Mail-A-Book Service


Do I qualify for library services by mail?

The NWLS Mail-A-Book program is a county-funded library service for people of all ages who are residents of Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer, Vilas, and Washburn Counties living in areas without a local public library, or who cannot use a public library because of disability or travel limitation. Eligibility for the Mail-A-Book service is outlined on the Mail-A-Book Card Application.

To apply for Mail-A-Book service, print, complete, sign, and send the Mail-A-Book application to the address on the application.

The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) is a service available to Wisconsin residents eligible for access to special collections of Braille and recorded books, audio-described videotapes and DVDs, playback and digital equipment. For more information visit or phone (800) 242-8822.


What can I request?

Requests can be made for specific titles, authors, subject areas and formats. Lists are available upon request for authors, subjects, and genres. Book Club Kits containing multiple copies of a book and discussion guides are available from Wisconsin public libraries. These kits can be requested by one individual with a book group for an extended time. When requesting a title please indicate if you need a kit.

How do I find titles to request?

You can directly access library materials online. If you don't have access to online service, just let us know what you'd like. Mail-A-Book requests can be submitted using one of the methods below:

• E-mail:

• Mail: 3200 East Lake Shore Drive, Ashland, WI 54806

• Fax: (715) 685-2704

• The Merlin Online Catalog: By logging into your account with your barcode, you can reserve items from any of the 30 member libraries. Request one item at a time or add items to a cart and request them all at once. Choose Northern Waters as a pickup location and your items will be mailed to you.

• The WISCAT Online Catalog: When you're not finding what you need in the Merlin catalog, you can browse WISCAT to check elsewhere in the state. To reserve anything from WISCAT please contact us or let us know if you are interested in using WISCAT to initiate requests.

The Wisconsin Digital Library Catalog is available for requesting downloadable books, audios, music and videos.

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Items will be mailed to you free of charge. You have three options for returning items unless there is a warning label not to use a book drop: (1) U.S. mail (you pay postage) (2) Any NWLS rural book drop (3) Any NWLS member library.

Loan Rules

What are my borrowing limits?

Pending requests: 20
Audio books: 20
Music CDs: 8
Movies: 10

Are renewals allowed?

Renewals are allowed unless there is a waiting list for the item. Renewals can be requested by phone or email. Items from Merlin libraries can be renewed online: Visit the Merlin catalog, select "Login", click on the "checked out items" button, select item(s) to be renewed, and choose "renew selected".

For items ordered from outside of the NWLS area (through WISCAT), a renewal must be requested from the lending library.  The lending library will accept or reject the renewal.  If you are using WISCAT online to view your requests and items received, you can also request a renewal online.  If you are not using WISCAT for direct requesting or viewing your requests, contact NWLS for WISCAT renewals.

What if something isn't returned on time?

Notices and bills for items owned by Merlin libraries will be sent directly from the library. Borrowing privileges will be suspended if any item is in billing status. Privileges will be reinstated when items are returned or paid for. Contact NWLS with any questions regarding borrowing status. You can choose to receive overdue notices by email, telephone or mail. All bills will be mailed.

1st notice - 1 week past due
2nd notice- 2 weeks past due
Final billing notice - 1 month past due

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