Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

An ILL is an agreement among select libraries across the U.S. to borrow and lend materials. This service provides you with access to some resources not available in the Louisville Free Public Library system or other Jefferson County libraries.

Who may use this service?

You may use this service if you have a current adult Louisville Free Public Library card with no overdue items and less than $10 in fines or fees.

What may be available through Interlibrary Loan?

What is not available through Interlibrary Loan?

Are there any restrictions on photocopy requests?

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The Louisville Free Public Library reserves the rights to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

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How do I make an ILL request?

How many items may I request?

You may request as many as three items per calendar month.

How long does ILL take?

It can take up to six weeks to receive an item, depending on where the lending library is located and the method of shipment. Most libraries use the US Postal Service. Some materials (genealogy, local history, reference, microfilm, rare items) may be difficult to obtain. Please allow extra time to receive these types of items.

How will I be notified when the item arrives?

When the item arrives, you will be contacted by the pick-up location that you selected. You will be notified faster if you provide an email address. Items must be picked up within seven days.

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How long may I keep the item?

The loan period is determined by the lending library, and can range from one week to six weeks. Three weeks is most common. The loaning library may impose restrictions, such as “in library use.” In these cases, the item will be kept in the Circulation Department at Main Library where you can use it while inside the library for the full loaning period, turning it in each day before you leave the library.

May I renew it?

Renewals are not standard procedure in Interlibrary Loans.

How much does the ILL service cost?

The Louisville Free Public Library does not charge for Interlibrary Loans. However, many lending libraries do charge for loans, photocopies or other services.  Typically ILL lending charges can run $5-$20 each.  Putting a dollar figure on the ILL request form greatly increases your chances of getting your request filled.  Lending charges will be collected when you pick up your ILL request. The Library always tries to obtain materials at no cost.

Are there overdue charges for ILL items?

Yes. Any overdue fines are the responsibility of the patron.

What happens if I lose or damage the item?

Any overdue fines or replacement costs for lost or damaged materials are the responsibility of the patron. For charges billed to us, the patron's account will be charged the exact amount that the lending library charges LFPL and is not negotiable.

Where do I return the item?

You may return the item at any LFPL location.  ILL materials must be returned to the library in the burgundy canvas ILL delivery bags to ensure proper routing of materials.  It is also very important that you leave the green ILL band on the item itself.

How can I contact the Interlibrary Loan office?

You may contact the ILL office via email. Normal office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Last Updated: 1/19/11