If your library handles text messages via QuestionPoint, here is information to help you respond to a patron's question.

To capture all messages about the question in QuestionPoint, send your answer from QuestionPoint, not from your text messaging service. QuestionPoint works with your service to receive messages from the patron and to send your messages to the patron.

Email notification

You may receive an e-mail notification about a new text message from your text messaging service, as well as notification of a new question from the QuestionPoint service. Your administrator may be able to turn off the notices sent by your texting service, if desired.

Question lists

"TXT MSG" appears before the question in question lists.

The patron is identified as "TXT Patron."

Full Question

"TXT MSG" appears before the question in the Full Question.

Depending on which text messaging service you use, the patron may be identified by an ID number assigned by your text messaging service, which uses the number to deliver messages that you send from QuestionPoint. However, not all services pass these numbers to QuestionPoint, so you may see the patron identified only as "TXT Patron."

No Answer button: If your library has been an Upside Wireless client but has opted to discontinue this texting service, the Answer button will not appear on this page. You will be unable to answer a text message until your library resumes service.

Answer Question

The response page for questions received by texting differs from the Answer Question page for questions received in other ways.

WYSIWYG editor not available: The text box for TXT MSG communications on the Response page does not contain WYSIWYG editor components (formatting, color, etc) as those options are not supported in text messages. Answers to text messages are stored and sent in plain text only.

Characters Remaining box: Your answers are limited in the number of characters that can be sent: a Characters Remaining box below the Answer field shows how many characters you can have in your answer. As you enter your response, the Characters Remaining box counts down, always showing how many additional characters you can include.

The Text a Librarian messaging service allows 320 characters per answer, but if your response exceeds 160 characters, TAL divides it into two separate messages of no more than 160 characters each. Upside Wireless allows only 160 characters per answer.

Minimize URL button: Since brevity is important in texting, you may want to shorten long URLs in your response. To shorten a URL:

  1. Type or paste your URL into the Long URL box.
  2. Click Minimize URL. A Shortened URL appears in the box provided.
  3. Click the Shortened URL to copy it.
  4. Paste the Shortened URL into the Answer box.

The Minimize URL button also appears on the regular Answer Question page.

Attachments: You cannot include attachments in a response to a text message.

Cannot send answer: If your library has been an Upside Wireless client but has run out of credits, you will be unable to answer an existing text message. Although you can access the Answer page, the following message appears when you click the Send Answer button: "We are unable to send your message due to insufficient balance for Upside Wireless. Please consult your QuestionPoint administrator."

Patron's email address

If you need to send a response to the patron via e-mail, ask the patron to provide an e-mail address. Then you can click the Change Patron E-mail button in the Full Question to add the e-mail address.

Patron account

No QuestionPoint account is created for patrons who send and receive messages via text messaging.



  • Was this article helpful?