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Interlibrary Loan (ILL)


The next time you visit the library and do not find material you wish to borrow, ask for an Interlibrary Loan. It’s another way we Inform, Enrich & Empower our diverse community!

Yes, We Can Get That!

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a program that allows you to borrow items not owned by JCPL from other libraries around the country.

Who may use Interlibrary Loan?

If JCPL is your home library and your card is active, you may use this service. If you have a reciprocal borrower card you must use the Interlibrary Loan service at your home library.

What items may I request?

Books, movies, sound recordings, photocopies of magazine and newspaper articles, and microfilm may be requested.  However, newer items, released in the last 7 months, or items that JCPL owns cannot be requested. Hard copy issues of magazines or newspapers and computer software are not available through ILL.

How do I place a request?

You may place a request via the ILL form in person or by phone at any JCPL location.

How long does it take to receive an interlibrary loan request?

The average turnaround time for an ILL request is about 2 weeks from the date of submission to the date of arrival at the patron's branch library for pickup. However, some ILL requests can take much longer, as materials may not be readily available from regional lenders, or may require 2-3 submissions of a request before a lender is found.

What might it cost?

JCPL only makes requests to libraries that do not charge fees. However, if a patron is willing to pay the small borrowing fee or photocopy fees for magazines and newspapers, an attempt will be made to acquire the item. We ask that you list on the Request Form the amount you are willing to pay, if any. Below is a list of potential costs:

  • .10 - Missing JCPL barcode. All ILL items are tagged with a JCPL barcode and if that barcode is missing when the item is returned you will be charged 10 cents.
  • 1.00 - Per item you request but do not pick up by the due date.
  • ?? - Photocopy charge for newspaper or magazine articles. You will be contacted if there is to be a charge and will have the option to cancel the request if you do not wish to pay.
  • ?? - Borrowing fee up to the amount you list on the form that you are willing to pay to receive the item.

You are responsible for any charges you agree to pay that are levied by the lending library and pay that amount when you pick up the item.

How long may I keep the material?

The lending library determines how long you may keep items. You are usually allowed 2-3 weeks. Libraries that lend microfilm and rare or old books request that you view items in the library only; you may not take those items home. Photocopies are yours to keep.

May I get a renewal?

Usually you may renew ILL material, unless the lending library lists "No Renewals" as one of its lending conditions or No Renewal is circled on your item. To renew, you must contact us before your item is due. You may keep the material while we contact the lending library. If they refuse to renew the item, you must return the book as soon as we notify you of their decision. If they extend the due date, we will contact you with the new due date.

What if I'm late returning an item or it is lost or stolen?

We encourage patrons to be vigilant in returning items by the due date since late returns affect our ability to receive future loans from partner libraries.  If you are late returning an item, you will be charged standard JCPL fines per day. Contact us immediately if your material is lost or stolen. You are financially responsible for lost or stolen items. We will contact the lending library, and they will tell us the replacement cost and we will notify you.

Why might my request be unfilled?

We do our best to fill all requests made through Interlibrary Loan, but each partner library has their own lending policies. Sometimes an item is too popular for other libraries to part with it at a certain time, or the book may no longer be available from them. Also, items with limited popularity may not be available.  In the event that a request goes unfilled, you will be notified and if desired, you may make the request again at a later date. However, we receive over 98% of items requested, so give Interlibrary Loans a try when you’re on the hunt for an elusive title!