Zip Books, a free alternative to ILL

What is the Zip Books program?

Zip Books is a FREE SERVICE funded by a grant from the California State Library. This service is for Kern County residents with valid Kern County library cards in good standing. Through the program, residents can request books that the Library does not own. Zip Books are shipped directly to their home from Amazon. After reading, the book will be returned to the library and potentially added to the collection!

What Can I Request?

1: PRINT titles that are currently published that aren’t in the Kern County Library’s collection (check the catalog!)

2: Titles that could reasonably be added to our library collection (check out our collection development policy here). 

3: Titles that are priced at $30 or less on Amazon (some exceptions may be made for higher priced items). 

How Do I Request a Zip Book?

Fill out the form here for each title. (Limit of 5 requests per person per month.)

Questions? Email us!


How Long Can I Keep a Zip Book?

Zip Books need to be returned to the library before requesting more titles. We recommend returning them within a month. There are currently no late fees assessed for Zip Books.

How Do I Return My Zip Book?

You can return a Zip Book directly to library staff (tell them it’s a Zip Book!) or put it in a bag (labeled as a Zip Book) and use the book drop!

Zip Books project is supported with California Library Service Act funds. 

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