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Can’t find a certain book or audiobook in our catalog? The Zip Books Program is now available at the Alhambra Library!

What are Zip Books? 

Books (in print or as an audiobook) delivered to you free and directly from Amazon, which you return to the Alhambra Library when you are done.


Who sponsors Zip Books?

This is a grant program funded by the California State Library.


Is there a catch?

No, there is no catch! However, this service is for books the library does not own, and there are some other parameters:

  • You must have a valid Alhambra Library card in good standing.
  • You are limited to ordering 1 book once a month.
  • Titles must be available from Amazon.
  • Print books must be valued under $50 (pre-tax). Audiobooks on CD and World Language books can be valued up to $75 (pre-tax).
  • Books should not be available at our library (no prepublication orders or anything published within the last 12 months). Alternate formats (such as Large Print, Compact Disc audiobook, or in another language) are okay to order.
  • Please do not order:
    • Textbooks
    • Workbooks meant to be written in
    • Items only available from non-US vendors
    • Items published less than 365 days

If you have books you’d like us to buy beyond the books you’ve ordered, please use our Purchase Suggestion form available at our Children's and Second Floor Help Desks.


How do I order Zip Books?

First check our catalog and Amazon to see if a book is currently available from us and meets the criteria above. Next, fill out this request form online, or, if you prefer, you may fill out a paper request form (see attachments below). Paper request forms can also be obtained at the Children's or Second Floor Help Desks.


What do I do after my Zip Book is delivered?

  • Please keep all packing materials - including the packaging the item comes in, gift receipt and/or packing slip
  • Your book is checked out to you for six weeks after the request date with no renewal (see packing slip for the date).
  • Enjoy your book.
  • After enjoying your book and by the due date, place the item in the original packaging or a plastic bag and insert any gift receipt or packing slip in the item before you drop it off at the Check Out Desk or a drop-box. This is very important so that we may identify the item as part of the Zip Books program.


What happens to the book after I return it?

If the book meets our Collection Development Criteria, we will add it to our collection. 


What if I have more questions?

Contact the Reference Department by calling (626) 570-5008 then press 2, or emailing