Navigation Aids



Main Content

Books by Mail - for delivery addresses 75 miles or more from campus

JUST NEED A SCAN? You can request electronic delivery of selected book chapters and articles from the general Penn collections through our Scan and Deliver service without registering for Books by Mail. Use the Scan and Deliver option in the Franklin online catalog record.


Books By Mail is a service offered to Penn graduate students and faculty members to facilitate their research while living 75 miles or more from campus. Eligible participants will be able to request delivery of on-shelf Penn Libraries circulating books via insured carrier to their homes. Biddle Law Library materials are not included in the service.

Items on reserve, Bestsellers, Interlibrary Loan, BorrowDirect and E-ZBorrow materials, VHS, DVD's, music CD's, and other short-loan items are excluded, as are journals, reference and other non-circulating materials.


The service is available to registered graduate students and to faculty with continuing appointments who live more than 75 miles from Philadelphia within the United States and Canada.

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


All circulation notices will be handled via email.


PLEASE NOTE: We have a new library system that requires you to have an email address on file with the University. We are unable to register you for Books by Mail until that email address has been uploaded to our system by the University database.

Graduate students and faculty must register before making requests.


Upon receipt of the registration form, library staff will determine eligibility and reply within three business days.

Delivery Restrictions

The library will send materials via insured carrier UPS. Therefore, users must provide a street address and may not use a post office or similar drop box for library book requests. Please provide this information even if you only plan to request electronic delivery.


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.

Requesting Book Delivery

Once the registration is approved, users may request materials by using the REQUEST options in Franklin. You must log in to Franklin with your PennKey in the upper right corner in order to see your request options. 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.

Electronic article/chapter delivery

You no longer need to register with Books by Mail to receive electronic delivery of selected articles and book chapters. Use the Scan and Deliver option in the Franklin record REQUEST menu for electronic delivery of selected articles and book chapters of 50 pages or less from the Penn Libraries collections.

NOTE: If no request option is presented in a Franklin record, please email your citation directly to Books by Mail staff at

**Please do not order ILL, BorrowDirect or EZ-Borrow books and request scanning from Books by Mail.**


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.


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. The library will include an information sheet with each shipment covering return procedures, including a return mailing label. If the label is lost, please return to:

Van Pelt Circulation

University of Pennsylvania Libraries

3420 Walnut Street

Philadelphia PA 19104-6206

Questions/more information

If you have any questions or comments about the service, please first contact Books by Mail staff. Or, contact Sheila Ketchum, Van Pelt Library, at 215-746-1714 or Sheila Ketchum.