August 26, 2008

Add SMS to Your III Catalog!

Filed under: Uncategorized — tsladmin @ 8:45 pm

Last week, I highlighted Ed Vielmetti’s thoughts about adding covers to the list of overdue books you have checked out, as well as the ability to text the location of an item to your cell phone. Both of these are enhancements that I, as Patron 2.0, would very much appreciate my library providing.
In the comments on that post, Jason from the Iowa City Public Library gave us a working example (working in an Innovative catalog, at least). I tried it out and sure enough, a few seconds after entering my cell phone number, up popped a text message with the location of the item.Very slick, and very useful.

Iowa City Public Library's text messaging in the catalog

Even better, Ed came back into the comments on that post and pointed at the script that runs this service. It was originally written by Adam from Bryn Mawr more than a year ago, where it’s still in place today. Not only is it freely available online, but there are very clear directions for sending SMS from a III catalog (thanks, Adam!).

text message location from Iowa City Public Library

If you have a programmer on staff or someone who knows just enough to be dangerous, now you, too, can implement this service at no cost to your library to make your catalog that much more useful.


  1. This is a very nice feature. Thank you for showcasing it. Could you explain what needs to change in the perl file to translate it into php? Or is there a place to see an example of the php code? Thank you.

    Comment by Justin — August 27, 2008 @ 1:49 pm

  2. The useful extract from this project would be a stand alone command line tool to send an SMS message to a given phone number; if you had that, then it should be easy to wrap it in whatever web language you had (php or whatever). someday, maybe.

    Comment by Edward Vielmetti — September 25, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  3. […] via The Shifted Librarian […]

    Pingback by Libology Blog » Text Yourself from the OPAC — October 3, 2008 @ 10:57 am

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