Books by Mail

Library Access for Homebound Residents

Manatee Libraries offers free delivery of library materials to Manatee County library patrons who are not able to access our facilities due to a temporary or long-term physical or visual disability. While there is no fee for this service, any lost items would be the responsibility of the patron.

Eligibility Requirements

A registration form for this service must be on file in order for a patron to borrow by mail. Materials may only be mailed to a Manatee County address. A patron must also apply for a Manatee County library card if he/she is not presently a member.

Books by Mail Online Registration Form

Printable Books by Mail Registration form

About the Program

Formats available through this program include:

  • Large print materials (Items designated as ‘New’ large print are not eligible for loan)
  • Audiobooks (on CD)
  • Descriptive DVDs
  • Playaways (pre-loaded MP3 players that require headphones and batteries)

Via Books by Mail, patrons may borrow up to three items at a time. All items circulate for a six-week period and may be renewed by calling the library or managing the account through the library’s online catalog. The library staff will use the information about reader preferences from the registration form to select items for the patron.

All patrons must agree to provide access to their reading records in order for "Books by Mail" staff to avoid duplicate mailings of materials. Books By Mail patrons are unable to utilize the Interlibrary Loan service to borrow books from outside of Manatee County.

Books by Mail patrons may also come to the library and use their card as a regular borrower. Regular borrowers can check out up to 50 items at a time, including regular print books, Large Print books, audiobooks, all “New” materials, and a maximum of 20 DVDs.

All materials checked out in person at the library will have regular loan periods and MUST be returned in person (not via the US Postal Service). A family member, friend, or caregiver CAN bring your library card to the library and check out any materials for you.

For additional questions or to register, please call (941) 748-5555, x6331, or email susan.busch@mymanatee.org

Forms may also be mailed to:

Books by Mail
Manatee County Central Library
1301 Barcarrota Blvd.
Bradenton, FL 34205

Books by Mail Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?

Any Manatee County library patron who is not able to access library facilities due to temporary or long-term physical or visual disability. Although there is no fee for this service, you will be asked to pay for any lost items.

What can be mailed to me?

Large print books, audiobooks on CD, audiobooks on Playaway (small device that needs headphones and an AAA battery), and descriptive DVDs. Items are mailed for no fee through the U.S. Postal Service materials for the blind and visually impaired program.

What CANNOT be mailed to me?

Since items are mailed through the U.S. Postal Service materials for the blind and visually impaired program, regular print books, non-descriptive DVDs, children’s books, and other materials CANNOT be mailed. Additionally, items classified as “New” large print are not eligible for loan.

How many books can I check out and for how long can I keep them?

You can receive up to three items at a time for six weeks. To renew items for longer than six weeks, contact the library (941-748-5555).

How are the specific books selected?

When you register, tell us what genres and authors you like, and library staff will use this information to select books for you. To request specific books, contact the library (941-748-5555) or place a note inside the mail bag. Please note, all patrons in this program must agree to provide library staff with access to their reading records in order to avoid duplicate mailings of materials.

How do I return items?

Materials are sent through the U.S. mail in zippered bags. To return materials, place books back in the bag, remove the paper label with your address on it, and put the bag in your mailbox or nearest mail drop. You can also return materials along with the mailbag to any Manatee County branch library.

How do I register?

If you already have a library card, fill out a “Books By Mail” form and return to:

Central Library, c/o Susan Busch
1301 Barcarrota Blvd. West, Bradenton, FL 34205

If you DO NOT have a library card or need a copy of the “Books by Mail” form, please contact Susan Busch at (941) 748-5555 x6323 or susan.busch@mymanatee.org.

Can I still check out materials in person at the library?

Yes, you CAN come to the library and use your card as a regular borrower. Regular borrowers can check out up to 50 items at a time, including regular print books, Large Print books, audiobooks, all “New” materials, and a maximum of 20 DVDs. All materials checked out in person at the library will have regular loan periods and MUST be returned in person. Books By Mail patrons are unable to utilize the Interlibrary Loan service to borrow books from outside of Manatee County.

A family member, friend, or caregiver CAN bring your library card to the library and check out any materials for you.

CONTACT US +

  • Register for Books by Mail
  • 941-748-5555 ext 6323
  • Email Us