↑ Return to Using the Library

Print this Page

Interlibrary Loan

What is Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a transaction in which items are borrowed from other libraries in Virginia and throughout the United States. The purpose of interlibrary loan is to obtain materials (on behalf of patrons) that are not owned by Appomattox Regional Library System (ARLS) or available through Petersburg Public Library System (PPLS).

Interlibrary loan is an essential information service that expands the range of materials ARLS can make available to users. However, interlibrary loan should serve as an adjunct to, not a substitute for, collection development at the local level.


Who can use Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary loan is offered to all ARLS patrons in good standing. PPLS patrons must have an ARLS library card in order to request interlibrary loans through ARLS. Interlibrary loan items must be picked up and returned to an ARLS branch.


Is there a charge for using Interlibrary Loan?
Normally, there is no charge for this service. However, the Library Administration reserves
the right to pass along any charges incurred in the delivery and return of the material. Furthermore, patrons are liable for any overdue fines or replacement
costs associated with items that are borrowed from other libraries. A $5.00 cost recovery fee will be charged for interlibrary loan items that are not picked up by the requesting individual.



What types of items are available through Interlibrary Loan?
For the most part, libraries will lend most print materials, but each library decides what it will or will not lend. For example, it is unusual for a library to loan very new, old, rare, and/or valuable material as well as audiovisual materials (CDs, DVDs, video games, etc.).

ARLS will try to obtain all materials requested via interlibrary loan except for the following:

  • Material owned by ARLS or PPLS and temporarily in use
  • Material less than six months old
  • Titles not yet published
  • Reference (non-circulating) material
  • Multiple copies of a title for class or other group use

Patrons should be aware that the following materials may take a long time to acquire or they may not be eligible for interlibrary loan:

  • Old, rare or valuable material
  • CDs, DVDs, audio books
  • Entire issues of periodicals
  • Material in high demand at the lending library
  • Curriculum material, including textbooks
  • Scripts, screen plays and scores
  • Multi-volume sets
  • Genealogical material



If you can’t get the item through Interlibrary Loan, will you buy it?
If the item falls within the guidelines of the ARLS collection development policy it will be considered for purchase.


If an item is new or has yet to be published, can I get it through Interlibrary Loan?
The short answer is no. Libraries, generally speaking, do not loan new materials via ILL. Keep checking the ARLS catalog for the title of the item you want and place a hold on it as soon as the record appears in the catalog.


How do I request material through Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary loan requests can be made in person at any ARLS branch or by telephone at 804-458-6329 X1005.


What information do I need to make a request?
To request a book or audio book you will need the author, title, and if possible, the year of publication.

To request a periodical article you will need the title of the journal, date, page numbers, author and title of the article.

To request audiovisual materials you will need to provide a title, name of the artist, year of publication, and any additional identifying information.

A “need by” date and pick-up location should be indicated at the time of the request, if applicable.


How long does it take to receive a requested item?
The time it takes to request and receive an item varies item to item. Three to four weeks is an average waiting period. Of course, some items will arrive quickly within a week to two weeks.


How will I be notified when my materials arrive?
Patrons are notified by the method they selected when they registered for their library card. Items are kept at the holds shelf for 5 business days after the patron is notified, or as long as the loan period permits.

A $5.00 cost recovery fee will be charged for interlibrary loan items that are not picked up.


How long can I keep Interlibrary Loan materials?
Typically, materials are available for two to four weeks, at the discretion of the loaning library. The loaning library may impose restrictions, such as “in library use” or “no renewals”. If you need additional time to use the material, please call 804-458-6329 X1005 as soon as possible. Renewals must be requested at least 5 business days before the due date. The loaning library grants permission for renewals, not ARLS staff.  We cannot request renewals for items that are already overdue.

Please make every effort to return the items by the specified due date. Interlibrary loan service will be suspended for those who abuse the privilege, including those who repeatedly fail to pick up requested interlibrary loan material or who fail to return materials in a timely fashion.


What are my responsibilities for a lost or damaged item?
Payment must be made for materials lost or damaged while charged out to the borrower. No refunds will be made for lost and paid interlibrary loan materials that are subsequently found.

Lending libraries will often charge additional processing fees beyond basic replacement costs.

Interlibrary loan is dependent upon the generosity and goodwill between libraries. Please be careful with their property and return it on time.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/using-the-library/interlibraryloan/