Sign up for text message alerts

To get started:

Just text SIGNUP+yourlibrarycardnumber+yourpassword to The + sign is important. Do not insert spaces.

By using the library’s Shoutbomb text messaging service, you can:

  • Receive text message alerts about holds, items due soon, overdue items, and fees.
  • Send a text to request a renewal and receive a text with the results of your request.
  • Continue to receive the email, telephone or mail notifications you have been receiving from the library. Text message alerts are a separate service from standard notices. If you do not want to receive standard notices by email, telephone or mail, please talk to a staff person and they will update your account.

Multnomah County Library does not charge for this service, but your mobile plan’s regular text messaging rates apply.

Please be aware that patrons are required to submit their library card number and password (PIN) number to Shoutbomb one time via text message to activate the service. Shoutbomb is required by contract to keep this information and the information in your text message alerts private. Shoutbomb cannot use your information for any purpose other than to send you text message alerts. However, your text message alerts will also be traveling via commercial SMS services (i.e. your cell phone provider). The library cannot guarantee the privacy of these messages because they are not under our control.

What you need

  • A mobile phone with text messaging capability 
  • Subscription to text messaging (check your cell phone service plan)
  • Your phone must be able to send a text message to an email address
  • Your fourteen digit barcode number
  • Your library password (PIN)

How do I know whether my phone will work with the Shoutbomb service?

  • Send a text message with the keyword TEST to You should receive the short message “Test Successful” if your phone will work with the Shoutbomb service.
  • If you receive the message “This service is not compatible with your phone. We are aware of your issue and will reply shortly with more information”: Send an email to with the make/model of your phone and your cell phone service provider.

How do I send a text message to an email address?

Most text-capable phones have the ability to send messages to an email address. Generally, you create a new contact and instead of adding a phone number, add the email address. Give the contact a name that is easy to remember.

For most phone types:

  • Go to Messaging and create a new Text Message.
  • Open up the Send To box to designate the recipient.
  • Some phones have a separate field for Email and Phone Number. If this is the case, enter in the Email field.
  • If your phone doesn’t have a separate field for Email, look for a box that says 123 on the menu screen. (This means you are entering a number to designate who you are texting.) Press the relevant button (typically the Shift key or one of the Option buttons) to switch to ABC.
  • Enter as the designated address.
  • Add this contact to your Address Book.

Okay, now how do I sign up?

  • Text SIGNUP+yourlibrarycardnumber+yourpassword to the contact you just created. The + sign is important. Do not insert spaces.
  • To receive your messages in Spanish, use REGISTRESE instead of SIGNUP.
  • After sign up, you will receive a message confirming your request. Another message will ask you to provide your email, which is optional. If you don’t want to provide your email, reply with NONE.

What if I don’t get a reply from the Shoutbomb service?

The Shoutbomb service processes all requests within 60 seconds of receiving your message, but some cell phone providers do not deliver this first message promptly.

  • Wait and see if the reply arrives.
  • If, after 4 hours, you still have not received a reply, send the keyword RESEND to
  • Shoutbomb can’t guarantee timely delivery of messages. Your provider is responsible for delivering messages once they are sent. Most providers deliver messages promptly.

What alerts will be sent?

  • FEES – sent every time a fee is added to your account
  • HOLDS – sent when a hold is ready for pick up
  • RENEW – sent 3 days before the due date, with an option to renew
  • OVERDUE – sent when an item is 7 days past the due date

In order to save space, the lengths of the titles are limited to 25 characters, which should be enough for you to recognize the item.

Can I opt in or out of different alerts?

Yes. If you do not want to receive a specific alert, send the keyword to stop the alert. For example, text FEES and you will not get an alert when a new fee is added to your account. Text FEES again and these alerts will resume.

Can I get alerts for more than one library card?

Yes. To add a card, text ADDCARD+thelibrarycardnumber+password. Use the + sign and do not insert spaces. You will receive a message confirming your request.

To drop a card, text DROPCARD. If more than one card has been added, you will receive a message that assigns each added barcode a number (1, 2, and so on). Text the assigned number, instead of the full barcode number, of the card you want to drop. You will receive a message confirming your request.

What are other text commands I can use?

  • Resend – Text RESEND to receive the last message sent.
  • Quit receiving alerts – Text QUIT+thelibrarycardnumber+password. You will receive a message confirming your request.
  • Get help – Send a message with the word HELP, then a space, and the keyword for the command that is giving you difficulty. For example, text HELP(space)DROPCARD to receive instructions on that process.
  • Update your phone number or carrier - SWITCHPHONE+the librarycardnumber.
  • Update your library card number - QUIT+yourlibrarycardnumber+password, then text SIGNUP+newlibrarycardnumber+password.
  • Update your password (PIN) - Text MYCARDS and wait for a response. Text NEWPASS+librarycardnumber - this will result in a prompt for a PIN, then update with the new PIN.

Need further assistance?

Please send an email to Please include your library card number, PIN and a short description of the problem.