Montana Shared Catalog

Discussion Groups


The Montana Shared Catalog discussion groups can be used in two different ways. First, they can be used in the traditional way with an email client (i.e. Microsoft Outlook), and secondly they can be used through a web site using a web browser (i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox).


We use Google Groups to manage our discussion groups. There are eleven (11) discussion groups used by the Montana Shared Catalog (MSC). The groups are:

Group Name Description
msc-4rivers 4 Rivers Sharing Group
msc-bridgernet BridgerNet Sharing Group
msc-discuss General Discussion Group
msc-exec Executive Committee Discussion Group
msc-cmc Content Management Committee Discussion Group

Large Public Library Discussion Group

msc-mcps Missoula County Public Schools Sharing Group
msc-mediumpublic Medium Public Library Discussion Group
msc-partners Partners Sharing Group
msc-schools Schools Discussion Group
msc-smallpublic Small Public Library Discussion Group
msc-special Special Library Discussion Group
msc-techservices Technical Services Discussion Group

Note #1: To use these instructions with a discussion group other than the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group, simply replace the "msc-discuss" with the discussion group name you are interested in. For example, in the URL below to access the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group web site with your web browser, replace the word "msc-discuss" with the word "msc-exec" if you want to visit the Executive Committee Discussion Group web site instead of the General Discussion Group web site.

Note #2: If you are only interested in sending and recieving emails to and from the discussion group, and you NEVER want to access the discussion group via your web browser, then it is not necessary to create a Google account. Please ignore the "Access with Web Browser" instructions, and only use the "Access with Email Client" instructions.

Access with Email Client

To join the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group using an email client, send an email to Michael Price requesting you be added to the discussion group. There is no automated method available to join a discussion group. It is structured this way to prevent spammers from joining our groups. All users are managed through the MSC Administration Team.

To leave the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group using an email client, send an email to:

To send a new message to the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group using your email client, send a message with the following email address typed in the To: field… and enter your text in the body of the message. Please be sure your Subject: field… is populated also.

Access with Web Browser

To access the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group web site with your web browser, go to this URL:

Note: Please bookmark this URL in your web browser for easy and convenient access to this site in the future!

  1. If you are logged into a Google account registered with this discussion group, you will have full access to this discussion group.
  2. If you have multiple Google accounts (which is entirely possible), please log in with the Google account that is registered with the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group.
  3. If you are already logged into a Google account, but are NOT logged into a Google account with an email address that is registered with the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group, log out and login with a Google account that IS registered with the email address used by the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group.
  4. If you do NOT have a Google account with an email address registered in the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group, then create one using the email address with which you are registerd in the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group. If you are not sure which email address you are registered in the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group, please contact Michael Price. Once you have created a Google account using the email address with which you are registerd in the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group and have logged into that Google account, you will have full access to the "msc-discuss" General Discussion Group through your web browser.

Courtesy Guidelines

Always remember that you’re interacting with people so be mindful of what you write; never write anything you wouldn’t say to someone directly. Never use a discussion group for personal attacks or profanity; if you wouldn’t say it in a crowded room for all to hear, don’t write it in an email.

Write only public (never private) messages; discussion groups are a public forum, personal comments or criticisms should be sent directly to the person, not the entire list.

When you are replying to a group email, be sure to note to whom you are replying; groups are set up to reply to everyone in the group. If your reply isn’t of interest to everyone, change the TO: address to the person to whom your reply is directed.

Sign your posting including brief contact information. You can use the signature that you’ve set up in your mail client or simply type in the information at the end of your note.

Content Guidelines

Stick to the purpose of the group; the more topic-specific the contributions are, the more useful the list is for everyone.
Make the subject line descriptive; "change in meeting location" is more useful than "hello".
Be brief, professional, clear, and logical.

Avoid me too-isms. If a department admin needs a head count for an event send your reply to the admin, not to the whole list. If you’re writing the original message include the name and contact information for the person to whom the response should be sent.

Avoid making political and religous comments.

Don’t send chain letters, spam, flames (an abusive message about another person), or solicitations.

Format Guidelines

The less formatting the better; many different email clients will be used to read the messages. Some of those could be plain text email readers that can’t handle fancy formatting. Plain text is always best, avoid including graphics, charts, and images.

Don’t type the whole message in caps, it’s the equivalent of shouting.

Always proof read and edit your message before you press the send button. Poor spelling, grammar, and punctuation are unprofessional, and do not speak well of the sender.

Refrain from sending attachments, especially photos, if at all possible. Include a link to a photo or document on a sharing site (Facebook, Picasa, MS Live, Google Docs…etc) rather than the photo or document itself.

Edit the original message in your replies; leave a few lines to recall the topic you’re addressing, but not the entire previous message(s).