PaperBackSwap Blog

Dear Librarian,

Dear Librarian- I’m a new member and I am anxious about my privacy.  Do you share or sell our personal information?  How can I check to see what information other members can see about me? – Jittery in Jonesboro

Dear Jonesy,

We do not sell or share member information with anyone (if you are getting spam, don’t blame us!).  Other members do need access to a working mailing address (which includes a full, real last name) to which to send the books you request, of course, but otherwise your personal information is hidden from others.  You can tightly control your privacy, in your Privacy Controls which are accessible from your Account Settings.  The default settings are pretty private – nothing shows on the site but your first name and last initial, and your PBS nickname if you have chosen one – but in your Privacy Controls you can choose how you want your “identity” to appear on the site, and control every other bit of information shown to the membership.  You can even hide your booklists (Wish List and Bookshelf) from other members – although that would be counterproductive in most cases, Jones, since you want people to see your Bookshelf so they can order from you, and hiding your Wish List means that you won’t get any Wish List books posted directly to you by buddies on the site (this happens pretty often).

So if you’re smart about what you post in forums and in your profile (it’s never wise to share TOO much personal info on the Internet), you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!  We have a great group of members and you are bound to make some good friends here.

Dear Librarian-  Why don’t you have the “posting position” of each book on the site, like you do with the Wish List, so we can see where our posted books are in line to get requests?  It would help us decide to donate some books instead of keep them listed – a book that has 60 available copies for example, I would donate instead of post here.  – Curious in Cooperstown

Dear Coop,

Good question!  We do plan to make this information available at some point – but not just as the position in line.   The raw information would not really help members make decisions about when their books might be requested.  Some books move very fast here!  So that book that has 60 copies in the system?  Those 60 copies could be swapped in a month, if it is a popular book.   Not only that, but FIFO does not govern every swap here – if you are a Boxer (= if you are subscribed to Box-O-Books) or if you offer “deals” in the Book Bazaar (2 books for 1 credit, 3 books for 2 credits, etc), your #60 book may be included as part of a Box-O-Books swap, or added in to a deal you are offering, and thus get requested “early”.

We are working on a way to show members the dynamics of a book in the system, to give the raw number some meaning so it is useful and not prone to being misinterpreted.  This programming is pretty tricky; in the meantime, you can’t know where your book is in line to get requests – so that leaves a nice opening for a surprise here and there!

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2 Responses to “Dear Librarian,”

  1. Laura says:

    (Hand waving in air) Pick me! Pick Me! 🙂

  2. Daniel Yeakle says:

    Dear librarian. just a note to Richard, I enjoy your news letter. i’m disabled and stuck in the house most of the time, so i realy enjoy a good book, it has the power to take me away from here and see the world, and to meet new pepole.. so thank you for this sight. it makes a world of difference in my life, Happy reading your book worm dan

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