top of Helium Books webpage
  • Helium Books Facebook
  • Helium Books Instagram
  • Helium Books Twitter
  • Helium Books LinkedIn
  • Helium Books TikTok

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Helium frequently asked questions

Your questions, answered.

Wondering how our process works? We hope to answer all of your questions right here! But, if you have any questions not included here, don't hesitate to contact us.

Jump to:

General FAQs

How do I renew my books rented through Helium Books?


You can request to renew rented books by completing the renewal process. Please note, renewals are not guaranteed upon your request to renew. For various reasons, your renewal of certain books may be unsuccessful (i.e. prohibited) due to existing library policies. Upon submission of your request to renew, we will follow up with you via email as to the status of your request, informing you if we were successful or unsuccessful in renewing your specified books. As such, there are two possible results from your renewal request.

  1. Your renewal request is successful and will be processed by Helium Books.
  2. Your renewal request is unsuccessful and we are unable to renew your specified books at this time.
Either result will be communicated to you via email. If certain books are unable to be renewed, to avoid any late fees, you must then complete the return process for all non-renewable books before their respective due date (which is communicated upon delivery of your rental) passes in order to avoid fees, per our Fee Policy.
If books are not successfully renewed or returned before their respective due date passes, our Fee Policy will be triggered.




Can you explain how the renewal system works? Why may my renewal request be unsuccessful?


Renewals (and their success or failure) are entirely dependent on library policy. Typically, a renter, such as yourself, can renew an individual book a maximum of two times, unless it is a newer book or another library card-holder has requested to read that same book before your rental term expires. In these instances, you may not be able to renew even once. Also, if you request to renew a book too soon before its due date, library policy typically denies the request. So, wait until a few days before the book’s due date to request to renew. Renewal circumstances vary depending on the specific book rented and can change over time. We wish it was simpler, but library policy tends to err towards being fair to all of their patrons, which means eliminating the ability to hoard books. We can't argue with that logic! Yet, it’s important to note that we will continuously strive to make our processes as efficient and desirable as possible for you, the reader.




I did not request to renew a book before its due date. What should I expect?


First and foremost, request to renew (or return) your overdue book immediately. Keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that your request to renew certain books will be successful. Library policy may prohibit us from renewing certain books at certain times for various reasons.

There are two possible results from your renewal request.
  1. Your renewal request is successful and will be processed by Helium Books.
  2. Your renewal request is unsuccessful and we are unable to renew your specified books at this time.
Either result will be communicated to you via email.

If certain books are unable to be renewed, to avoid any further late fees, you must then complete the return process for all non-renewable books, which will then halt all accruing late fees.

See our Fee Policy for more information pertaining to the late fees you can expect depending on your situation. Late fees will be automatically charged to the credit/debit card entered when submitting your rental order upon successful renewal (or return) of overdue books.
Of course, if you have any questions, contact us. We understand this policy is a tad complex.




Do I have to pay to renew books rented through Helium Books?


Never! Successful renewals (and returns) are always free.





 
 

Renting-Related FAQs

How can I rent books with Helium Books?


Rent up to 3 books at a time by clicking here and completing the appropriate steps! Please keep in mind, libraries own limited quantities of books. As such, we cannot guarantee that the books you desire will be available to rent at a given time from our sourcing libraries. Once you submit a rental order, we will follow up with all of the information you need to know, including the availability of your desired books and pertinent pricing information.




Can I have books delivered to an address that is not my home?


Certainly! However, we only deliver to locations within Milwaukee County because it gives us the greatest possible confidence that we are performing our services solely for the county’s residents. It is these residents that provide the public tax dollars that help fund the Milwaukee County Federated Library System—the 25+ member libraries from which we source the books that are delivered to readers via our services. So, to ensure no abuse of resources and “fair play”, we only provide our services to the residents of Milwaukee County. We hope you can understand our reasoning and our commitment to the fair distribution of public materials. Please do not request for your books to be delivered to a public space. Our drivers will still make the delivery, but the likelihood of damage, theft, or loss of your rented books is high.




