City librarians are making it easier for book worms to navigate through the stacks by improving a personalized text messaging service that allows readers to submit questions using their cell phones.

Text the term “AskSmpl” to 66746 to get the ball rolling. All responses will be provided by reference librarians working at the Main Library. This represents a change from the previous text messaging pilot project in which Santa Monicans’ questions were answered by librarians participating in libraries nationwide.

“Staff noticed that many of the questions received concerned local library policies and resources,” said Wright Rix, head of reference services at the Main Library. “We concluded that the quality of customer service could be enhanced by making this service more local.”

AskSmpl is available during library hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Text messages submitted after hours will be answered the following business day. While the library is offering this service free of charge, customers should remember that their own personal messaging and data rates will apply.

For further information, please visit the library web site at, contact the telephone reference service at 310-434-2608

— DP

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