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Topic: ex-library books

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Subject: ex-library books
Date Posted: 6/22/2009 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 485
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Hi all, I am rather new to PBS and brand new to the forums!  I have a question that I hope somebody may be able to answer.  I had a book requested from my shelf that I had to turn down because of an RC.  The requestor preferred not to receive former library books (which mine was) unless mentioned in the listing.  My question is, how do I do that?  I may have missed something while posting the book... Just asking so I don't make the same mistake twice!  Thanks for any help any one can give - I absolutely love this book club!


Date Posted: 6/22/2009 11:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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Glad you like it here Michele!

There is no way to alter PBS to show that a book is a library discard, that is book specific and PBS does not allow us to list conditions. That person must be used to other sites that have that option.  You did just what you needed to do, decline to request.

Happy Swapping!

Date Posted: 6/22/2009 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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I was going to say just what Michele Melanie just told you.

As a matter of fact it is covered in the help docs


Why don't book listings mention book condition?

At PBS, there is no place during the posting process for members to list the condition of their specific copies of books.  This is because:

  • ALL books at PBS are expected to be in good condition.
  • PBS uses the FIFO (first-in, first-out) principle to handle book requests:
    • the earliest copy Posted into the system gets the next request for that book.
    • We think this is the fairest method of swapping.
  • If a requestor wants a book in "better-than-PBS-requires" condition (she wants dust jackets with her hardbacks, or does not want Ex-library books, for example):
    • It is the REQUESTOR's responsibility to specify her "extra" conditions for books she will receive in her Requestor Conditions.
    • If there are no Requestor Conditions on a request, and your book meets PBS guidelines for good condition, you can send the book.
      • The exception to this is for Textbooks/Workbooks, which may contain highlighting or writing in the book; and cookbooks, which may have some writing and/or staining
      • Highlighting and writing in books (apart from a name or note on the flyleaf) and staining are not acceptable for any book that is not a textbook or workbook or cookbook.
      • If you Post a textbook or workbook with highlighting/writing inside, or a cookbook with writing or staining, you MUST communicate with the requestor by PM describing the book's condition, and you must receive a reply PM accepting the condition of the book as described, before sending the book.
  • Book Reviews and Tags are NOT to be used to describe the condition of a particular copy of a book.
    • Reviews are intended to allow members to share their opinions about books they have read.
    • Tags can be used for club-useful or personal reasons, NOT for book condition.
    • The Review and Tags stay with the book listing for the ISBN in the database; they do not follow a particular copy.
      • This means that someone seeing the Reviews and Tags on a book can have no idea if they apply to the copy that will actually be requested if the member clicks "order this book".

You can include your comments on the condition of your specific books in the Bookshelf Header if you like.  


  • The space there is limited, but because the text in that space appears only on your bookshelf and is clearly applying ONLY to YOUR copies of the books, it is okay to mention the condition of your specific copies. 
  • All books must still meet Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS to be posted onto a bookshelf. 
  • All books must still be posted correctly, so that the ISBN, title, author and booktype on the listing ALL match the book.
  • You MUST NOT use the Bookshelf Header as a way to post unswappable books, or to post books incorrectly.





If this information didn't answer your question, let us know.


Last Edited on: 6/22/09 11:42 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: ex-library books
Date Posted: 6/22/2009 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 485
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Thank for your help.   I guess I'll keep doing what I'm doing, then!

Date Posted: 6/22/2009 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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About the only way I can think of knowing from the listing if it's an ex-library book or not is if it's listed as a library binding, and the type of binding is the only data in the listing that can't be edited.


Date Posted: 6/22/2009 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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The requestor preferred not to receive former library books (which mine was) unless mentioned in the listing. 

The utterly useless word in that RC is preferred. Will she or won't she accept them? She used the word preferred, so that means she'll take them even though, if given the choice, she'd take a non ex-library book. But doing so is asking for trouble in the form of a RWAP or a lot of PMing.

The requestor also seems confused. One cannot list the book as an ex-library book in any listing.

I'd turn her down too because it's clear enough that she doesn't want ex-library books.

Date Posted: 6/22/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I'm guessing the person thinks that, like some online used book sites or other book trading sites, that you can make notes about the condition of a specific copy of a book, which is not the case at PBS. Since we operate on FIFO (first in, first out), that doesn't work--instead we have the minimum posting guidelines as to what's acceptable, and people can enhance that with their own stricter Requestor Conditions, which your requestor did by specifying no ex-library books--so she did the right thing, but seems a little confused about how things work at PBS.