Homebound Services

Homebound

The Des Moines Public Library offers two different free services for patrons who are unable visit our locations. Books by Mail and Homebound Delivery are very similar in what they offer. The main difference is in how the items are delivered:

  • In the Books by Mail program, patrons receive and return items through the mail. Each delivery includes a pre-paid bag used to return the items to the library.
  • The Homebound Delivery program relies on volunteers to deliver items to patrons in-person as well and pick them up and return them.

See more details below about each of the programs:

Books By Mail FAQ

Any resident of Des Moines, Windsor Heights, or Rural Polk County who is unable to physically access the library due to visual impairment, physical disability, or confined to their home due to prolonged illness, extended convalescences, or advanced age is eligible for this service. See Books by Mail application for certification requirements.

Complete a Books by Mail application and have it certified, drop it off at any of our library locations or mail it to the following address.

Homebound Services

Des Moines Public Library
1000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
United States

You may also sign up digitally by clicking here.

Materials are mailed in a postage paid library mailing bag. Please return materials in the same library mailing bag.

When you are ready to return the items, place the items back in the special mailing bag, turn the label over and give to the mail carrier. The return postage is already affixed. Please leave sufficient shipping time for the items to be returned by their due date.

Regular and large print books, audiobooks, CDs, and magazines may be borrowed by mail.

You can have a librarian choose your books for you or you can send the Books by Mail Team your list of requested titles. You can also call Homebound Services at 515-283-4152 to have staff look up and order your material.

Materials will be mailed out on a monthly cycle. Once enrolled in the service, you will be notified of when each month your items will be mailed.

There will be no late fees or fines on materials checked out through this program. If items are lost or damaged, this will incur fees and a discontinuation of service.

The service is free; however, participants in the Books by Mail program are subject to the same loan policy and lost/damage rates as other customers. Please renew or return materials on time.

Homebound Delivery FAQ

Any resident of Des Moines who is homebound due to physical disability or illness is eligible.

Complete a Homebound Delivery application and have it certified, drop it off at any of our library locations or mail it to the following address.

Homebound Services

Des Moines Public Library
1000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
United States

On a monthly basis, a librarian will select materials based on the patron's requests and interests. The librarian will then contact a volunteer, who will then contact the homebound patron to arrange a pickup/delivery time. In some cases, a family member or friend may do the selection of materials and transport them to the homebound patron.

Items are checked out for approximately one month and have no late fees. Previously checked out items will be picked up by the volunteer to be returned at the time new items are delivered.

Regular and large print books, audiobooks, CDs, and magazines may be borrowed by mail. 

DVDs are not eligible for Homebound delivery, as they involve a fee and shorter checkout period.

You can have a librarian choose your books for you or you can send the Homebound Delivery team your list of requested titles. You can also call the library at 515-283-4152 to have staff look up and order your materials.

Materials are usually delivered on a monthly basis, with exact dates depending on availability of volunteers. When you enroll in the service, you will discuss the schedule with your branch's Homebound Delivery contact.

There will be no late fees or fines on materials checked out through this program. If items are lost or damaged, this will incur fees and a discontinuation of service.

 

The service is free; however, participants in the Homebound Delivery program are subject to the same loan policy and lost/damage rates as other customers. Please renew or return materials on time and continue to communicate with your Homebound Delivery contact about any potential delays.