Zip Books

A special way to get books that are not in the Library Catalog, Zip Books are real books that can be sent to your home. 

They come to you quickly -- that's the 'zippy' factor.

Yes! My Zip Book Arrived Today!

This reader is already reading her Zip Book, a new paperback that arrived in her mail.


Request a Zip Book at the service desk of any branch of the Humboldt County Library. You must have your library card in hand. 

Books that the Humboldt County Library does not yet own - and that are at least 1 year old - may be requested as Zip Books


  • You are limited to one Zip Book at a time.  You must return your Zip Book before you can request another.
  • You may request books in regular print format, large-print format, or audiobooks on CD.
  • Books costing over $35.00, books out-of-print, or books that were published within the last 12 months may not be requested as Zip Books. 
  • When your Zip Book arrives, a gift note in the book will say the book is 'A Gift from Wayne Walker' or 'A Gift from Matthew Miles' and that it is your library Zip Book.  Keep the slip in the book until you return it to the Library.
  • Borrowers may request no more than one Zip Book per month.  At this time, there is no fee to request a Zip Book.


  • When you finish reading the book, return it to the staff at any Humboldt County Library circulation desk, with the Gift Slip in the book. 
  • Do NOT return your Zip Book through the book drop.
  • You will be asked to complete the ZIP book survey.
  • After returning your Zip Book and completing the survey you are eligible to request another Zip Book when a month has passed.
  • At the Library’s discretion the book will be added to the Library collection for future checkout or donated to the Friends of the Redwood Libraries.
You may have a total of one (1) Zip Book request at a time.


Humboldt County Library has joined 30 other rural California libraries in an innovative experiment that provides you with the book you need quickly.

The 'Zip Books for Rural Libraries' statewide demonstration grant project tests a buy-vs.-borrow model, whereby the library may buy a book the library does not own, and ship it directly to your home, rather than requesting the book from another library. 

This is proving to be an efficient way to provide library users with the books they want to read.

Because of this efficiency, tests appear to show that Zip Books can  actually save libraries money when used as a part of the Interlibrary Loan System.  The Library still uses the traditional Interlibrary Loan method, with Zip Books as a helpful option.

Library users are encouraged to participate in this statewide tryout of the Zip Book idea.  Humboldt County Library thanks the California State Library for the generous grant that allows us to participate in this program.