Screenshot of a WhatsApp message. The text of the message reads: Hey, (redacted) just dropped your next refrigerator magnet off. Apparently there was a library bag in your mail world and she added it to that so it would be contained. Below that text is a photo of a dark blue Tompkins County Public Library Books by Mail bag. A magnet with the image of a sloth is tucked into the pouch on the bag that holds the address card.
I finally called Tompkins County Public Library and left a message for one of the folks in the books by mail program to make a process suggestion.

I love the expanded books by mail program! I definitely prefer ebooks, but there are plenty of books that simply aren’t available that way in any of my connected libraries ( including NYPL The New York Public Library ).

So I can request a book and the library mails it to me in a canvas pouch, much like the kind of thing a small business might use for bank deposits.

The postage is already paid for the return, so when I’m done I put it back in and seal it, display the mailing address on the postage paid card, and off it goes.

But there’s a challenge, in that the library never tells me a book is coming. Like the book I got last week that I’d been on a wait-list for for months. No way to anticipate.

And because I don’t know it’s coming, and I can’t get informed delivery through USPS, I don’t know to tell anyone to look for it. And it just sits on the floor of my porch when it’s delivered, with me none the wiser.

Yesterday was by far the most ridiculous situation. A book showed up that I had no idea was there. I don’t even know what day it arrived. But a friend who is currently living out of country had had an Ithaca visitor. She asked that visitor to drop off a small gift for me when they returned to Ithaca. And that visitor saw my library delivery and texted my friend a photo, including the sloth magnet they were dropping off.

Which is how I ended up getting a WhatsApp message from my friend in Costa Rica to let me know I had a library book delivered. šŸ¤£

It feels like there might be potential for a better system?!
Books by Mail
Tagged on:             

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *