Borrow by Mail program brings Hillsborough libraries to your door

You can order clothes and gadgets by mail, have food and prescriptions delivered to your door, and now, if you live in Hillsborough County, library books can be shipped right to your house.

The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative is so much bigger than its branches, and it is not just physical books people borrow these days.

"You can download eBooks, you can stream digital magazines, movies, music, that we can make your drive to work more comfortable by listening to an audiobook," explained HCPLC Brand Innovation Officer, Chely Cantrell.

One of the library’s newest offerings is Borrow by Mail. All you need is a library card to request books, DVDs, audiobooks, and CDs online, and have them delivered directly to your mailbox.

"Previously, we did books by mail, which was really just for our homebound patrons, and so Borrow by Mail has really opened up a convenient service for anybody in the County with the Hillsborough County library card."

You must be over 17 to have the materials shipped to your house, and it takes up to two-weeks for the items to arrive.

Cantrell says it is an innovative program not offered at every library.

"I've seen other libraries that do offer this, but it is at a charge and here in Hillsborough County, it's completely free."

The program had been in the works for a while, and launched in the summer of 2020. So far, it has been very popular, with more than 57,000 items borrowed by mail in 2021.

People like the contact-less delivery, and also the convenience.

"Saves you one trip to the library, and saves you an errand that you may be running, and then you can just drop them off at your library once you're done," sand Cantrell.

Just make sure your address is up-to-date before you make a Borrow by Mail request.

Another new program offered by the library is Read or Reject. If you do not know what you want to read next, you can simply fill out an online form and the librarians will choose a trio of titles based on your answers. The books will also be mailed right to your house.


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