Books by Mail

Books by Mail image

Books by Mail is a free service for homebound residents of Lake County to receive library books, Books on CD, and other items through the U.S. Postal Service.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up over the phone by calling your library branch, or completing an online form in the Apply section and a library staff member will contact you for a brief orientation to the program.

When you sign up for Books by Mail you are self-certifying that you are unable to visit the library due to a hardship. Any reason that prevents you from coming to the library is permitted. No outside certification, such as from a doctor, is necessary.

Once you have signed up for Books by Mail you will receive all library items via the mail. Primarily visiting the library to check out items in person may revoke your participation in the Books by Mail program.

How does it work?

Once you are signed up as a Books by Mail Library patron, any book, DVD, Book on CD, or CD you request will be sent to your home in a Library Canvas Mailbag through the U.S. Postal Service. You are only limited by what can fit in this bag, although some items, such as oversized books won't be able to be delivered through Books by Mail. Once the items are mailed to your home you have 28 days to enjoy and then return them.

Just like items checked out in the library, your items are able to be renewed if no one else is requesting them. However, you'll need to return all your items together - if you received five items you can't just keep only one.

How do I request items?

You can request items by calling your local library and requesting items over the phone. You can also visit our online catalog and request items yourself. Library staff will not automatically choose items for you but are happy to offer recommendations over the phone.

Once your items are ready, Library staff will consolidate your requests so they can fit the most possible in each library mailbag. You will receive an automated notification that your holds are ready for pickup, which means library staff will be mailing your items shortly and you should watch for them in the mail.

How do I return items?

Each library mailbag will also have a return label. Keep the bag and mailing label in a safe place until it's time to return your item. Once you are ready or the items are due, simply place the return label in the window on the library mailbag and put them in your mailbox for the postal service to pick up.

You must return all your items together in the same bag they came in. The postage is paid for by weight so it's important that you keep the items together when returning them through the mail.

Once your items are returned new items can be mailed.

Apply for Books by Mail

  1. Please fill in your information below and a library staff member will contact you by phone to complete your application.

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Institute of Museum and Library Services LogoBooks by Mail was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, IMLS Grant Number CAGML-248370-OMLS-21. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America's museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit the Institute of Museum and Library Services website