PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Tour Guides’

In Celebration of our Wonderful PBS Volunteers… Tour Guides

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

 Without our hardworking, dedicated volunteers, PBS would surely not be the wonderful site that it is. All week we will give you an overview of what our volunteers do and why.



Today we start with Tour Guides



Spotlight on PBS Volunteers – Tour Guides

By Diane G. (icesk8tr)  Tour Guide Coordinator 

When you joined PaperBackSwap, you were assigned a personal Tour Guide!  (That is if you joined after February 2006). What many members don’t know is that all of the Tour Guides are regular members that have volunteered to help out other members with questions they may have as they are just getting started. There is a lot going on at PaperBackSwap, and a lot to learn when you first join, even after you have been a member for a while something may confuse you, and the PBS Team is constantly making improvements and changes to PaperBackSwap. Your Tour Guide is a great resource to help you with questions you may have as you are enjoying your membership!

We have a great group of Tour Guides, and always welcome new volunteers to help with member’s questions. With all the new members, at least some are bound to have questions, and everyone will get answers faster if more people are available to ask!


What do Tour Guides do?

* Be the first person a new member will interact with when they join the site! (each new member is assigned a personal Tour Guide to consult with any questions)

* Answer questions from your assigned new members

* Take Live Help questions from members  (Live Help PMs may come in to you when you are online–Live Help is a big part of Tour Guiding)

* You do have the ability to put your duties on hold when you are on vacation, or unavailable to help.

* Visit New Member Chat to greet and help new members

* Chill in the Tour Guide Private Lounge

* Get to wear a cool TG volunteer icon on their profiles and forum posts

Some of our Tour Guides do a lot with their new members, some just answer questions when they come in, some like to chat, some like to help out by answering questions in the regular forums…Tour Guiding can be as individual as the Guide himself or herself.


If anyone is interested in volunteering to be a PBS Tour Guide, all it takes is:

* Having been a PBS member for at least 3 months

* Have a PBS nickname

* Signing the PBS Non-Disclosure Agreement

* Passing the Tour Guide Quiz (not too tough, we promise!)

* A willingness to help other members solve problems/learn how to use the site

Anyone who is interested in becoming a Tour Guide can contact Diane G. (icesk8tr) for the link to sign the NDA and then after having done that, I will give you access to the Quiz. It is an enjoyable experience, and as I said, we have a great group of Tour Guide volunteers! They have been wonderful at helping members with their questions!



The SwapaDVD Team wants YOU… Newsletter – January 2008

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

If you have a hankering for helping, a passion for pointing the way, a burning desire to direct–you would make a good Tour Guide for SwapaDVD!   A Tour Guide gets assigned to each new member when he or she joins, and serves as a personal resource for help (by Personal Messaging) when the member has a question about the site. What being a Tour Guide gets you: Access to the private Tour Guide Lounge on the site, to mix and mingle with other Tour Guides; a spiffy-looking icon to dress up your profile and forum posts; the respect of millions…well, thousands…well, you’ll be respected by US, at least. What you need to do to volunteer as a Tour Guide for SwapaDVD: You need to have a SwapaDVD account (obviously), you have to sign the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) over at SwapaDVD, have a SwapaDVD nickname, and be familiar with how the site works. You also have to pass the Tour Guide Quiz–it’s short and pretty easy, and it demonstrates how well you can get around the Help Center, which you will need to do a lot of when answering questions from other members. If you are interested, sign the NDA and make yourself a SwapaDVD nickname if you don’t have one, and after you have done those things, send us feedback (over at SwapaDVD) volunteering for the job. You can also contact Beth L. (berlioz3) over there; she is our SwapaDVD Tour Guide Coordinator.  Thanks to all who apply!

DEAR R&R: Newsletter – November 2007

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Dear R&R–I love printed postage!  Thanks for adding this to the site.  Now for the problem: I sent a book to a requestor but she hasn’t marked it received yet.  Because i used Printed Postage I got credit immediately after marking the book mailed (another great feature!), and I know this book was delivered because the DC barcode was scanned.  She got the book, but is lying and saying she didn’t get it!  This is so dishonest, and now it looks like I didn’t send the book.  What should I do? –Puzzled in Pennsylvania

Dear Penny,

Thanks for the kind words about Printed Postage.  The feature is really being used!  We are glad we put the work in to make it available.  About your book–it is possible that the requestor hasn’t gotten the book yet.  She may be away from home, or the book was scanned as “delivered” at her local PO and hasn’t made it out to her residence.   It is even possible that the book was misdelivered.  You can’t presume that she is being dishonest.  She could even have forgotten to mark it received.  You can contact her via Personal Message (use the PM button on the lost book in your Transaction Archive, linked from your My Account page) to ask if she got the book.  If you don’t hear back from her within a week, let us know.  We do monitor “incoming” and “outgoing” loss rates automatically on accounts, and we will intervene if someone’s loss rate is too high.   Don’t worry about your account status; your account will show that you sent the book because you used Printed Postage from PBS and the scan information is recorded with the swap.  If this book is declared Lost, and we have to review your account for any reason, we will see that this book was scanned as delivered, and it will not count “against” you.  You can read more about this situation in the Help document “If a book you sent hasn’t been marked received yet…” in the Help Center.

