How to Contribute to Books We Own

Thank you for your interest in the Books We Own Project!!! Your time and resources are greatly appreciated!

Before signing up as a volunteer, please read the following information carefully.

  1. Books We Own is a FREE lookup service. Your time and services as a volunteer are valuable and much-appreciated by those who use BWO. You have the right to limit how many names and/or resources an individual can request lookups from. (The default limit is 3 names per request.) If you will provide photocopies, then you may request reimbursement for copies and postage, if you choose. The requestor has the right to receive an answer within a timely manner (i.e. within one week, unless they are notified otherwise).
  2. Please understand that I maintain BWO in my spare time (I work full time). I generally update the BWO site on the weekends, so please allow up to 7 days for your listing to appear on the BWO pages (you will be notified when your listing has been updated). Please do not submit more than 5 resources per week. If you do not see your listing on the BWO pages, and more than 7 days have passed, then please resubmit your information - I may not have received it.
  3. Please note: I can no longer list CDs published by, HeritageQuest,, Family Tree Maker, any of their subsidiaries, or any of their parent companies. Any CD submissions will be disregarded. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
  4. Be sure that you read, and are willing to abide by BWO's Copyright Policy statement.
  5. The number of requests you will receive is directly related to the number of resources you place on the list. I would strongly suggest that you start by listing only two or three of resources you feel people are most likely to want. That way, you will avoid developing "look up burn out" while you are just learning how the process works. You are certainly free to add more resources at a later time. If you have a lot of books, please do not add more than 5 books per week (for my sake! ).
  6. Consider carefully what information you expect from look-up requestors, and then note this on your sign-up form under "Special Instructions". For example, if your book is a one-surname genealogy, you may want to specify that requestors request only a specific individual by first name and dates to distinguish that person from all of the others with the same name. Or, if your book does not have an index, you may wish to indicate what details would make it easiest for you to find the requested information.
  7. Please consider whether you are willing to provide services beyond simply emailing results, such as photocopying or scans, and state this under "Special Instructions." You do NOT have to provide photocopies or scans of your pages. If you are unable to provide photocopies/scans, then you may find it helpful to indicate this on your form. Alternatively, if you can provide photocopies, specify your page/postage charges, and whether an SASE is required. Please note: if you do opt to scan pages into the computer, or send photocopies by snail mail, you must abide by the BWO Copyright Policy [i.e. publications published in 1925 or before are OK, as are any publications for which you have the author or publisher's permission, or any public domain material such as official records. If it does not meet one of these criteria, then you may NOT offer to scan pages or send photocopies.].
  8. If your listings contain special characters, such as ø, å, ü, é, or others, please describe the characters (such as o-slash, a-ring, umlaut, etc) since the mail server does not recognize such special characters, and the message I receive will contain gibberish.
  9. Please fill out the form as completely as possible - the more information you provide for a book, the less likely your time (and the requestor's) will be wasted by inappropriate requests.
  10. The form will ask you to list the category (or categories) that your book should be listed under. If your book is for a specific town or city, then you MUST include the county and state/province that town is located in. If your book is a family history then I will cross-list the book under AT MOST three surnames - the listing itself can contain as many surnames as you'd like. If you are unsure about which category your book should be listed under, then see the Library for a complete listing of categories. If you think a new category should be created for your book, then let me know and I'll consider it.

If you have read and agree to follow these instructions, then please click the link below.