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What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is the process of borrowing materials from libraries across the nation and making those items available for your use. It is used for requesting materials not owned by the library and that fall outside the scope of our collections. The City Library is pleased to provide this service at no or minimal cost to our patrons.

Who can submit an Interlibrary Loan request?

Interlibrary Loan service is available to current Salt Lake City Public Library patrons with an Expanded cardholder account in good standing. Your account is in good standing if you do not owe any damaged/lost item fees and do not have any unresolved account issues. Patrons should resolve any outstanding charges on their account before submitting a request.

Patrons are allowed up to five active ILL requests at a time.

What can I request through Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan aims to provide access to books, CDs, DVDs, microfilm, journal articles, and other materials that are not available from The City Library. Please search the catalog to confirm that the item is not already owned by The City Library before requesting materials through Interlibrary Loan. Non-circulating items that are owned by The City Library—including reference tools, rare or valuable materials, and bound volumes of periodicals—may not be requested using this service. For some rare or older requested items, the owning library may specify that they are for use within the Main Library only and cannot be checked out. In the event that your item will require in-Library use only, you will be notified by ILL staff first to confirm your agreement to these terms of use.

Be aware that The City Library does not request to borrow VHS, cassette tapes, or vinyl from other institutions, nor can art prints, maps, or periodicals be requested. In addition, The City Library does not request to borrow materials published in the last 6 months via Interlibrary Loan; you may only request items published over 6 months ago. For newer materials published in the last 6 months that The City Library does not own, consider submitting your request via the Suggest an Item for Purchase form instead.

We will not fulfill book club requests.

How do I submit an Interlibrary Loan request?

In most cases, Interlibrary Loan requests can be placed directly via The City Library's online catalog (microfilm and journal article requests being the notable exceptions). Patrons should first expand their search beyond The City Library's collection to include the entire Library of Congress catalog. To do so, click the Select Databases link located just below the search bar on the Keyword Search page of the catalog and select Library of Congress under the Interlibrary Loan section. Then proceed with your search. When the search results page appears, if the search status bar does not indicate that "All retrieved results have been added," click the Add Pending Results link to display items retrieved from the Library of Congress catalog. If the item can be located via this expanded search of the Library of Congress catalog, patrons can submit an Interlibrary Loan request directly by clicking the Place Hold button next to the item.

This is the preferred method for placing an Interlibrary Loan request because it provides Library Staff with immediate and accurate information about the item being requested, as well as providing them with your account information. In addition, the request and its status are immediately reflected in your online patron account and updated accordingly as your request is processed.

If your search returns no results, including searches of the Library of Congress catalog as detailed above, you can request the item via Interlibrary Loan manually. To submit a manual Interlibrary Loan request, please email or call 801-524-8200 with your library card account number and specific details about the item you would like to request. As mentioned previously, microfilm and journal articles should be requested in this manner.

If the requested item cannot be located after an extensive search of other institutions conducted by Library staff, explanatory notes regarding the cancellation of your ILL request will be reflected in your patron account. Patrons may call 801-524-8200 or come in to any City Library location to find out why their request was cancelled. If it does not fall within the Materials Selection Policy or the above guidelines regarding what can be requested, you will receive an automated notice of cancellation of your request.

How much will it cost?

The City Library will always search for free lenders first, but if your requested item is only available from a charging library, we will contact you first before adding that cost to your account. Some libraries charge a borrowing fee — which covers processing as well as shipping and handling — ranging from $10.00 to $25.00.

Be aware that borrowed ILL items are subject to the owning library's policies on lost or damaged items and are non-negotiable. You are responsible for any fees associated with the item. Please contact the Interlibrary Loan Office immediately at or 801-524-8200 to report an ILL item lost, damaged, or stolen. We will contact the owning library for an invoice. Because we do not know the exact cost of an item or what damage fees may apply until we receive this invoice, a placeholder charge of $153.10 will be reflected in your account until we can adjust it to the final price. Do not pay this placeholder charge. The final amount you are charged will depend on the cost of the item or any damage fees assessed, which are determined by the owning library. Your ILL borrowing privileges will be suspended until the item is paid in full. We will not accept replacement copies.

How long will it take?

Interlibrary loan staff will request an item from the closest available source—up to 15 institutions, if necessary. As a result, Interlibrary Loan materials may take two to six weeks to arrive. Patrons can request to pick up their materials at any City Library location and will be notified by email or phone when their materials have arrived. Materials will be held behind the Service Desk at each Library location through the due date set by the owning library. Note that due dates vary depending on the owning library. You must present your library card in order to pick up Interlibrary Loan materials.

How long may I keep the item?

The loan period—typically two to four weeks—is set by the institution from which the item is borrowed, not The City Library. Be sure to pick up your items as soon as possible after you receive notification. This will allow you to have it for the maximum loan period given by the owning library. The longer your item sits on the hold shelf, the less time you will have with it.

Allow additional time for renewals, as they require preapproval from the owning library. Please request renewals five or more business days before the due date by emailing or by calling 801-524-8200. Because we must honor loan periods set by the loaning institution, some renewal requests may be denied.