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 customers with currently active library cards. There is a $4.00 non-refundable processing fee for each ILL request submitted. 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. In addition, some lending libraries may charge additional lending fees. You will be given the opportunity to indicate how much you are willing to pay over and above 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 six 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 items
  • original or rare materials
  • newspapers in original format (although these may be available on microfilm)
  • DVDs
  • CDs

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.

Three 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. Search for items in other libraries by using WorldCat, then fill out the online ILL request form from your internet connected mobile device or computer.. You can search for free, but placing an ILL request will incur a $4.00 fee on your library account.  Once you have located the correct version of the item you want (i.e. title, author, format, publication date, etc.) click on the "Request Item" button.

You will then be taken to the Interlibrary Loan Request Form, which looks like this:

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.

3.  Another tool for browsing and placing ILL requests is WorldCat Advanced Search. You may search for free, but placing an ILL request will incur a $4.00 ILL request fee on your library account.

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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