Homebound Policy


Berkeley Public Library

Homebound Service Policy

The Berkeley Public Library offers Homebound Services to those patrons residing in the Village of Berkeley who are unable to visit the library. ‘Homebound’ is defined as being generally confined to one’s residence either temporarily, due to illness or accident, or permanently due to disability, age, or other mobility issues.

Patron Eligibility, Registration & Use

A patron applying for homebound service must first have a Berkeley Public Library card in good standing. If the patron does not have a library card, the staff member who makes the initial delivery will require the patron to complete a library card application. An Application for Homebound Service will also be filled out during the first homebound service visit.

Patrons registered for Homebound Service may call or email the library to request specific titles, or they can request that a librarian select materials based on the patron’s reading preferences as specified on the initial Application for Homebound Service form.

Delivery Schedule & Loan Period

Deliveries of library materials will be made by library staff once each month. At the time new materials are delivered, all items from the previous delivery will be retrieved and returned to the library.
Fines/Fees/Renewals There is no fee for homebound delivery. Overdue fines will not be charged on homebound materials, but the library’s standard fee schedule will apply for damaged or lost items. There will be no renewals on audiovisual materials checked out to homebound delivery patrons.

Materials Available for Homebound Delivery Only materials owned by the Berkeley Public Library are eligible for home delivery, but requests for purchase will be considered for items that the library does not own. All formats of materials are eligible for homebound delivery and include the usual limit of 3 DVD items. Each delivery will be limited to 15 items.

Homebound Environment Required for Delivery Patrons requesting homebound services must provide a safe and appropriate environment for staff members or volunteers who make deliveries to their homes, and patrons must protect all library materials while in their custody. Volunteers or staff members may choose not to enter a home, to leave a home immediately, and/or to recommend suspension of the service if any of the following conditions exist:

  1. Pets are not confined (with the exception of service animals trained to assist a disabled person)
  2. A clear and safe path to the home, with snow shoveled and ice removed
  3. Any person in the home is dressed in revealing attire
  4. Any person in the home presents threatening behavior
  5. Any person in the home uses abusive or obscene language, makes obscene gestures, or displays obscene images
  6. Any person in the home harasses the library’s representative
  7. Any person in the home exhibits signs of illness that may jeopardize the health of the library’s representative and the library has not been notified of the illness
  8. Any person is engaging in any illegal activity in the home at the time of the library’s delivery
  9. Any library material currently in the possession of the homebound patron appears to have been willfully defaced, mutilated, or damaged while in the custody of the homebound person
  10. Conditions in the home are unsafe or unsanitary

If a volunteer or staff member must leave the home, deny service, or wishes to recommend suspension of service due to the occurrence of any of the above, and deems that the home environment for delivery is unsafe or inappropriate, the volunteer or staff member shall provide the Director of the Berkeley Public Library with notice of why such action occurred along with a recommendation for length of suspension of service.

The Director shall send written notice to the patron of the reason for and the length of any continuing suspension of service. No suspension of service in excess of 30 days shall be imposed unless it is recommended by the Library Director and approved by the Board of Trustees. Any homebound patron may request in writing that the suspension of service be reviewed by the Board of Trustees at the next regular monthly Board meeting.

Approved by the Berkeley Public Library Board on December 17, 2014.