Dear R&R–I printed the postage on a wrapper, but now I can’t find the book to send.  I think I may have lent it to my sister. I cancelled the request after printing.  Can I get a refund for the postage I won’t be using? –Disorganized in Dallas

Dear Dizzy,

Unfortunately, printed postage isn’t refundable.  The funds are transmitted to USPS and endicia.com when you print.  That’s why the Wrapper Settings page contains this information, and you are asked to confirm that the postage amount is correct before you print.    We are really sorry about this.   Please be sure you have the book that is requested in hand before you print with postage. You can read more about  PBS printed postage in the FAQs About Printable Postage in the Help Center.

Dear R&R–I had an issue with another member, and it really upset me.  But I talked to a Live Help Tour Guide and she really made me feel better.   I am new to PBS and would probably have quit the club if it hadn’t been for this kind Tour Guide who was friendly and sympathetic, and took the time to explain that even though there are some bad apples in the bunch, most of the members are really nice, and she was sure I would have better experiences that would help me get over this one.  She was right!  I have had many swaps since then that have been great, I have met many nice members in PMs, and I have tons of books to read.  I am so glad I stayed with the club!  –Happy in Honolulu

Dear Lulu,

What’s not to be happy about?  You live in Hawaii!  Just kidding.  We really appreciate you writing in about this.  We think our Tour Guides are wonderful.  They are experienced bookswappers, and they can save you a lot of time figuring something out on the site.  They really show the best of PaperBackSwap.  We are so pleased that the Tour Guide was there when you needed her.  We are so glad you stayed too!


  • Do we need to say it? SwapaDVD!
  • Changes to SwapaCD that you will really like…

Dear Members, Newsletter – May 2007

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

May… a time for things to blossom… which includes PBS. We hope to have the new site ready soon. It will be (if we do say so ourselves) a marvel. So many of the features you have asked us for have been implemented, and we are working on many others. The new site will be easier to use, feature-packed, and just darned pretty to look at! You should expect the new site to go live this month, barring unforeseen circumstances (or our untimely demise for exhaustion).

With the site growing so fast and changing so much, we anticipate a need for more PBS Volunteers, especially Tour Guides. Our PBS Tour Guides are our club “ambassadors”—the first people that most new members encounter on the site. The new site will be easier to use than the current design, but still there’s nothing like a helpful, friendly Tour Guide to give an idea of what PBS is all about. Tour Guides get little icons on their Forum sigs and PBS Profiles, and they also get access to a private Forum. To be a Tour Guide, you must have a PBS Nickname and have belonged to PBS for at least 4 months. There is also a little “quiz” involved to demonstrate basic working knowledge of the site—not too hard, we promise! If you are interested in joining this great group, contact Diane G. (icesk8tr), our Tour Guide Coordinator, or send us a message in the feedback area.

Don’t forget to read about the upcoming Postal Rate increase in News, below…

We wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all our Moms out there. And also to all of those that just feel like moms (overwhelmed and multitasking)! Hey, that makes us moms, too. 🙂

DEAR R&R: Newsletter – September 2006

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

Holy Cow, did you see those numbers at the top of the site? We are almost at three-quarters of a million books! Our goal of making it to 1,000,000 books before the end of the year gets closer every day!
Dear R&R—I just found out about the canceled transactions page and I was surprised to see books I sent out on the list! How come I didn’t know about these? Will I get credit for sending these books? — Startled in Sheboygan

Dear Star,

Never fear! There are many reasons why a canceled transaction might be on your Canceled Transaction list (which is available by clicking the link at the top of your Transactions Archive page). The only ones you wouldn’t be notified about are:
(1) those you canceled yourself
(2) Wish List offers (of books you posted) that were declined, and the book was passed to the next Wishing Member, to whom you sent it
Check your en route and completed transactions—you will see that the active or completed transactions for these books are there, and will earn you credit (or have already earned you credit)! Each transaction is an agreement between ONE sender and ONE requestor—if either cancels, the transaction goes onto both members’ canceled lists. Thus, a book can be involved in multiple transactions, even if you have only one copy of the book to send out. One active, completed transaction is all it takes to earn you credit for sending the book!

