Text Messaging Alerts Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Shoutbomb Service?
This service allows the library to send messages to all text messaging enabled phones. In addition, patrons can send text messages, using pre-selected keywords, to the Shoutbomb service requesting additional information from the library.
Advanced Mobile Commands:
- A text messaging capable phone is required.
- Subscription to text messaging (Confirm with your cell phone service plan)
- Cell phone must be able to send a text message to an email address.
How do I know if my phone works with the Shoutbomb service?
Send a text message with only the keyword TEST to email@example.com. You should receive a short reply message “Test Successful”. This message indicates that your phone will work with the Shoutbomb service.
If you receive a reply, telling you that we could not understand your message this typically means you sent a keyword in the wrong format. For example, SIGNUP is correct while SIGN UP is not. Keywords must be one word only – no spaces or punctuation.
- We cannot guarantee timely delivery of your message to us. Your provider is responsible for delivering your message once you send it. Most providers deliver the messages promptly.
- We cannot guarantee timely delivery of our message to you. Your provider is responsible for delivering our message once we send it. Most providers deliver the messages promptly.
- Wait and see if the reply arrives.
- If after 4 hours, you still have not received a reply, and then send the keyword RESEND to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can only use the RESEND command once per day. This limitation is in place to protect from spam messages. If you do not receive a reply after 3 attempts over three days, then send an email detailing your issue to PLS.email@example.com.
Can I choose which of the available messages are delivered by the Shoutbomb service?
By default each message type is turned on and eligible for delivery once you sign up. No further action is required;However, each message type delivered by the Shoutbomb service can be turned off any time after you sign up.
Each message type has its own keyword and sending a text message with only this keyword to firstname.lastname@example.org will turn each message type off. Sending the same keyword in text message again will turn it back on.
- Fees/Fines Notice, the keyword is FEES. (automatically turned on when you register)
- Hold Notice, the keyword is HOLDS. (automatically turned on when you register)
- Renewal, the keyword is RENEW. (automatically turned on when you register)
How do I sign up for the Shoutbomb service?
Send a text message with only the keyword SIGNUP to email@example.com.
- You will receive a reply asking you for your library card number. Reply with only the information requested. If library card number is mistyped or a zero was accidentally omitted, error message will be received asking for the number once again. Go back to your original message and make sure the library card number entered is accurate, make any necessary corrections and resend. If you resend the same number you will not receive a reply. (see FAQ “What do I do if I don’t get a reply?” for an explanation)
- If the library card number is valid, you will receive a message asking for your PIN number.
- If the pin number is valid, you will receive a message thanking you for registering.
- (Optional). If registration is complete, you will receive a message asking for your email address.
- Please reply with an email address, this completes the signup process.
How do I report an issue?
If you are experiencing any issues with the service or you would like to make a suggestion for improvement, please text/email your comments to PLS.firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I text to an email address?
Create a new contact and instead of adding a phone number add email@example.com Give the contact a name that will be easy to remember, for example “library text”. Text to the newly created contact.
How do I text to an email address with an iPhone?
On the To: type the number 121, in the body type firstname.lastname@example.org (space) then type the message.
How do I request a list of items I have on hold?
If items on hold that are available to be picked up; you will receive a notification via text message. You have the option to reply with the key phrase HL, which is an abbreviation of hold’s list. Once HL is texted, you will receive one or more messages that contain the title of the items on hold. In order to save on space, the length of the titles is limited to 25 characters. Allowing enough characters to identify the item while reducing the number of messages received.
How do I request a list of items to renew?
If there are items to renew, you will receive a notification via text message. You have the option to reply with key phrase RL, which is an abbreviation of renewal list. You will receive one or more messages that contain the title of the overdue items. In order to save on space, the length of the titles is limited to 25 characters. Allowing enough characters to identify the item while reducing the number of messages received.
How do I use SMS in a language other than English?
In order to use a language other than English the appropriate keyword that corresponds to the English equivalent must be utilized. Below are the Spanish translations for each of the English keywords.
NOTE: in some cases the keywords are always in English
How do I quit?
If you would like to discontinue our service all that is required is to send the word QUIT to email@example.com You will receive a reply asking for your barcode and pin number. If both are valid, the system will inform you that the account has been deleted and no future messages should be expected.