Frequently Asked Questions

Question - How many tapes may I request at a time?
Answer - Given the current volume of requests the library receives, you should limit your request to a single selection. Requests for a selection that calls for more than one tape (ie The Basement Tapes) will be honoured, but will be serviced only when other requests in the dubbing queue have been serviced. If a selection uses but one side of a tape, you may also make a selection to go on the other side.

Question - How often may I submit a request?
Answer - You may submit one request every three months (except during May and November, when Library dubbing services are suspended) up to a total of six tapes per year.

Question - If I send you money, will you buy the tapes, mailer, and postage stamps?
Answer - No!

Question - Why not?
Answer - The primary reason is that the Library does not offer a shopping service. Other reasons include, but are not limited to, possible legal ramifications and the laziness of the Librarian.

Question - I live in Transtranquilica and can't buy US postage. What to do?
Answer - As US postage stamps may not be readily available, the patron abroad has but two remedies for this dilemma. The first, which the Librarian recommends, is to use a trading partner or correspondent in the US as an intermediary. The second is to purchase International Reply Coupons, or IRCs, at your local post office and include them with your tapes. You can find more information by clicking on the link to "Information For International (non US) Patrons."

Question - Why should I send tapes of the exact length required?
Answer - The Library uses stand alone dual well decks for duplicating tapes. As they are not connected to an amplifier or speakers, the Librarian has no way of telling where a given set ends. Making custom copies requires additional intervention the part of the Librarian and ties up the decks used for making Library Masters.

Question - Is it OK to send used tapes for my selection?
Answer - Though the Librarian suggests you send new (unrecorded) tapes for your selections, if you wish to send used (previously recorded) tapes that is your prerogative. Do not, however, send tapes with the write protect tabs removed. Tapes with write protect slots covered with sticky tape are not acceptable. They will be returned undubbed!

Question - I don't know what to choose. Will you please make recommendations?
Answer - The Librarian will, but would rather not. He is neither a critic, nor does he have particularly good taste. In fact, he can't think of a single tape that isn't worth a listen.

Question - Why are you doing this? Are you a saint, a fool?
Answer - Neither. It just needs to be done! The Librarian was quite surprised to find that someone wasn't doing it already.

Question - How do you justify trafficking in bootlegs?
Answer - The Librarian has not considered the matter. Having no ethical qualms about the practice, he's never felt the need to attempt to justify it. If he suspected for a nanosecond that the practice was in anyway harmful to anyone, he'd not indulge in it.

Question - Has Bob every contacted you? (Also frequently posed as "Have you met him?")
Answer - No.

Question - Does he know about the library?
Answer - I have no idea, though I rather doubt it.

Last updated 04/02/99

Information For Patrons Abroad (non US)
New Patron's Page
The Information Desk
The Unofficial Bob Dylan Free Tape Library Home Page