Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?
Who is eligible for ILL?
Is there a charge for this service?
What happens after I make my request?
How long does it take to get ILL material?
What is the loan period?
May I renew material?
How many requests may I have at one time?
May I cancel an ILL request?
May I get new titles through ILL?
May I request audio visual materials through ILL?
Are genealogical materials available through ILL?
Is it possible to obtain photocopies of magazines or newspaper articles through ILL?
What is Electronic Delivery?
Are there any copyright restrictions for a photocopy request?
Where may I pickup and return ILL material?
What does "in-library use only" mean?
What if I lose or damage ILL material?
What if my library card number changes?
How do I obtain more information about ILL services?
What Web browser should I use?
Why does my browser say that you're sending a cookie? What's in it?
Who do I contact if I have problems or questions?


What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that allows the borrowing of materials from other library systems. It is used to borrow materials for customers that are not owned by Loudoun County Public Library. The first step before requesting an ILL is to check the LCPL catalog to verify that the library, in fact, does not own the item.
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Who is eligible for ILL?

Any cardholder of Loudoun County Public Library who lives, works, owns property, owns a business or attends school in Loudoun County and has a library account in good standing (no fees or blocks).
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Is there a charge for this service?

Yes. There is a $3 handling fee per transaction (title). This fee must be collected at the time the Interlibrary Loan is picked up by the patron. In addition, some libraries have lending fees which must be passed along to you. Therefore, it is important that you indicate on the ILL request form the maximum cost that you are willing to pay in order to borrow the item (this does not include the $3 handling fee). Most transactions will be free. Please note that you will be charged the LCPL handling fee and any lending fees charged by the lending library whether you pick the item up or not.
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What happens after I make my request?

You will be notified by email when your requested item(s) are ready for pickup. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep your email address current. If LCPL is unable to obtain the item for you, a Cancellation Notice will be emailed to you. This information is also available to you by logging on to your ILL account.
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How long does it take to get ILL material?

It varies. Please allow a minimum of four to six weeks for your request to be filled. If you have a deadline, please fill out the Not Wanted After information on the request form. Harder-to-find items such as genealogy may take longer than six weeks. You will be notified by email when your request arrives. Remember, even if you don’t pick up the item, you will be charged the $3 handling fee and any additional charges placed by the lending library.
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What is the loan period?

It varies since loan periods are set by the lending library. Please note that ILL items do not check out for the same amount of time as the LCPL collection. The due date is noted on the ILL information attached to the requested item.
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May I renew material?

Renewals can be requested via the online system as long as the item is not marked No Renewals. The lending library decides whether an item can be renewed, and if so, for how long. This process usually takes a few days. While the renewal request is pending you may keep the item. You will be contacted when a renewal decision has been made.
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How many requests may I have at one time?

You may have 5 active requests at one time, not including items currently checked out. Please note that this limit applies to a combination of both Suggest A Title submissions and Interlibrary Loan requests.
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May I cancel an ILL request?

It is possible to cancel a request and avoid paying the LCPL ILL handling fee ($3) at any point before an item has been shipped by the lending library. To do so, log onto your ILL account and click on Outstanding Requests. Click on the transaction number (TN) of the request you’d like to cancel. Click the red “Cancel Request” link at the top of the page. If the “Cancel Request” isn’t visible on the request page you may still be able to request a cancellation by calling the ILL office directly at 571-258-3087 or e-mailing anita.barrett@loudoun.gov. Please remember, if you don’t cancel a request before the loan has shipped or you don’t pick up an ILL, you will be charged the LCPL ILL handling fee and any additional charges placed by the lending library.
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May I get new titles through ILL?

Since most libraries are unwilling to lend new material, LCPL cannot accept requests for material with publication dates within the most recent 6 months. This is a general standard throughout libraries, which allows new material to circulate to the owning library’s patrons first. Library staff will help you determine if the title you are seeking is new. If it is, you may decide to fill out a Suggest A Title submission instead.
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May I borrow audio visual materials through ILL?

Many libraries do not loan audio visuals. However, LCPL will accept requests for items with publication dates older than 6 months but cannot guarantee finding a lender.
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Are genealogical materials available through ILL?

Although most libraries do not loan local history and genealogical items, LCPL will accept requests for them. However, it may take considerable time to borrow those materials.
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Is it possible to obtain photocopies of magazines or newspaper articles through ILL?

Yes. Please provide:

  1. The title of the journal or magazine.
  2. The title and author of the article.
  3. The month and year of publication.
  4. The inclusive page numbers.
Most libraries charge a fee for photocopying. When you place your request, please indicate the maximum amount that you are willing to pay for a copy of the article (not including the $3 handling fee). Entire issues of magazines may not be borrowed. It may be possible to deliver your article(s) electronically.
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What is electronic delivery?

Many libraries ship photocopies of articles in electronic format. You have the option of electronic delivery of these articles in PDF format (Adobe's Portable Document Format) if there are no lending fees associated with the article request. Please note that the $3 handling fee will be added to your library account payable upon your next branch visit.
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Are there any copyright restrictions for a photocopy request?

There could be. The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies of copyrighted materials. Loudoun County Public Library reserves the right to refuse a copying request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would involve violation of the copyright law.
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Where may I pickup and return ILL material?

When you establish your ILL account you choose your desired branch pickup location. It is also indicated on the email notification you receive when the item has arrived. Please do not remove the ILL information on the item. ILL items may not be returned in the book drop. Please take them to the circulation desk.
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What does "in-library use only" mean?

"In-Library use only" means that the material may not be removed from the library. The "in-library" use restriction is imposed by the lending library. If this restriction applies to your request, it will be noted on the email you receive to notify you that the item has arrived and on the paperwork that accompanies the item.
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What if I lose or damage ILL material?

Patrons will be billed for lost and damaged materials at replacement costs established by the lending library. If you have lost or damaged ILL materials, contact the LCPL branch where you picked up the item.
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What if my library card number changes?

If you have a new LCPL card number please re-register with the system. Please email interlibraryloan@loudoun.gov with your new library card number. Your old account information will be merged with your new information, allowing any outstanding ILL requests to be included in your new account.
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How do I obtain more information about ILL services?

Please contact any Branch of Loudoun County Public Library for more information.
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What Web browser should I use?

You need a Web browser that can handle forms, tables, and preferrably Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The current versions of either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox are recommended.
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Why does my browser say that you're sending a cookie? What's in it?

The technology that LCPL uses sends a Session ID to be stored on your machine. You can refuse this cookie and still be able to use the system without any problems.
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Who do I contact if I have technical problems or questions?

Please contact the library if you have any problems or questions.
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