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

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

Email: [email protected]

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.