Keeping in touch through Web 2.0...
I teach the computer classes out here at my branch. One of my classes is called Next Step: The Internet and in it, I cover the anatomy of the web browser, basic web searching using Google, and I help anyone who wants one to set up an email address. I give them the options of any of the major free services, but I personally use GMail, so I like it best.
I like that you never have to delete anything in GMail and I like how it organizes emails in a chain of conversation. I also love GChat.
GChat is simple and I like that it's browser-based, so it's always there when GMail is open. I recently found out that I could import my AOL messenger list into it, so I have even more contacts in the same place.
At a former job, we used IM for inter-office communication. Rather than pick up the phone or walk across the building to speak to coworkers, we would communicate by IM. I think we were more productive that way. It cut out a lot of wasted time.
I think it would be cool if we could use IM in the libraries this way. I imagine sending an IM to the Children's department at HQ to ask if they have a book or to quickly find out about storytime schedules. It would be so quick and easy!
We do have Windows Messenger installed on all the staff computers, but I never sign on and I don't even know how many of my coworkers actually use it. Does anyone who reads this post want to chime in on that?
I'm skeptical about using SMS for reference help, but I can see how it would be cool to broadcast library information via text. My university uses texts to send out emergency alerts. I think that is brilliant. Why don't we text patrons if they have overdue books?
PLZ BRNG YR L8 BK 2 D MC LIB. KTHX.
Already did it. I'm ahead of the game. :P