Interlibrary Loan

InterLibrary Loan

An Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a request to libraries in the United States or Canada for material not owned by the Santa Clara County Library District. This service is available to patrons with active library cards. There is a $4.00 non-refundable processing fee for each submitted ILL request. If you are requesting multiple items on one ILL request, such as several dates of a periodical or microfilm, the lending library may limit how many pieces they will send per ILL request. If multiple ILL requests are required to obtain all the items you want, there will be a $4.00 fee for each ILL request processed. Some libraries charge an additional fee to lend materials from their collection. You will be given the opportunity to indicate what, if anything, you are willing to pay in addition to the $4.00 ILL request fee.

There is a $1.00 per day overdue fine for ILL materials.  If an ILL item is more than four weeks overdue, returned damaged, or returned missing pieces, your library account will be charged for the lost, damaged or incomplete item as follows:

  • Lost Charge in the amount the lending library charges us for the lost item.  Please be aware that while most libraries charge their actual replacement cost, some libraries punitively charge $150.00 or more per lost item.
  • $20 non-refundable processing fee.

If you return the item after the Lost Charge has been applied to your library account, but before our library has paid the lending library’s lost charges, your library account will be credited for the Lost Charge.  If you return the item after our library has paid the lending library’s lost charges, your library account will not be credited for the Lost Charge.

Types of Materials

A wide range of materials are available through ILL, though other libraries may NOT loan certain collections or formats, such as:

  • reference, special collections, and genealogy items
  • original or rare materials
  • newspapers in original format (although these may be available on microfilm)
  • audio/visual materials (DVDs, CDs, etc.)

Newer items (i.e. published within the last twelve months) are normally not available through ILL; however, you may recommend newer titles for purchase for the library's collection by submitting a Suggest a Purchase form online, or at your local library's reference desk.

Two Ways to Request an Interlibrary Loan

  1. Submit an Interlibrary Loan Request at any reference desk during open hours at any of our libraries.
  2. Open WorldCat search. Under search tools, check the box for "Libraries Worldwide," and search for your item.

Once you have located the correct version of the item you want (i.e. title, author, format, edition, publication date, etc.), select it by clicking on the title of the item.

Select the "Request Item through Interlibrary Loan ($4 Fee)" button. If placing your request from outside of the library, you may be prompted to enter your library card number and pin.

You will then be taken to the Interlibrary Loan Request Form, once you fill-in the required fields and click on "Submit" the form will be sent directly to the Santa Clara County Library District ILL department and you will see a confirmation page with your Interlibrary Loan Request number.

Do you have questions that were not answered here?

See our Interlibrary Loan FAQs or contact us at or 408.293.2326 ext. 3013.

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