Books By Mail - How it works

What is Books By Mail?
A beta test for sending library books to Menlo Park resident library card holders in a way that is safe, sensible, and compliant with shelter-in-place orders.

Who is eligible?
This service is initially offered to Menlo Park resident library card holders who had library books on the library hold shelf when the library temporarily closed on March 12, 2020. If this beta test is successful, Books By Mail may be expanded to additional Menlo Park resident library card holders.

When do I return the book?
You may keep the book as long as you like. You can return your book to Menlo Park Library after the library reopens, at a time of your choosing. No fines or fees will ever apply to Books By Mail.

Do I have to pay for the book?
Thanks to the generous financial support provided by Friends of Menlo Park Library, this service is being provided at no cost to Menlo Park resident library card holders.

Why can’t I come pick up my holds at the library?
All City of Menlo Park facilities are temporarily closed due to the shelter-in-place order, including the library. All Menlo Park Library staff are working remotely. There is no way for library staff to provide holds pickup at the library facility while also complying with the shelter-in-place order. A new copy of your requested book will be shipped directly to you from Kepler's book supplier.

Will Books by Mail continue after the library reopens?
Our focus at this time is lending a helping hand during a community emergency. Depending on the success of this pilot program, some form of the Books By Mail service may continue in the future.

How long will it take for me to receive my book in the mail?
Please allow 7-10 business days for delivery. You will receive an email notification when your book is on its way. If the book doesn't arrive within the time frame stated in the email, please contact the Menlo Park Library staff for assistance at [email protected]

How many books can I get through Books By Mail?
At this time, Books By Mail is limited to two books per person. During the pilot phase, the program is only available to Menlo Park resident library card holders who had books ready for pickup on the library hold shelf on March 12, 2020 when the library temporarily closed.

Is it guaranteed that I can get the book I want?
After you confirm that you want to receive your book by mail, Menlo Park Library staff will work with Kepler's to confirm availability of the book with their supplier. If the book is back-ordered, out-of-print, or not available for any other reason, library staff will let you know.

I have more than one hold ready for pickup. Can I get my other holds too?
At this time, we must limit Books By Mail to two books per person. If you have two or more books on the library hold shelf right now, Menlo Park Library staff will contact you to help you select which two books you would like to receive by mail.

Do I have to give you my address?
If you have a book waiting for you on the library hold shelf, then Menlo Park Library should have an address on file for your library account. However, addresses on file at the library sometimes are out of date because people move around and the library only checks patron addresses every two years when their library cards expire. For this reason, when you opt-in to Books By Mail you will be asked to confirm your mailing address.

Who is responsible for Books By Mail?
Menlo Park Library, Kepler’s Books, Friends of Menlo Park Library, and Menlo Park Library Foundation joined forces to create the Books By Mail beta test.

My question isn't answered here. Who do I contact?
We're grateful that we and our partners are able to offer this service during a time of great community need. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Menlo Park Library Foundation, 800 Alma St., Menlo Park CA 94025 · 650-330-2511 · [email protected] · Tax ID #470-950709 · Website terms of use