Introduction to Lists

A Listserv is a network communication tool that allows for effective communication among a group of individuals by maintaining access control, address changes, and delivery issues in the background while facilitating rapid and effective communication among members of the group. The following information is intended to act as a guide to those individuals that are new to the use of Listservers as well as a reference to experienced users.

Click on one of the following topics to find out more about Angeles Chapter's Listservers:

What Is A Listserv?

A Listserv is a subscriber email list that automatically handles the list of addresses, processes bounces, filters spam and viruses, provides a web interface, a digest option, a confidential archive, and generally makes communication easier by email or web.

With the new interface it is possible to read and reply to all the mail online and not even get messages in your mailbox (just choose the second to the last entry on the signup page - 'nomail'). You can check the web archives from any internet-connected computer.

Another option for managing emails is to set up mailboxes/folders in your email program and use 'rules' to automatically sort incoming mail. Listserv messages are easy to tag and sort out by their listname.

How To Sign Up

Different lists have different procedures. Click on the links in the List Directory to go to the appropriate form. In some cases you’ll need to send a request to the owner, which should include information on how you qualify for that list.

Once you’ve joined you will usually receive three emails, welcoming you to the list and giving you the Sierra Club Terms of Use.

How To Use It

To send mail to a list, just address your email to (replace 'LIST-NAME' with the name of the list). It will be immediately redistributed to members of the list (double check your spelling first!).

Replies are handled in different ways depending on the list configuration. Usually a reply will go to the whole list, sometimes it will only go to the original sender.

Alternatively you can also read and reply to messages on the web through the list’s archive (see below).

To make changes to your account, go to the "Subscriber’s Corner". Use this page to change your name (Sierra Club requires you use your correct full name, no aliases or 'handles' please), email address, or to change details about your subscription.

You can set up digests to receive all the day’s messages in one single message.  ‘Mime’ digests the a good choice.

You can also turn off mail delivery entirely. This is good if you’re going on vacation, or if you prefer to read the postings only on the web archive.

Archives may be viewed at the Sierra Club list of lists. You will need to create a password and log in to reply to messages or to see the archive of closed lists.


The Sierra Cub has strict rules on the collection and use of email addresses and you will not be added to any other lists when you signup for one list. (There are some ‘superlists’ that are used to send messages to all lists from National on matters of great importance but they are employed very rarely). In most cases other subscribers cannot see your email address unless you post a message (check the list’s configuration. Some poorly configured lists have a public list of subscribers.)

You are required to use your whole real name when signing up for lists.

For more information on the Sierra Club Listserv Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, see the Listerv FAQ.

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