Help Center - How do I contact another member?

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PBS has a Personal Message (PM) system to allow members to communicate with one another.  Clicking a or button will open an empty (new) PM text box.  Type into the text box and click the Send Message button.  Personal Messages can be read in My Account (as below).  You can also communicate with other members in the Discussion Forums or in PBS Chat, or from a Box-O-Books swap.

Note: A la Carte members (those who have not enrolled in an Annual Membership) are able to send Personal Messages using the PM button (1) on transactions and (2) in the Live Help area of the Help Center; Discussion Forums are read-only for A la Carte members.

To get to your PMs:

  • Click Personal Messages in the dropdown menu under My Account at the top of the page OR
  • Click the Personal Messages tab on the My Account page OR
  • Click the Personal Message item in the 'To Do List' checkmark on the upper right of any page on the site. (if you don't have a checkmark there, then you have no active items, including no unread PMs.)

To read a PM:

  • click the title of the PM in the list, and the page with the message (and the reply box) will come up.
  • If this is a PM "conversation" all PMs will show on the page that comes up; the latest will be at the bottom.

To Reply to a PM:

  • Look below the Message to see the empty white box with the "Subject:" field above it
  • Type into that empty box below the PM message and then click the Send Message button below the box.

To Delete a PM:

  • Click the Delete button on the open PM message, or check the box to the left of the PM in the list and click Delete at the top of the list.

If you are trying to contact a member you are swapping with (or have swapped with):

  • Click on the active transaction on My Account  (on the Books to mail or En Route to Me or Books I've Mailed  or  Requested From Me tabs, which are under the Message from the Librarian), or the Box-O-Books swap in your Box-O-Books area.
    •  if you are the requestor, sending a PM from a request "waives" the 1-hr delay in request submission, and submits your request to the sender immediately.
  • Click on the past transaction (canceled, completed, "received with a Problem" or Lost) on your Transaction Archive page (accessible from the dropdown menu under My Account in the toolbar)

If there is no PM button on the active request on your account page: that means that you have not accepted the request yet.  Once you accept the request, the request will have the PM button on it.  If the request has Requestor Conditions on it, you need to accept those first, then accept the request, in order to have the PM button appear on the request.  You can read more in How to Use Requestor Conditions.

If you are trying to contact a member from a Discussion Forum posting: This option is available to members enrolled in Limited or Standard Membership.

  • Click under the name of the member on his or her Forum Post.

If you are trying to contact a Friend: This option is available to members enrolled in Limited or Standard Membership.

  • Click beside his or her name on your Friends page.

  • Your Friends page is a tab in the My Account view; it is also an item in the dropdown menu from My Account in the toolbar at the top of any page on the site.

If you are trying to contact a member from a PBS Profile This option is available to members enrolled in Limited or Standard Membership.

  • Click at the top of the PBS Profile. This option is available to members enrolled in Limited or Standard Membership.
  • You can find profiles in the Member Directory OR by clicking a member's highlighted Nickname on her Discussion Forum post OR by clicking her highlighted name in the To or From field of a PM (if the member does not have a PBS Profile, clicking her highlighted name in a PM will take you to her bookshelf). This option is available to members enrolled in Limited or Standard Membership.

If you are trying to contact a member from the Member Directory: This option is available to members enrolled in Limited or Standard Membership.

  • You must search there by Nickname to be sure you are finding the correct member
  • Members who do not have PBS Nicknames do not appear in the Directory
  • The Member Directory is in the dropdown menu under Community in the toolbar at the top of any page on the site
  • Click beside the member's name in the search result that comes up.

If you are trying to send a message to more than one Friend at once from your Friends List: This  option is available to members enrolled in Limited or Standard Membership.

  • That's called sending a "Blast PM".  You can send the same PM to multiple Friends at a time, by sending to a taglist or by using the checkboxes to choose friends and clicking PM at the top of the list to create the PM.
    • We do recommend caution with this feature. Sending mass, unsolicited PMs can be considered spam!
    • If members complain about your blast PM, it can affect your membership here.
    • We recommend not using the blast PM feature too often, and if you do so you should limit the number of recipients to 25 at a time.

Note: you are not able to contact the other member in a swap

  • if the request you submitted was declined for Requestor Conditions
  • if the request submitted to you has Requestor Conditions on it, and you haven't clicked "My book meets conditions"
  • if you have not clicked "I can mail" on the request submitted to you

Note: the Personal message system may not be used for obscene, rude or harassing messages, or sending multiple unsolicited messages to members (this is considered spam).  If you spam by PM and we receive a complaint, you will be warned.  If you repeat the offense after being warned, your membership will be terminated permanently.

Note:  It is not all right to contact a member by means outside of the Personal Message system, unless he or she has given you permission.

  • We know that the Internet contains search engines which can permit access to private information such as telephone number, but it is NOT OKAY to use information obtained in such a manner to contact another PBS member.
  • Note:  It is not all right to contact a member by means outside of the Personal Message system, unless he or she has given you permission.This includes hand-delivering items (to arrange hand-delivery of items, just ask the other member and you two can arrange this if you are both in agreement).

  • If such contact is initiated without the express permission of the other member and the other member complains, you will receive a warning. If the offense is repeated, or if any such contact is harassing (even if it is a first offense), your PBS account will be terminated permanently.

Related Links:

How do I choose a PBS nickname/make a public profile?
What are the PaperBackSwap Discussion Forums?
About PBS Live Chat
How does the Vacation Hold affect active requests/Wish List Holds?
I have a book on the Club Wish List. Can I contact the wisher?
PBS Privacy Policy