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Zip Books - Frequently Asked Questions

What are Zip books? 

Books (print only) delivered to you free and directly from Amazon, which you return to your local library when you are done.

Wow, Sounds Cool. Who Sponsors This?

This is a grant program funded by the California State Library.  This program concludes on June 30, 2024 or when we run out of grant funds, whichever happens first. If further funds are received in the future, we will then reopen the program for requests.

What’s the Catch?

None! But this service is for books the library does not own, and there are some parameters:

  • You must have a library card in good standing with OC Public Libraries
  • You are limited to ordering 2 books a month and 2 checked out at one time
  • Titles must be ship from Amazon
  • Titles must be sold by Amazon or a USA based third-party seller
    • No overseas sellers
  • New Print books must be valued under $50,  New World Language books can be valued up to $75
  • Books should not be available at our library (no prepublication orders or anything published within the last 12 months). Alternate formats (such as Large Print or in another language) are okay to order
  • Please do not request:
    • Audiobooks
    • DVDs
    • Textbooks
    • Workbooks meant to be written in
    • Used Items
    • Items only available from non-US vendors
    • Items published less than 365 days

If you have books you’d like us to buy beyond the books you’ve ordered, please use our “Request a Purchase” form.  If the book you want doesn’t qualify (maybe it’s out of print), please use our InterLibrary Loan (ILL) service.

How Do I Order Zip Books?

Just fill out the form! (But you might want to check our catalog and Amazon to see if a book is currently available from us and meets the criteria above). 

What Do I Do After My Zip Book is Delivered?

  • Enjoy your book
  • After three weeks, return the book to your library branch and hand it to staff or place in the bookdrop. Put the book in the original packaging with the Amazon receipt in the book so we know it was a Zip Book (very important!)
    • Note: Zip Books are not renewable.
  • Items not returned, can’t be identified as a Zip Book, or returned damaged will be billed to your account

What Happens to the Book After I Return It?

If the book meets our Collection Development Criteria, we will put it in our collection. 

What happens if the Zip Book item is lost or return damaged?

Failure to return a Zip Book or returning a Zip Book damaged will result in a fee, covering the cost of the item, being billed to your library account.

What if I have more questions?

Please email for more information.

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