*see the Help Center item “Can I see my past swaps?” at http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=18

Dear R&R—I got a request for two books, but when I accepted it, one of them disappeared! What happened??? — Bewildered in Buffalo

Dear Buffy,

When you accepted the multiple-book request, did you check the box next to each book that you could send before clicking “I can mail”? If not, you canceled any book that didn’t have its box checked! When a multiple-book request comes up on your account page, the instructions are written there. When you click “I can mail” on the multiple-book request, a box pops up asking you to confirm that the number of boxes that you checked (and therefore, books you have agreed to send) is correct. Please read before you click! I am sorry that this happened. You will need to repost this book to your bookshelf again, to wait for another requestor. I hope this book is requested again soon. When you repost it, it may be offered to the previous requestor, if there were no other copies in the system when you canceled. So you may be able to send both books to her in one package after all!

*see the Help Center item “My request disappeared!” at

Dear R&R—How can I tell who’s requesting the book from me when I repost it? — Buffy again

Dear Buffy,

Simply click the PM (Personal Message) button on the active transaction for the book; the requestor’s name will come up in the To: field of the empty Personal Message. You can also download the address file to check the identity of the requestor, by clicking Print Wrapper and clicking Print Wrapper Now on the Wrapper Settings page. You don’t have to print it—just open the downloaded file to see the name and address there.

Dear R&R—When do you sleep? — Concerned in Kalamazoo

Dear Connie,

Thanks for asking. We don’t get a lot of sleep! With the return to school, our schedules are crazier than ever—and so, I am sure, are many of yours! We appreciate those members who have made the effort to find the answers to their questions in the new Help Center. We still get a lot of feedback, though! We may need to take some “R&R” (Rest and Relaxation) in the next month: we may try a feedback-free week (no feedback responses for a week) to see if we can reduce the daily numbers of feedback messages we receive. Please use the Help Center! Not all of your questions can be answered there, but many of them can. The Forums, the Help Center, and the Tour Guides are all excellent resources if you have a question about the site.

Speaking of Tour Guides — and all our volunteers — if any of you are feeling overburdened, please let us know. You can “take a break” any time, and return whenever you wish. We love our Volunteers, but we don’t want to wear you out! PBS should be fun — and we want you to have time to (you guessed it!) READ.

*You can get to the Help Center by clicking the gold button in the left menu of any page on the site.

Hurrah For Our Volunteers!! Newsletter – January 2006

Sunday, January 1st, 2006

In January, we sent out an email call for help. We have been so encouraged by the response! We had so many members come forward to offer their time and effort that we had to scramble to get everything in place. Volunteers are now active in the areas of New Member Guidance (Tour Guides), Book Image Collection, Book Descriptions, Website Editing, Marketing and Games. {We are still interested in finding PHP programmers to help Robert with his ENORMOUS To Do list of improvements he plans to make to the site…if you want to help with this and are an accomplished PHP programmer, please send Robert a message from the feedback area.}

Our Tour Guides are a mighty and powerful group! Each new member is assigned a Tour Guide automatically upon joining the club. The Tour Guide introduces him or herself by email along with a Personal Message. Tour Guides are doing terrific work, answering new member questions and helping them learn the ropes. If you are a new member, for goodness’ sakes, take advantage of your Tour Guide if you have a question about how to use the club–simply log into your account and click on your Buddy List on the right-hand side. Your Tour Guide’s name will already be there, and you can click the button to send a Personal Message. Remember, the more of these questions get asked of your Tour Guides, the fewer that we have to answer in Feedback. Not that we don’t love to hear from our members, but answering too many Feedback each day pretty much eliminates the chance for us to do anything else for the site. So please, check the FAQs or ask your Tour Guide first! Tour Guides: You all are our PBS Ambassadors, and we thank you for your patience and energy. You are doing a super job!

Our Image Collectors have located and uploaded thousands of images to the database to replace those ugly blue “Cover Not Available” eyesores. Our Website Editors are working hard to correct all the inaccuracies in the database. You can help both of these groups in their efforts by submitting any inaccuracies you find. If you have an image of a book cover to upload (to replace an erroneous one, or to provide a graphic for a book that has No Cover Available on its book details page), simply scroll down to the very bottom of any page on the site and click Upload Book Covers. You don’t have to do anything special to the graphic files–simply make sure they are “cropped” (no white or black border around the image), and they are good to go! If you find a text inaccuracy (ie, paperback listed as hardback, or wrong title or author of a book), you can also submit the correct information by scrolling down to the bottom of any page on the site and clicking Edit Book Data. Enter the ISBN of the book and make your changes to the book information on the next page. Submitted images and book data corrections will have to be reviewed by the volunteers before they can be added to the database, so the change won’t take place immediately. Thanks in advance to anyone who does this–improving the quality of the database improves the club for all!

Thanks to ALL our volunteers–we are touched by your generosity, and grateful for your hard work. If you would like to volunteer, simply send in an email to Volunteer@PaperBackSwap.com.