Answered By: Cathay
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2023     Views: 549

Books by Mail is a convenient and free service that provides Sarasota County Library materials through the U.S. Postal Service to people who are unable to access the library collection due to temporary or long-term physical or visual disability. (Funding is provided through the Library of Congress's National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.)  Any Sarasota County resident who cannot visit one of the 10 library locations due to a physical or visual disability can apply for the Books by Mail service by calling 941-861-1110.

The Books by Mail service sends materials through the mail in zippered bags to registered users. When the materials are returned, the borrower removes the address label from the pocket on the bag. The label is then re-inserted to display the library address and sealed with a provided plastic zip tie. (Library materials and mailbags can be returned to any of the ten Sarasota County public libraries.)

Available materials include regular and large print books, audiobooks, music CDs, Playaways, and films/television shows/documentaries on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Patrons can select items themselves or have Books by Mail library staff do the selecting for them based upon the BBM's preferences. Borrowers may request library materials by phone (941-861-1110), by placing written requests as notes in return bags, or through our online catalog linked here. If using the online catalog, please be sure to select “Bookmobile” as the pick-up location.

Books by Mail patrons can have up to 8 items checked out at a time. Loan periods are 8 weeks. Items borrowed through Books by Mail can be renewed up to 5 times as long as there are no other holds on the items. Items can be renewed by phone or online through our online catalog (as long as no one else has requested these items). Books by Mail patrons can also use the library's FLIN SHAREit interlibrary loan program.

Sarasota County Libraries also offers online reading resources, such as through cloudLibrary (ebooks and downloadable audiobooks), Hoopla (ebooks/audiobooks, streaming music and movies), PressReader (newspapers) and Flipster (magazines).  Explore these options by clicking the links, or feel free to ask us for more information.

For more information on renewing checked out items and step-by-step instructions for renewing online, please click here to view our library material renewal FAQ

For more information or to apply for Books by Mail, please contact our office at (941) 861-1110.