How will I know if any of the books I requested to rent are unavailable (due to them being currently unavailable at Helium Books’s sourcing libraries)?


Upon submission of your book rental request, we will follow up with you via email in regards to your order and associated book availability.




Can I cancel my rental order after it has been placed?


Indeed you can...if your rental order has not already been delivered (which is guaranteed within 48 hours or less). Prior to delivery, you cancel your rental order by sending an email notifying us of your desire to do so to support@heliumbooks.com, or, as is stated in your order confirmation email, you can reply to that email directly, as well.
We do not charge your payment method associated with your account until your rented books are delivered. So, do not expect to see any charges or refunds on your associated statements. If you do, please contact us.




How will I know my books have been delivered?


We will send you an email notifying you of the delivery of your rented books at your specified drop-off location!




When can I expect my rented books to be delivered?


We know you're excited to get your books! Assuming your desired books are available from our sourcing libraries upon us receiving your rental request, we can guarantee that you will receive your book(s) in no more than 48 hours from the moment we receive your rental order. Typically, you will receive your book(s) in less time! Free books brought to you fast, what's not to love! One rare caveat does exist, however, that being holidays and associated library closures. Around these dates, your delivery times may be extended due to our inability to source your desired books. Please keep in mind, libraries have limited quantities of books. As such, we cannot guarantee that the books you desire will be available to rent at a given time from our sourcing libraries. Of course, once you submit a rental order, we will follow up with all of the information you need to know, including the availability of your desired books and pertinent pricing information.




Can I have my books delivered during a specific time window?


Yes, you can! Just signify that desired window during the rental process and we will do our best to deliver your desired books during this time.




Can you explain the pricing structure for renting books with Helium Books?


Sure can! You pay for the delivery of your desired books on a tiered basis:

  • For the delivery of one book, you will pay $5.00
  • For the delivery of two books, you will pay $8.00
  • For the delivery of three books, you will pay $9.00
It is important to note, that while you may request to rent three books, for example, only two may be available from our sourcing libraries, at which point we would charge you $8.00, rather than the original $9.00. We charge your payment information upon delivery of your books to avoid any refunds, hiccups, etc.




Do I have to be at the delivery location when my books arrive?


No, you do not have to be at the delivery location when your books are delivered. As long as our driver knows the address and specific drop-off point, they can handle the rest! However, we do warn against leaving books outside for extended periods of time due to threats of theft and damage due to inclement weather, so please plan accordingly and get those books inside ASAP! Please do not request for your books to be delivered to a public space. Our drivers will still make the delivery, but the likelihood of damage, theft, or loss of your rented books is high.




I live in an apartment/multi-unit building. Where should I have my books delivered?


Given security protocols present at most apartment/multi-unit buildings, it is most likely that we will have to leave your delivery in a public location. We recommend that you set a specific delivery window during which you will be home, so as to best ensure that you are able to retrieve your books in a timely manner to avoid potential theft. As with any delivery, you will be notified via email when the drop-off occurs.




It has been over 48 hours since I placed my rental order and my books have not been delivered. What should I do?


A few things may be the issue... One, it’s possible we have yet to deliver your rental...that's totally on us. Two, it’s possible, though unfortunate, that none of the books you requested to rent were currently available at our sourcing libraries (check the rental confirmation email we sent you upon your rental order submission to confirm or deny). Third, is it around a major holiday? If so, libraries tend to close for multiple days, thereby hindering our ability to source your desired books in a timely manner. If this is the case, stay patient, your books should be delivered soon! Lastly, there's the remote possibility that your rented book(s) were taken before you had the chance to take possession of them.
In any case, please reach out to us at support@heliumbooks.com to make us aware of our late delivery. We will be responsive to your needs and get the books you want into your hands as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience




I think my books were stolen before I was able to retrieve them from my specified delivery location. What should I do?


