Text Message Notifications


Manage your Library Account via Text Messaging

Manage your library account via text on your mobile phone! Shoutbomb is a service that allows Billings Public Library patrons to receive text notices about holds, items due soon and overdue items. You can even manage your whole family’s library cards from one phone.

What You Need

  1. A mobile phone with text messaging enabled
  2. Your library card number
  3. The PIN for your library account - If you don’t know your PIN, please visit one of our public service desks

See Full Instructions

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

  • Send a text message with the keyword TEST to 406-215-4240. 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 a message to 406-215-4240 with the make/model of your phone and your cell phone service provider.

    How to Sign Up

    • Text SIGNUP to 406-215-4240
    • You will receive a reply asking for your library card number.
    • Reply with your 14-digit library card number. Do not include spaces or hyphens.
    • You will receive a message asking for your PIN.
    • Reply with your PIN.
    • If the PIN is valid, you will receive a message thanking you for registering.
    • When registration is complete, you will receive a message asking for your email address. Sending your email address is optional.

    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 406-215-4240.
    • 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
    • COURTESY – sent 2 days before the due date
    • OVERDUE – sent when an item is 3 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. 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. 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.


    Shoutbomb is required by contract to keep this information and the information in your text messages private. Shoutbomb cannot use your information for any purpose other than to send you text messages. Standard text messaging rates apply.


    Customers will continue to receive email or telephone notifications from the library. Text message alerts are a separate service. The old msc@shoutbomb.com email address will also continue to work indefinitely.


    Shoutbomb is offered through a partnership with the Montana Shared Catalog. Billings Public Library is one of the first libraries in the state to offer the service.

    For More Information

    For more detailed instructions, download the FAQ sheet.
    Questions? Please call 406-657-8258 or stop by one of our public service desks.