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Books by Mail - delivery to home addresses by UPS courier

See the Libraries' COVID-19 page for the latest updates on library services.

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries are currently closed to patrons.

Register and request via Books by Mail to have Penn materials shipped to your home address.  If you prefer to pick up books at the Van Pelt Library please use our new Pickup@Penn service.




Questions?  Email us at

What is Books by Mail?

Offered to current Penn faculty, students and staff.

Eligible participants can request delivery of "Available" Penn Libraries circulating materials via courier.  Biddle Law Library materials are not included in the service.

Reserve materials are excluded, as are journals, reference and other non-circulating materials.

Who is eligible?

Current faculty, students and staff in the United States and Canada.

Patrons with disabilities should contact Susan Shapiro in the Office of Student Disabilities Services to inquire about eligibility.

How do you register?

Patrons must register before making requests. You may REGISTER ONLINE.  Library staff will determine eligibility and reply within three business days.

Delivery restrictions?

The library will send materials via insured carrier UPS to a street address only, not a P.O. box.


The library will pay for shipping books to users. Users must pay for the return shipment via insured carrier such as USPS, UPS or Federal Express. There is no cost for electronic article/chapter delivery.

How do you request delivery?

Once the registration is approved, users may request materials by using the Books by Mail request option in Franklin. Only materials from circulating collections, and only those with the status "Available" may be requested using the Books By Mail request choice. Books charged out to other users may not be requested through Books By Mail.  In order that we may serve all patrons equitably please submit no more than 5 requests per day.

Regular library policies apply

Participants in Books By Mail are subject to the same loan policies and fine rates as other users on campus. Users who become delinquent, whether through fine blocks, overdue recalled blocks, or other reasons, will be unable to access the request menu to request delivery. Users must observe due dates, renewing or returning materials on time (including shipping time), and must return recalled items promptly.

Processing, shipping and returns

Requested materials will be checked out to the user, then shipped via insured carrier. Library staff will send prompt email messages regarding any material that cannot be located or that, because of size or condition, cannot be shipped.  Please return to:

Van Pelt Circulation

University of Pennsylvania Libraries

3420 Walnut Street

Philadelphia PA 19104-6206

You may also return materials to the Van Pelt Library ground floor outside book drop to the right of the main entrance.

Questions?  Email us at


Contact us at the Van Pelt Library Interlibrary Loan office:

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