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How do I borrow an item from another library?

The Tacoma Public Library offers Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services to its patrons for print and microform materials that are not owned by the Tacoma Public Library.  Here are some of the frequently asked questions on Interlibrary Loan at the Tacoma Public Library.  If you need additional information, please Ask a Librarian or contact our Telephone Reference at (253) 292-2001 during regular business hours.

What is Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary Loan is a service through which one library system lends its materials to another library system.  For example, if a Tacoma Public Library patrons needs a book or magazine article that is unavailable in the collections of the Tacoma Public Library, the patron may request an InterLibrary Loan.  The Library will then search for a library system that owns the items and is willing to lend the item to the Tacoma Public Library.

How do I request an Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary Loan can be requested online by clicking here. Please note that no more than one (1) item can be requested on each form. The form is also available in person at the Main Library and all branch libraries.  Just ask for the form at the reference desk.  The form must be completed prior to Library staff initiating an InterLibrary Loan search. Interlibrary Loan requests cannot be taken over the telephone.

An individual must have a valid (not expired) Tacoma Public Library card with fines less than $20.00 to request materials through Interlibrary Loan. Individuals with Temporary Cards may not request materials through Interlibrary Loan.

What can I request on Interlibrary Loan?
The Tacoma Public Library can process Interlibrary Loan requests for books and other print materials, magazine and journal articles, microfilm and microfiche.  Media items such as audiocassettes, videocassettes, compact discs, dvds, records and software are not available through InterLibrary Loan.

An InterLibrary Loan request can not be processed for books published during the current calendar year.  In such a situation, a patron should complete the Suggest a Purchase Form for any current book not owned by Tacoma Public Library.

How long does an InterLibrary Loan take?
On average, it takes two to four weeks to receive an Interlibrary Loan item once it has been requested, although the time period may be shorter or longer depending on the availability of the item and the location of the lending library.

How long is the check-out period?
The check-out period for an item received through Interlibrary Loan is set by the lending ibrary and the Tacoma Public Library must comply with that check-out period. Interlibrary Loan materials cannot be renewed. 

Some items received on Interlibrary Loan come with a restriction for ‘Library Use Only.’  In such an instance, the item cannot be checked-out but must be used only within the Library.

Are there any costs associated with Interlibrary Loan?
There is no charge for requesting an Interlibrary Loan up to a maximum of 36 requests in a calendar year. Each additional request costs $5.00. In an instance where the only library willing to lend the item charges a fee, the patron will be notified that there is a fee involved in obtaining the requested ILL item.  It will then be up to the patron to determine if he or she wants to pay that lending fee.

Please check the Library’s current fines and fees schedule to determine the daily overdue fines on an Interlibrary Loan item.  The replacement charge for an Interlibrary Loan item is $75.00.  Patrons will be charged for all Interlibrary Loan items that are not returned or that are returned in unusable condition.   Patrons are liable for any Interlibrary Loan items that are returned in a damaged condition or returned with parts missing.

Last Updated 06.03.2013
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Tacoma Public Library · 1102 Tacoma Ave. South · Tacoma, Washington 98402 · 253.292.2001
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