What is an Inter-Library Loan?
An Inter-Library loan (ILL) is a service where a patron (user) of one library can borrow books or receive photocopies of documents that are owned by another library.
How do Inter-Library Loans work?
The patron makes a request with their local library. This local library identifies the institution that owns the desired item (probably using WorldCat!), places the request, receive the item, makes it available for the patron to pick up at their closest branch, and arranges for the return.
How long can I keep an Inter-Library Loan?
The lending library determines the loan and renewal period for the item. If you need an ILL item longer, you should contact your local library at least three business days before the due date and ask them to request an extension from the lending library.
Can anything be borrowed with an Inter-Library Loan?
Some libraries have items in reserve or reference collections that cannot be borrowed. If the item you want is owned by a library that you could visit on your own (for example, at the University of Washington) you should plan for a research visit to look at the resources you need, take notes, and make photocopies.
How long does it take to get my Inter-Library Loan item?
Plan ahead! If the lending institution agrees to loan the item you want to your local library, it could take three weeks or more before the item actually arrives at your local branch, ready for you to pick up.
How much does an Inter-Library Loan cost?
Good news! An ILL is a free service provided to library patrons. The only cost will be if the lending library charges your local library a processing fee for microfilm or copy requests.
See below for links to Inter-Library Loan request forms for regional libraries.