Apparently, I've been out of the loop because I only recently discovered a free new reference to txt service called ChaCha. Is there a catch? Read their FAQ and see for yourself.
Is it the hottest new next trend to threaten real desk reference as we know it? No. Not in my opinion anyway. But they are currently looking for people to hour all the questions they get; the average person will make between 4 to 10 dollars a hour...so when people say the future of librarians is not good they obviously don't know how to ChaCha!
Technology has been a threat to librarians for over ten years; not so much because it really does threaten their jobs, because we just aren't figuring out ways to incorporate it into the library. Reference to txt is a great idea; why aren't more libraries experimenting with it? What better way to communicate with your patrons.