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Inter-library Loan

What is ILL (Inter-Library Loan)?

As a San Diego County Library (SDCL) cardholder, you can request books and periodicals from other library systems. This does not mean materials located at another branch of the SDCL, the San Diego Circuit or Link+. This means that you can search on Worldcat much as you would search the SDCL catalog for books that may be located in Oceanside, Duke University or anywhere else in the continental United States. Similar to placing a request in our catalog, the university books will be shipped to your local SDCL branch or whichever branch you request. This maybe a free service if the lending library does not charge. The ILL staff tries to fill your request from libraries that do not charge a lending fee first. Fines for late, damaged, or lost books are different, so please keep reading.

How do I get to the patron request form?

Library branch staff can access and fill out the form for you.

What do I need to use it?

An SDCL library card (Unlike a Circuit or Link+ request, you do not need a PIN)

How do I access and use ILL?

Contact your local branch and ask them to place an interlibrary loan request for you.

What can I request?

You can request books that were published at least 1 year ago from the date of your request and are not available in our catalog, the San Diego Circuit or Link +. You can also request articles from periodicals. Materials such as audiobooks, CDs, and movies can not be requested through ILL.

When working with branch staff to fill out my request, do all of the boxes on the patron request form need to be filled in?

There are asterisks located next to all of the required boxes and a special message to enter the Article title in the notes box at the bottom of the request form when requesting periodicals. And, remember to print out your request for your own records after you see that you have successfully submitted your request.

How can I check on the status of my ILL request?

The best way is to go into Worldcat and click on My Account and set up your customer account, remembering to use your SDCL library card number (example: 01535015258227) as the username and your own password. When inside of your account, click on the tab Resource Sharing. This way you can check on the status of your request:

1. Submit means that the customer has successfully completed the request and it will now go to the SDCL ILL staff who will review it and attempt to locate the requested materials.

2. Unfilled means that the ILL staff was not able to locate a lending library for that request and the SDCL staff will be contacting the customer for further directions.

3. In Transit means that the requested items are being transported to SDCL for processing to then go out to the customer.

Since we request materials from many localities all over the continental United States delivery times vary greatly depending on the method used by the lending library. If you have not heard in 3 weeks with regard to your request, feel free to email the SDCL ILL department.

How will I know when my material(s) have arrived?

When your book(s) have arrived at the ILL department, the staff at the branch will generate an automatic notice to the patron based on their library card profile (email, or mail) that will notify you that your book has arrived at the branch you requested.

If there is a lending fee, how do I pay?

If you agreed to pay a lending fee on your patron request form, you need to make a check or money order payable to the lending institution, not SDCL. Please bring your payment with you in order to check out the materials.

How long can I keep the book(s)?

Three weeks, the same as a normal book checkout. Renewals are not possible, the materials must be turned in by the due date. You can submit another request for the same title near the end of your loan period if you'd like to obtain the same title again.

How many ILL books can I request and check out?

There is no maximum number at any one time. Each title is a separate request. However, a number of them might arrive at the same time and they would all have the same 3 week loan period.

What are the fines for late books? Lost or damaged books?

For overdue books, the charge is $.50 per day per book. For lost or damaged books, the charge is whatever the lending library charges for lost or damaged books. It is a privilege for us to be able to use their collections. SDCL does not have a claims returned policy for ILL materials.

Why does it take so long sometimes to receive requested materials and not at other times?

Due to the fact that we acquire materials from lending libraries all over the continental United States (not foreign) who choose the method of shipment, arrival times vary greatly. If within the county, it could be within a few days but if on the East Coast it could take 30-45 days.

We hope you enjoy this service. If you encounter any problems, please call your local branch.

The County of San Diego and the San Diego County Library disclaim any responsibility for the accuracy of the translations.