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OBCZs Soon to Find an Official Home on BookCrossing -- With Your Help!

February 24, 2011

OBCZs (Official BookCrossing Zones) are those wonderful spots around the world where BookCrossing books are regularly released by BookCrossers. These spots differ from wild release zones, in that they're often in sheltered places, such as coffee shops or pubs and usually have a shelf, basket, or box books for readers to browse through and select a volume to take home. BookCrossers who manage these zones (OBCZ managers) maintain the shelf with the blessing (and often assistance) of the shop owner/manager.

Finding these treasure troves of books has always been a bit tricky. Though many spots have created a bookshelf/profile which mentions the location as an OBCZ or have included "OBCZ" in their screen name, there has been no place on site that listed active OBCZs. And many OBCZs have closed for one reason or another, even though their profile on the site remains. We've carried links to off-site OBCZ finders, including a map site (of which about 60% of the zones remain active/open) and to the newer OBCZ wiki, both of which are still available and good resources for finding OBCZs, but nothing directly on our site to identify OBCZs easily for you -- until now.

In the near future, our Go Hunting pages will identify all active OBCZs in a town. Zones which show BookCrossing activity presently, and as far back as 2009, will have a small icon next to their name when viewed on the city page, and have a designation as Official BookCrossing Zone when you click on the zone itself.

A few of our Region Manager volunteers has gone through the two existing lists, and, where possible, identified the OBCZs that have had activity since 2009. But to complete this plan, we nee your help. If you are an OBCZ Manager or have been an OBCZ manager in the past, please send a PM to BCRegionMgrTeam with the following information.

1. OBCZ Name

2. Link to the Go Hunting page for this shelf: (you can get this by finding a book wild released at this zone and then clicking on the release location. This will bring up a list of all books released at this zone that are still in the wild.) Copy the url and paste it in your message to us.

3. OBCZ bookshelf link (if there is one) with an extended profile that tells zone location/address, hours, info, go-hunting link, and manager(s) OR that the zone is no longer active as an OBCZ.

4. Primary OBCZ Manager: This can be the OBCZ shelf screen name or an individual BookCrosser, but only one name will be accepted

5. Is this zone still an OBCZ or not? If not, we can hide inactive zones from the list. (Zones become inactive all the time, for various reasons.)

6. If there is more than one listing/go-hunting link that should all be consolidated, you can send those along, too.

In turn, we will then be able to identify active OBCZs and list them on the Go Hunting pages. We will also grant editing rights to the OBCZ manager name provided so that one person can add all the fun stuff, like a picture, hours, location, wi-fi details, etc. Adding the address ensures that when our mapping system comes back on line, the OBCZ can be located on a map. If the zone becomes inactive, this person can then also edit the zone information so that it no longer shows as an OBCZ.

Please note, that without the Go Hunting link asked for, we are not able to make any of the changes, and only one screen name can be identified as OBCZ Manager. Thanks again for your help!

PS As a reminder, we do give wings to our bookshelves for our OBCZs, in thanks for being so hospitable to BookCrossing books and members. From this point on, in order to have these wings, the extended profile of the shelf must indicate zone location/address, hours, Zone Manager contact(s) name and a go-hunting link. If you have an OBCZ that doesn't have wings, you may contact support for winging, once the extended profile of your zone has all the requested information


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