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Ontario GenWeb Project: Inter-Library Loan
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Inter-Library Loan

What Is It

Inter-Library Loan (sometimes referred to as 'Inter-Institutional Loan') is a network of libraries willing to share material resources (books, media, etc.).

If there's a book or resource not available at your local library, but it is available at another library within the ILL system, you can have it sent to your library for you to borrow.

How Do I Find It

Ask at your local library. If you have a university or college library nearby, ask them as well. Their service may only be available to students, but if one of those students requests the item you're seeking you may be able to view it at the university/college library.

Before requesting material through ILL be sure to inquire about fees. Some libraries provide this service for free, others require you to pay the costs incurred (such as shipping).

How Do I Use It

First, follow the first step under 'How Do I Use It?' on the Books page - obtain as much information about the book as possible.

At your library, request an inter-library loan form and fill it out (while still at the library).

The form usually requests:

  • Your Name
  • Phone Number
  • Library Patron Number (i.d. number on your library card)
  • Date
  • Title
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Date of Publication
  • Location of Book*

    You need not know all the information to fill in the blanks but you should do what you can to find the answers before you visit the library to fill out the form.

    *Occasionally you may know where the book is and request for it to be borrowed from that library. If you don't know where the book is, nor where you think it may be, leave this blank.

    Return the form to the librarian. It's that easy!

    Once your request has been fulfilled, your library will call you with the news. If 4-6 weeks pass without notice, call and ask for an update of your request. It can sometimes take months so patience is required.

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