What is Library in a Bag?

Library in a Bag is the Burlington County Library System’s home delivery of requested materials.

A service fee of $1.00 per mailed item will be posted to the customer's library account effective July 1, 2014. The Library in a Bag service is available to homebound customers at no charge [with completed Homebound Customer Certification form completed by their physician].

Who is eligible to receive home delivery?

You are eligible to receive Library in a Bag service if you have a library card in good standing.

What does it mean to be in "good standing"?

A library card in good standing means that the card has less than $10.00 in fees/fines, no overdue material and no lost items.

How may fines/fees be paid?

Customers may pay on their account in person at any BCLS library by cash or personal check, U.S. Mail by personal check or by credit card (only available at the County Library - by phone 609-267-9660 ext. 3072) – or in person. Please visit the library website for a list of fees/fines. At this time, there is no prepayment option.

What items are available to be mailed?

Almost any item from our collection that can be requested for pick up can also be delivered to you by mail. Only Reference books, Browsing Collection books, Browsing Collection DVDs, magazines, oversize items, and Interlibrary Loans are not eligible for mail delivery.

How do I order items for delivery?

Customers may request materials from our BCLS catalog.

  • After placing a request you will be asked to choose a pick-up location.
  • Choose MAIL if you want items delivered to the address on your library record.
  • Requests for materials can also be made in person at any BCLS location, by phone (609-267-9660, ext. 2 or ext. 3014) or by sending an email to: libinbag@bcls.lib.nj.us.

How are items delivered?

The United State Postal Service will deliver requested materials to customers' homes. Look for our turquoise zippered nylon bag or the turquoise Library in a Bag logo on other mailing containers.

How long does it take to receive the item?

When a requested item is available, it will be mailed as soon as it can be checked out to you and packaged for mailing. If your need for library material is immediate, the quickest way is to pick it up from one of our 18 BCLS libraries or the Bookmobile.

Please note: In order to defray rising postage costs, if three or more DVDs are on request, we will wait until at least three of the requested DVDs are available and ship them to you together.

How do I return delivered items?

The easiest, least expensive method of return is to drop off the package at any of our 19 BCLS libraries or the Bookmobile, or to use any of the library book drops which are open 24/7. If you mail the items back to the County Library, return postage is the borrower’s responsibility. If material is not returned on time, fines will accrue.

Please note: Postage fees accrued by returning a package to the library will be charged back to the borrower’s library card if the postage is not pre-paid.

Can I renew items that have been delivered to my home?

Yes, the same renewal policy applies to mailed materials as to those that are picked up at a library. If the item you wish to renew is not on reserve for another customer, it may be renewed in person, by telephone to the Circulation Department, or by using Telecirc. The telephone number for automatic renewals is 609-267-6703.

You can also renew from your home or office computer through the BCLS online library catalog or by downloading our smartphone app. If items are not on reserve or overdue, they may be renewed up to four times.

Are there limits on the number of DVDs, CDs, audiobooks or video games that I can check out?

The maximum number of items that can be checked out to a library card at any given time is 35.  The chart below highlights specific types of materials:

  • DVDs & BluRays  - 7 per card at any time
  • CDs & Audio Cassettes - 10 per card at any time
  • CD-ROMs - 5 per card at any time
  • Video Games - 2 per card at any time

What happens to requested materials if a library card is not in “good standing?”  What if there are too many DVDs checked out?

We will hold materials for five days or until the requests expire. Expired requests will then be pulled from our “hold shelves” and put back into general circulation.

I didn’t receive the package you mailed me in a timely fashion and now I don’t have enough time to read the book.  Will you extend my time?

The USPS mailing time is included in the due dates, with the exception of DVDs. Please refer to your checkout receipt to keep track of due dates. You may also check your account online for due dates. (See also question #9 above)

We have several library cards at our house, including cards for the children.  Are they all eligible for mail delivery?

Yes, each card can be used to request material through the Library in a Bag service. However, please be aware of the following guidelines:

  • Items requested by library cardholders living at the same address may be mailed together in the same package.
  • The $1.00 per item service fee will be charged for each item mailed effective July 1, 2014.
  • Parents are responsible for all materials checked out to the cards of minor children.
  • We will not hold or ship duplicate items if they have been requested for delivery to the same address.
  • Library in a Bag staff reserve the right to ask library cardholders to pick up requested materials from a library branch, if the cost of shipping the requested materials is extremely prohibitive.

How do I handle the packaging that comes with the library materials?

The teal nylon bags should be returned to the library with the delivered items, as they are checked out to borrowers along with the library material. Customers are encouraged to recycle all other paper or cardboard packaging.