Free Books: How to Request Your Library Obtain a Book You Want to Read

We often hear about a book we'd like to read, but, on checking our local library catalog, we find that it's not available in the collection. Most people assume that's the end of the story, but it doesn't have to be.

Did you know that most public libraries in the United States welcome requests from their patrons, and many of them buy a book a patron has requested and place it in the library collection? Although there's no guarantee that your local library will obtain a book you'd like to read, many will. Some libraries wait until they have several requests for a book before adding it to the collection.

It's a simple process to request a book that usually only takes a few minutes. Gather some basic information about the book: author, title, and ISBN (International Standard Book Number). You can usually find what you need quickly by searching for the book's title on Google, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble. With this information, librarians can easily locate the book in their suppliers' catalog. 

To request your library get an ebook, go to Overdrive, search for the book, and make a request right there (you'll need your library card number). If you encounter problems, ask for assistance from your local librarian so that your request can be processed.

To request a print book, check your library's website for a request form. Frequently, it will appear under Contact Us. It may say something like "how to suggest a title you think would be good for the library to have." If your library provides an online form, fill it out completely and submit it. If not, ask any librarian how to request a book. Sometimes, a verbal request is all that is needed.

Remember that this process takes some patience, but it can be especially rewarding when the book you're requesting is a pricey hardback or a special type of book, such as large print.

Speaking of large print books, two of my books are available in large print: The Six-Week Solution, a historical mystery, and Artistic License to Kill, the first in my new cozy mystery series, A Fine Art Mystery. If either of these novels appeals to you, I hope you'll request it at your local library! Of course, they're available for sale also, but at $36.95 each (by the way, your library gets a big discount on the print books it buys), you might prefer to read them free.

One last tip: if your library doesn't have the book you're looking for but another library does own it, you might be able to put in a request for it through the Interlibrary Loan system. Check your local library for details.

Artistic License to Kill

Author: Paula Darnell

ISBN for large print hardcover: