Text a Librarian: FAQ


Text us at: 434.236.8611

To send us a question via text messaging from your cell phone text 434.236.8611 and start your message. Type your question and press "Send."

Example: Where is the Farmer’s Market in Charlottesville?

What is Text a Librarian?
Text a Librarian is a service which enables you to use the text message feature of your mobile phone to send questions to and receive answers from the Jefferson Madison Regional Library Reference Department.

When can I use this service?
Text information is available during the following hours:

  • Monday to Thursday: 9:00am - 8:30pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 9:00am - 4:30pm
  • Sunday: 1:00pm - 4:30pm (except from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day)
Questions not answered by closing time will be answered as soon as possible after the library opens the next service day. Questions sent outside of service hours receive an automated response and are answered the next service day.
Please be aware that some text messages can be delayed or even fail due to problems with the connections between different telephone carriers.

What kinds of questions can I ask via texting?
Use Text A Librarian to ask simple, quick questions (up to 160 characters) that can be answered in brief responses (up to 320 characters). If our responses exceed 160 characters, they appear as 2 messages.
To ask questions requiring lengthy, detailed, or immediate responses, please call (434.979.7151 x4) or email us (reference@jmrl.org), with your question.

What do I need to use the service?
To use the service, you need a mobile phone which is enabled to send and receive text messages.

What does the service cost?
The library does not charge for this service, but charges from your cell phone provider may apply. These charges vary among plans and among telephone providers.
The library does not take any responsibility for any charges your mobile phone provider may assess you for sending or receiving messages while using this service.

What about my privacy?
Text a Librarian is private and secure:

  • Our text-to-chat service (Mosio) assigns a random User ID number to each patron.
  • Your phone number is never visible to us at any time.
  • Your phone number is not accessible by us.