What is interlibrary loan (ILL)?

 

  • Interlibrary loan is a cooperative system that allows libraries to share materials. If you want an item and cannot get it through the courier system from any of the public libraries in Berkeley, Jefferson, or Morgan counties, then ILL can help.

 

Who can use ILL?

 

  • Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan County library patrons in good standing may place ILL requests. Patrons who do not return ILLs in a timely manner may have their borrowing privileges suspended.

 

What can I request through ILL?

 

  • You can request items not in our collection that are older than 1 year.

  • Items that are in reference or special collections cannot be requested through ILL. Audiovisuals can be harder to get through ILL, since many libraries do not lend them, but we do accept audiovisual requests. If you are not sure whether you can request an item, contact Interlibrary Loan Services.

 

How do I request an ILL?
 

  • ILL request cards are located at the library’s service desks, and an ILL request form is available on our website. You can have up to 3 active requests at once. A request becomes active when we order an item for you through ILL and remains active until you have returned the item.

 

When will I receive my ILL?

 

  • ILLs usually arrive within 2 to 3 weeks of the time you place your request. Sometimes they may arrive more quickly or slowly, depending on mailing times and the processing speed of the lending library.

 

Do you charge ILL fees?

 

  • Our library does not charge ILL fees, and we make every effort to order ILLs from lending libraries that do not charge fees. Occasionally, however, an ILL can only be obtained from a fee-charging library. If an ILL you requested is only available at a fee-charging library, we will contact you before ordering it.

 

How long can I keep my ILL?

 

  • Due dates for ILLs are set by the lending library, so they vary based on the individual lending library’s policies. The due date will be written on the paperwork included with your ILL. Returning ILLs on time is important, because some lending libraries will cut off our library’s borrowing privileges if we have not returned an ILL by the due date.

 

What if I lose or damage my ILL?

 

  • You should contact Interlibrary Loan Services immediately if you lose or damage an ILL. Our library will contact the lending library to find out what the replacement or repair cost is, and then you will be contacted with payment instructions. Failure to pay costs for lost or damaged ILLs will cause your ILL privileges to be suspended or revoked.

 

I returned my ILL, but I still see it on my account. Why is that?

 

  • ILLs are checked in by ILL staff, not by circulation staff. You should allow extra time for processing and transport, especially if you return your item to a branch library in Berkeley County or to an affiliate library in Jefferson or Morgan County. You generally do not need to be concerned unless you see that the ILL has been on your account for one full week after you returned it. If a week has gone by, you should contact Interlibrary Loan Services to ensure that the ILL is cleared from your account.

 

I have some educational/book club needs and would like to place an ILL request. What should I do?

 

  • We sometimes handle unusual ILL requests from patrons who are current students, who serve as educators, or who are involved in book clubs. If your request fits in one of these categories, you should contact Interlibrary Loan Services to explain your situation and learn what options may be available to you.

 

How do I contact Interlibrary Loan Services?

 

  • You can reach Interlibrary Loan Services by email at: ill@mbcpl.org.

Please Note: If you exceed the ILL limit of 3 active requests, your request will be disregarded.

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