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Information about the Mailbox Library

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Who is eligible for the Mailbox Library?
Is this a new service?
How does it work?
What kind of library materials may I check out from the Mailbox Library?
How much does this service cost?
What should I do if my rural postal carrier won't take the items from my mailbox?
Can I return the books to my Hometown Library when I go to town?
How many books can I get at a time?
How long can I keep the books?
What happens if my books are late?

Who is eligible for the Mailbox Library?

Any resident of Cleveland, McClain, or Pottawatomie counties ages 0 to 18 who has a library card with the Pioneer Library System, fines under $10.  This service is intended primarily for children and teens who cannot make it to the library during the summer.

Is this a new service?

This service has been available for many years as Children’s Home Services.  It was renamed in 2014 to distinguish it from Adult Home Services.

How does it work?

If the child or teen already has a library card:  Once a parent signs up a child or a teen for the Mailbox Library, then they may request books to be sent to them in the mail.  After they read the books, the child or teen puts them back in the zippered bag they came in (example shown to the right), turns over the address label, and drops the bag in the mail.  They may fill out the request card that comes with the books for what they want to read next, and drop it in the mail separately, or they may contact the Mailbox Library staff by phone to request more items.

If the child or teen does not have a library card:  As part of the parent signing up their child or teen for the Mailbox Library, they will complete a library card application.  The library card will be mailed to the home address with a letter to the parent and two (2) age-appropriate books, so the child or teen may get started reading right away.  After they read the books, the child or teen puts them back in the zippered bag they came in, turns over the address label, and drops the bag in the mail.  They may fill out the request card that comes with the books for what they want to read next, drop it in the mail separately, or they may contact the Mailbox Library staff by phone to request more items.

What kind of library materials may I check out from the Mailbox Library?

Only books may be checked out from the Mailbox Library.

How much does this service cost?

There is no charge for the Mailbox Library.  A library card in good standing is enough.  Pioneer Library System pays postage both ways.

What should I do if my rural postal carrier won’t take the items from my mailbox?

Contact the Mailbox Library staff and let us know your mail route.  We will contact the post office and explain that the library will pay the postage.

Can I return the books to my Hometown Library when I go to town?

You may return the books to any branch or Information Station of the Pioneer Library System.  However, they must be put in the zippered bag for any return and the label turned over, so they will be correctly identified as Mailbox Library items.

How many books can I get at a time?

The number is limited to the size of the zippered bag.  A zippered bag holds approximately 4 or 5 children’s books.

How long can I keep the books?

Mailbox Library books are checked out for a loan period of 30 days, and may be renewed for another 30 days, if not on hold for another customer.  Renewals must be requested before the first 30 days are up.

What happens if my books are late?

No fines are charged for late return of Mailbox Library books.  However, not returning books may result in future shipments being delayed or discontinued.  If books are lost, customers will be charged for lost books.

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