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.