For residents all over the United States, the public library is one of the most common places to borrow books, movies and music for free. Although the cost of these services have made it difficult for some communities to remain open, many locations remain fully operational, incorporating 21st century innovations like the internet and text alerts.

The T.B. Scott Free Library in Wisconsin and Missoula Public Library in Montana have adopted SMS capabilities to increase communication with residents. Inquiries range from reserving library books, receiving reminders to return or renew library materials and checking overdue notices, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.

In order to sign up for any of the following text messages, library members have to opt-in for the SMS service on the library's website or in Missoula Public Library's case, users will need their library card and security PIN number, the Missoulian reported.

There may be multiple ways to reach a person nowadays, text messages are one of the easiest ways to do so without causing significant interruptions. Visitors can submit requests as soon as they need to, instead of trying to wait in line at the library or rushing to get to the library branch before it is closed for the day. 

Currently, there are more than 120,000 libraries in the U.S., so there is great potential for librarians to increase engagement with the local community through these text alerts. Libraries can utilize text messages to promote volunteer opportunities, announce seasonal hours or offer library member events, 

Swift SMS Gateway has the tools to create an SMS platform that works best for your community's needs, as well as the librarians who would be responsible for managing and sending out such correspondence.