Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Interlibrary Loan/ILLiad

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan is a service provided by FVRL that allows us to borrow materials we do not own from other library systems in the U.S.

Who can borrow materials through Interlibrary Loan?

FVRL library card holders in good standing who are residents of Fort Vancouver Regional Library District and card holders who live outside the district but pay taxes that support FVRL or who purchase a non-resident borrower’s card may request items through Interlibrary Loan. Limited & Educator cards are not eligible for ILLiad service. Camas residents should use the Interlibrary Loan service available through the Camas Public Library.

How much does Interlibrary loan cost?

FVRL always tries to borrow materials for free, and most ILL transactions do not involve a fee. However, sometimes items are only available from libraries that charge to lend their materials. We will only try to borrow from libraries that charge if you have stated that you are willing to pay to borrow an item.

Can you tell me in advance how much the charge might be?

No, we won’t know until we contact other libraries. You can indicate on the ILL request form the maximum amount you are willing to pay. The fees that libraries charge are usually between $10 and $30. If you enter $0, FVRL will restrict its borrowing to only those libraries that do not charge. If you enter another amount, FVRL will still attempt to borrow it for free, if possible. If an item cannot be obtained, no fee will be charged.

When will the payment be due?

The fee, if any, will be added to your library account. The payment will be due when you pick up the item at your local library. In the case of electronic articles, the fee will be due once the article has been received.

What if I can't pick up the material in time?

If you don’t pick up the material, any fee will remain on your library account, and you will be responsible for paying the amount. If your account balance reaches $25, borrowing privileges will be suspended.

How do I request an Interlibrary Loan?

You can use WorldCat, an online catalog of the materials in more than 10,000 libraries, to find items to request through ILLiad. Linking to ILLiad through WorldCat will save you time and typing, and helps the Interlibrary Loan staff receive accurate and complete information about the item you're requesting. However, while WorldCat can be useful, it cannot tell you if we will be able to borrow the item (please see the types of items that are unavailable or difficult to obtain). Also, some libraries that WorldCat lists as owning an item may not lend certain types of materials or may not participate in ILL at all.

If you don't find the item you want to request in WorldCat, you can still fill out an Interlibrary Loan request directly on ILLiad. You can access ILLiad from home on the ILLiad web site or on library computers at any FVRL branch.

How many items can I request?

You may have a total of 3 “active” requests at one time. Active requests are those at any stage of the Interlibrary Loan process—requested, in process, checked out, etc.

What types of items are unavailable or difficult to obtain?

  • We do not borrow these materials:
    • eBooks and downloadable audio
    • Audiovisual materials like DVDs, videos, CDs, and cassettes
    • Software
    • Materials from libraries outside of the United States; additionally, we do not borrow materials from Alaska or Hawaii
    • Textbooks
    • Unbound/loose-leaf sheet music
    • Entire issues of magazines and journals
    • Books published within the last two years
  • Books with a replacement value of more than $200
  • Books that are rare or over 100 years old
  • Additionally, microfilm can be difficult to obtain.
  • Some libraries, especially genealogical libraries, may be willing to photocopy portions of their materials, rather than lend them, if patrons can provide a specific description of what they need.
  • For audiovisual or newer material requests, please fill out the Request a Purchase form (login required) or contact the library. Librarians will review the request and will purchase the item if it meets our selection criteria, is available from our vendors, and we have the funds available to do so.

    FVRL also subscribes to some platforms for downloadable eBooks and audiobooks with thousands of titles available to our patrons. Library staff are happy to assist you in using these library resources.

    How long will it take to fill my request?

    Requests for most materials generally take 4-6 weeks. Genealogical requests can take longer.

    Your request might be delayed for a number of reasons: materials might already be checked out to another borrower at the lending library; lending libraries might limit the number of items or reels of microfilm they will send at one time; or the information you give us about your request might be incomplete or incorrect, requiring additional verification.

    Will there be restrictions on the materials?

    Usually not, but we are obliged to honor whatever conditions a lending library places on its materials. Some libraries restrict their materials to in-library use only, some do not permit photocopying, and some do not allow renewals.

    Copyright laws apply to all interlibrary loans.

    Additionally, items may be designated as in-library use only if they are:

    • A thesis or dissertation
    • Reference materials
    • Genealogy materials

    What happens when my interlibrary loan material arrives?

    You will be notified by e-mail that your item is available for either in-branch use (if there are use restrictions) or for pickup at the library. If you are pre-approved for mail delivery your item will be checked out and mailed directly to you.

    If you haven't provided an email address for ILLiad your notification will be sent by USPS mail. Please be aware that this will cause a delay in receiving your notification.

    Materials will be checked out to you when you pick them up. Any special conditions will be on a label attached to the front of the item. Please leave this label (and strap) on the item when you return it, as it ensures that the item will be properly cleared from your borrowing record.

    Article requests are generally delivered electronically through your ILLiad account. If necessary, you can request a photocopy. Photocopies are mailed to you and are yours to keep.

    How long is the loan period?

    Loan periods are determined by the lending library. Most libraries allow three weeks use, but some may allow as little as one week.

    Can I renew the materials?

    Maybe! The lending library (not FVRL) decides whether renewals are allowed or not.

    If a renewal is allowed, it will be for a maximum of two weeks. Renewals can only be requested within 7 days of the due date, and only one renewal can be requested for each item.

    When a renewal is requested, ILLiad automatically updates the renewed due date to two weeks after the original due date, and sends the lender a renewal request. However, if the lender later denies the renewal, ILL staff will notify you and the due date goes back to the original due date.

    Once an Interlibrary Loan item is overdue, it cannot be renewed.

    What are my responsibilities once I have received the material?

    You are responsible for returning the material on time and in the same condition in which you received it. If you have an overdue Interlibrary Loan item, no further Interlibrary Loan requests will be processed until the overdue item is returned.

    If an Interlibrary Loan item is lost, all borrowing privileges at FVRL will be suspended until the item has been paid for. There is a minimum replacement fee of $40.00. This fee may be higher depending on the actual charges levied by the lending library. An Interlibrary Loan item will be declared lost when it is 30 days overdue.

    If you have 5 or more billed items in a 2 year period, your Interlibrary Loan privileges will be restricted to in-library use only for 1 year. Subsequent charges for lost ILL materials will result in additional restrictions.