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Library by Mail

Are you a Senior aged 60+ without a way to access library resources? Library by Mail connects you to library materials like Books (including Large Print, Audiobooks, and more) without leaving your home. We ship items via USPS in special heavy-duty bags and the postage is paid both ways.

Call our Outreach Coordinator to get started with Library By Mail (LBM):
Jackie Kinsey
Coordinating Librarian, Outreach Services


Library by Mail Policy Document

Library by Mail FAQs

Who can receive library materials by mail?

Seniors aged 60+ living in SLO County who cannot visit the library in person or by proxy.

Is this a free service?

Yes, postage is paid to and from the library. This is a free service for seniors living in SLO County.

How does LBM work?

First, we’ll get you established as an LBM patron, including what you like to read. After we select your material(s), we’ll package everything into a special heavy-duty mailer bag and USPS will deliver it to your home address. When you’re done with all your materials, simply reverse the mailing tag to the library address side and leave it for the postal carrier. We include directions in the mailing bag each time we send a delivery. An optional survey is also included on the choice of materials selected by staff.

What if I have a PO Box?

For mailing purposes, PO Boxes are considered a physical location. If a mailpiece that is addressed to a PO Box is too large to fit in the box, the Post Office will place in your box either:
1. A key to a larger storage locker within the same facility (for a larger item)
2. A notice that you can take to a window clerk to collect your item

What materials can be requested?

Library items that can be shipped via USPS Media Mail postage include print books, audiobooks, magazines, DVDs, and CDs.

How many items and shipments can I have?

You are eligible for a delivery once the previous delivery is returned to the library and checked in. This usually amounts to 2 shipments per month. Depending on the size of the items, 3-7 items can be sent at one time. Up to three hardcover books will fit into a mailer bag. Up to four audio books will fit into a mailer bag. DVD's, CD's and magazines are smaller. 

Can I choose the titles I want?

Yes, you can request specific titles and we’ll ship them to you if owned by County of SLO Public Libraries. We cannot ship items that belong to other library jurisdictions. If we don’t own the item, we can use the library’s Suggest a Title service for purchase consideration on your behalf. 

Can you help me choose titles I want?

Yes, you can tell us what you like to read, and we’ll send you titles based on your preferences.

How long can I keep materials?

You can keep library materials for the same length of time as if checked out in person, 21 days or longer if auto-renewed. Just remember to return all the items in your LBM bag together (and don’t add anything else) as the bag must weigh the same amount as when you received it.

What does “auto-renewed” mean, are LBM items renewable?

Items that do not have holds on them are automatically renewed, up to 5 times. We will communicate with you by phone regarding due dates, as some items in your shipment may auto renew and some may not.

What if items are late getting back, or get lost?

The library does not charge overdue fines, but we do charge for lost items. Many public libraries offer mail service and they report that it’s rare for items to get lost in the mail. You can always call us with concerns, and we’ll work with you to resolve any issues.

How do I apply for the service?

Call Jackie Kinsey, Coordinating Librarian for Outreach Services, at 805-781-5184 to apply for Library by Mail.