Sonoma County Library


Interlibrary Loan FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

1. What is Interlibrary Loan?
ILL is a service provided by your library that allows you to borrow items from libraries across the United States. Sonoma County Library establishes borrowing agreements with other libraries in order to request items on your behalf through the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

2. How long does it take for an Interlibrary Loan request to get to me?
In the very best of circumstances it takes 2-3 weeks but more commonly 4-6 weeks.

3. How many requests can I have at once?
You can have 3 active requests at once. This includes items at all stages of the interlibrary loan transaction from the time you submit the request to the time you return the item to the circulation desk to be checked back in. We will not process any requests in excess of three.

4. What items can I request through ILL?
You may request books only. Currently we are not able to borrow movies, CDs, or other materials from another library.

5. Can I request material via Interlibrary Loan online?
You can search our Sonoma County Library edition of WorldCat to find and request books.

6. Is there a charge for use of your Interlibrary Loan Service?
Usually not. In the strong majority of cases we can successfully borrow items at no charge. But make note: if we are unable to find a lending library system willing to lend an item to us free of charge, we then seek other lending libraries that do not charge more than $10.00 for books or $20.00 for periodical/newspaper requests. You must agree to accept charges not exceeding above amounts. By submitting the online request form, which has "Agree to Fee" selected, you agree to the charge. For periodical/microfilm requests, you agree by signing the request postcard. We will not process any unsigned request card.

7. Can I renew a book borrowed through Interlibrary Loan?
No. The length of time it takes an item to reach us, be processed to lend to you keeps it away from the library that owns it from 4-6 weeks (sometimes longer). We are grateful they are willing to lend these items to us and part of our agreement with them is that we do not renew ILL requests. You may always fill out another request card but please be prepared to wait – the item has to go home before it comes back a second time.

8. How will I be notified that my Interlibrary Loan request is in?
You will be notified the same way as your Sonoma County Library holds. We contact you either by phone, e-mail or postal mail. If you would like to change the way you are currently notified, please contact the circulation desk at your library branch or click here to request a change to or from e-mail notification.

Sonoma County Library catalog

Interlibrary Loan