The Albert L. Scott Library has a free service for Alabaster’s homebound citizens of all ages called Books by Mail. Whether one is homebound temporarily or long-term, books can be mailed directly to residents free of charge. Carol Smith, Public Services Librarian, runs the program. We asked Carol a few questions about this wonderful program.
AC: How can someone participate?
Carol: Residents of Alabaster just need to have a library card. Sometimes, patrons already have a card, but if they don’t we can get them set up with one.
AC: Does someone ask for you, Carol, when calling or can anyone help?
Carol: People can ask for me or just let the staff who answers the phone know that they are interested in Books by Mail and I’ll get back in touch.
AC: Is it okay to email you?
Carol: There is an interview process to start with and I will need to find out what types of books they are interested in, or authors, or subjects. After that, email is fine.
AC: How many books will you send at a time?
Carol: I typically send out a couple of books at a time. The patron reads them and then sends them back to me. Then I pick out a couple more to send.
AC: What if they don’t have specific books in mind but they know what subjects they like?
Carol: I am happy to work with anyone to make suggestions. That is all a part of the initial interview process – trying to match up what a patron wants with what we have available.
AC: What about large print books, movies, and audios?
Carol: Absolutely. We can send those as well. Movies are limited to our local availability.
AC: How long does it take to get the books?
Carol: It usually takes a couple of days, but it really depends on the postal service.
AC: How long can I keep the books?
Carol: The checkout period for Books by Mail is 1 month.
AC: Do I have to pay postage to send them back?
Carol: Absolutely not. This is a free service.
AC: Are there options for me if I’m blind or have other more serious disabilities?
Carol: If the patron needs more services than I can offer they can contact the Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled at 800-392-5671. The website is https://aplsws2.apls.state.al.us/library-for-the-blind/
For those outside the city of Alabaster, its best to reach out to their local library.
For more information or to speak with Carol: Albert L. Scott Library: 205-664-6822
Sidebar: LeDonna Gore on Books By Mail
“I like certain authors and mystery books and Carol Smith is really interested in finding me books in this area I will enjoy. That makes it a lot of fun. I usually get three books and I read them in about three weeks and after I send them back Carol is very prompt in getting me more books to read. And the Alabaster library has a great selection of books. There is something special about holding a book in my hands and being able to go back and reread sections and look things up. It’s a real joy.