Though unfortunate, we understand that this happens from time to time. If this has occurred, please reach out to us at support@heliumbooks.com to make us aware of the issue.
Per our Fee Policy, because you did not ever take possession of your rented books, you will not be responsible for paying any library-imposed fines for stolen books.




I received the wrong book(s). What should I do?


Well, we're embarrassed. And we apologize.. Let us know of the issue by emailing us at support@heliumbooks.com. From there, we will issue all refunds and get the right book(s) into your hands as soon as possible provided copies are currently available at our sourcing libraries, as well as facilitate the return of the undesired book(s). We always do our absolute best to get our readers the book they want; but we do make mistakes sometimes, and for that we're sorry. We hope to hear from you again! A friendly reminder to please keep in mind that libraries have limited quantities of books. As such, we cannot guarantee that the books you desire will be available to rent at a given time from our sourcing libraries. Of course, we will follow up with all of the information you need to know, including the availability of your desired books.




A received a book damaged beyond the point of readability. What should I do?


This is unacceptable on our part and we will do everything in our power to correct this mistake. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes you. Let us know of the issue by emailing us at support@heliumbooks.com. From there, we will issue all refunds and get the right, undamaged book into your hands as soon as possible provided copies are currently available at our sourcing libraries, as well as facilitate the return of the undesired book(s). A friendly reminder to please keep in mind that libraries have limited quantities of books. As such, we cannot guarantee that the books you desire will be available to rent at a given time from our sourcing libraries. Of course, we will follow up with all of the information you need to know, including the availability of your desired books.





 

Return-Related FAQs

How do I return my books rented through Helium Books?


To avoid any late fees, all you must do is complete the return process for the books you’d like to return before their respective due date passes (which is communicated upon delivery of your rental). In an effort to prevent you from having to pay late fees, we will reach out to you two days prior to the due date of your rented books as a friendly reminder. If books are not returned (or successfully renewed...see below) before their respective due date passes, our Fee Policy will be triggered.
We ask that you please do your best to minimize the number of trips we must make to pick up books you will be returning. If multiple books can be picked up at once versus having us pick up one now and one a few days later, please take this into consideration. We're all about saving time and money—yours and ours—so thank you!




Do I have to have books picked up at the same location where they were originally delivered?


Nope! The pick up location does not have to be the same location as the delivery location.
However, when placing a rental order through Helium Books, please keep in mind the likely eventual pick up location, as we will not pick up books from a location more than 20 miles away from the nearest Milwaukee County Federated Library System (MCLFS) affiliated library. For a list of all MCFLS libraries and their locations, click here.




What if my books were stolen before a Helium Books driver was able to pick them up?


This does happen on rare occasions. To best try to avoid this, please place your books in the safest, while still accessible, location for our driver to retrieve. We ask that you do not leave your books out in a highly trafficked public space, if possible. This only increases the chance of theft and loss.
You will be responsible for any associated theft, damage, or loss that occurs prior to pick up (refer to our Fee Policy for more detail).




I did not return a rented book before its due date. What should I expect?


First and foremost, return (or successfully renew) your overdue book immediately to halt all accruing late fees, per our Fee Policy. See our Fee Policy for more information pertaining to the late fees you can expect depending on your situation. Late fees will be automatically charged to the credit/debit card entered when submitting your rental order upon return (or successful renewal) of overdue books.
Of course, if you have any questions, contact us. We understand this policy is a tad complex.




Where should I leave my books to be picked up?


Upon completing your return request, please set out your books at your designated pick-up location immediately, as a driver may be by rather soon to collect your rented books. Your books should be picked up within 24 hours. Please leave your books in a dry, safe, accessible location for our driver to pick up. If leaving books outside, please place them in a bag or another form of protective material to minimize the risk of damage in instances of inclement weather. We ask that you do not leave your books out in a highly trafficked public space, if possible. This only increases the chance of theft and loss.
Please remember that you will be responsible for any associated damage, theft, or loss that occurs prior to pick up (refer to our Fee Policy for more detail).




