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Help Center - Do I need to own a computer to use PBS?

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You do not need to have your own computer. 

However, regular access to an Internet-connected computer, and a working email address, are essential to managing a PBS account.  We do have many members who access PBS from work, or from the library.  With a little planning, it is easy to manage your PBS account even if you do not have a computer at home.

  • You will need to check your email at least once in every 5 days to ensure you don't miss a book request.
    • A sender has 5 days to respond to a request for a book.  After that, the transaction is canceled, and the book is removed from your bookshelf.
    • If you will be away from your email (or are unable for any reason to send out books) for a period of more than 5 days, you should put your bookshelf on Hold to prevent incoming requests.
  • You will need to check your email at least every other day if you use the Wish List feature (unless you use auto-request).
    • A Wish List offer "times out" after 48 hours; if you do not respond in that time, the book is removed from your Wish List.
    • If you are unable to check your email every other day, you should set your Wish List items to auto-request
      • If you do not have credits/PBS Money/Free Swaps in your account to cover an auto-request, it will convert to a regular Wish List offer that will "time out" after 48 hours.
      • For this reason, it is wise to use auto-request if you have only intermittent email access ONLY if you have several credits in your account, to avoid missing out on Wish List books.
  • You will need to access your account after mailing a book, to mark it mailed (there is a deadline to do this).
    • If you always choose "I can mail LATER" when accepting a request, and choose the LATEST POSSIBLE mail-by date for the book, you would always have a week to mark the book mailed.
    • If you mail a book but do not mark it mailed, the transaction will be canceled and you will not get credit! So this is very important.
  • You will need to access your account as soon as possible after receiving a book and mark it received.  This is critical to membership.

So, if you visit your email and PBS account only every 5 days:

  • Take your wrapped outgoing books with you--don't mail them yet!
  • First check your email for new requests, ensure that no transactions have been canceled
  • Then access your account: accept new requests, choosing the latest mail-by date
  • Mark your incoming books received from your My Account page
  • Then mark the books mailed that you have brought with you, and mail them on the way home.
  • In cases where Internet access is uncertain or unreliable, it is safest to mark books mailed before you mail them (books must be mailed within a day or so of being marked mailed)

If you access PBS from a public computer, do NOT check the "remember me" checkbox on the login page, and be sure to log out when you are done accessing your account