What is the purpose of the Suggest-A-Book service?

The service was created to connect Queens Public Library users with books they want to read but are not found in our online catalog. All suggested books that are approved for purchase will be put on hold when they arrive for the person who made the first suggestion for the book.

If my book suggestion is approved, how long will it take to get the book?

That depends on the availability of the book. We make no promises regarding delivery time but, on average, most books will be ready to pick-up in 7-10 business days after approval. Any orders not filled within 90 days will be automatically canceled (except for books in languages other than English, which can take much longer).

What is an ISBN? Why is it important?

ISBN is an abbreviation for International Standard Book Number. It can be found in the product details section on such sites as Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. It can help to eliminate confusion between different editions of a book or different books with the same title. The ISBN is especially helpful for books not written in English. Most books have 2 ISBNs, one 10 digits and the other 13 digits. We prefer the 13 digit ISBN. The ISBN is not required because not every book has one.

Why can’t I suggest pre-orders and new releases?

Since every Queens Public Library branch has its own budget and collection development plan, we want to make sure that the Suggest-A-Purchase budget is not spent on items already on order. Items still not available in our catalog 30 days after release are usually safe from redundancy. This policy also decreases any confusion about who is first in line to reserve the title.

Why can’t I suggest other formats?

While Queens Public Library would love to provide an online suggestion service for every format, budget and staff limitations keep us restricted to our most popular formats; books, DVDs and CD audiobooks. We do plan on expanding the service when the necessary resources become available.

My suggested book was rejected as not available, out of print, out of stock, etc. but I see it for sale on Amazon.com. Why don’t you order it from there?

Queens Public Library orders materials from approved vendors (i.e., Ingram and Baker & Taylor) who give us discounts, free shipping, tax exemption, and other benefits specific to public libraries. Amazon.com and other online retailers do not offer the same level of service. Most importantly, online retailers demand payment up front and will not invoice us in the manner that New York City and New York State require.

What kind of suggestions are usually rejected?

Most commonly, books that exceed our budget or are more appropriate for an academic library (i.e., textbooks). While our discounts and budget can change, it is safe to assume that most books with a retail price over $60 will likely be rejected. Also, books that are designed to be written in, cut up for crafts, contain posters or stickers, or have special packaging will not be ordered.

What should I do if I know the book I want is out of print or too expensive?

Queens Public Library is able to request books from other library systems via interlibrary loan. There is a separate form for that service.

Is there a limit to the number of books I can suggest?

The current limit is 5 unresolved suggestions. A suggestion is resolved when you receive an email saying whether or not it will be purchased. Please bear in mind that all of your suggested books could arrive together, which may not be convenient for you. Please use your discretion and best judgement when using the Suggest A Book service; people who abuse the service may be blocked from submitting further suggestions.

Can I request a series or a book from a series?

The Suggest-A-Book service is for stand-alone books, not series. Each Queens Public library is responsible for maintaining their fiction series books. Please use our catalog to see which libraries carry the series and contact them. For a new series, please contact your home library. If the book you want is more than six months old, you may also request it on interlibrary loan here: https://queenslibrary.org/research/interlibrary-loan.