Do I have to be at the pick-up location for my books to be picked up?


No, you do not have to be at the pick up location for your books to be picked up and returned. As long as our driver knows the address and specific (accessible) pick up point, they can handle the rest!

However, we do warn against leaving books outside for extended periods of time due to threats of theft and inclement weather, so please plan accordingly. Also, please do not leave your books to be picked up in a public area as there is a high risk of theft.




Can I return library books not originally rented via Helium Books?


At times, you may have library books checked out using your personal library card and may like to use our services to return these books on your behalf. While we’d love to accommodate this, at this time, we cannot. Our reasoning is that we do not wish to be responsible for returning books rented with a public library card over which we have no ownership. This could cause unintended late fees to be passed on to you directly if mistakes are made on our end during the return process. In any case, we want our mistakes to affect us and only us. We appreciate your understanding. This may change in the future as our capabilities expand; however, at the moment we will not return books to local libraries on your behalf unless originally rented and delivered via Helium Books.




Do I have to pay to return books rented through Helium Books?


Never! Returns (and successful renewals) are always free.





 

Renewal-Related FAQs

How do I renew my books rented through Helium Books?


You can request to renew rented books by completing the renewal process. Please note, renewals are not guaranteed upon your request to renew. For various reasons, your renewal of certain books may be unsuccessful (i.e. prohibited) due to existing library policies. Upon submission of your request to renew, we will follow up with you via email as to the status of your request, informing you if we were successful or unsuccessful in renewing your specified books. As such, there are two possible results from your renewal request.

  1. Your renewal request is successful and will be processed by Helium Books.
  2. Your renewal request is unsuccessful and we are unable to renew your specified books at this time.
Either result will be communicated to you via email. If certain books are unable to be renewed, to avoid any late fees, you must then complete the return process for all non-renewable books before their respective due date (which is communicated upon delivery of your rental) passes in order to avoid fees, per our Fee Policy.
If books are not successfully renewed or returned before their respective due date passes, our Fee Policy will be triggered.




Can you explain how the renewal system works? Why may my renewal request be unsuccessful?


Renewals (and their success or failure) are entirely dependent on library policy. Typically, a renter, such as yourself, can renew an individual book a maximum of two times, unless it is a newer book or another library card-holder has requested to read that same book before your rental term expires. In these instances, you may not be able to renew even once. Also, if you request to renew a book too soon before its due date, library policy typically denies the request. So, wait until a few days before the book’s due date to request to renew. Renewal circumstances vary depending on the specific book rented and can change over time. We wish it was simpler, but library policy tends to err towards being fair to all of their patrons, which means eliminating the ability to hoard books. We can't argue with that logic! Yet, it’s important to note that we will continuously strive to make our processes as efficient and desirable as possible for you, the reader.




I did not request to renew a book before its due date. What should I expect?


First and foremost, request to renew (or return) your overdue book immediately. Keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that your request to renew certain books will be successful. Library policy may prohibit us from renewing certain books at certain times for various reasons.

There are two possible results from your renewal request.
  1. Your renewal request is successful and will be processed by Helium Books.
  2. Your renewal request is unsuccessful and we are unable to renew your specified books at this time.
Either result will be communicated to you via email.

If certain books are unable to be renewed, to avoid any further late fees, you must then complete the return process for all non-renewable books, which will then halt all accruing late fees.

See our Fee Policy for more information pertaining to the late fees you can expect depending on your situation. Late fees will be automatically charged to the credit/debit card entered when submitting your rental order upon successful renewal (or return) of overdue books.
Of course, if you have any questions, contact us. We understand this policy is a tad complex.




Do I have to pay to renew books rented through Helium Books?


Never! Successful renewals (and returns) are always free.