Interlibrary Loan

Need a hard-to-find book? No problem! If your local library does not have the book you’re looking for, you can borrow it from any public library in Lancaster County or Pennsylvania — even the nation! Simply ask your librarian for assistance.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

An Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a transaction in which material from one library is made available to another library upon request. Through ILL, it is possible to obtain materials from almost anywhere in the United States. The term “material” includes books, photocopies, and microfilm. Interlibrary Loan cannot obtain some items (please see list below). Libraries that are members of the Library System of Lancaster County use Interlibrary Loan only as a request made to library outside the System. A request from one LSLC library to another is called a reserve.

Why use Interlibrary Loan?

The purpose of Interlibrary Loan is to obtain materials not available in the collections of Lancaster County public libraries. In compliance with the Pennsylvania Interlibrary Code, the Interlibrary Loan department will NOT request materials already contained in the collection of member libraries of the Library System of Lancaster County. This includes materials on loan to patrons, reference materials, Lancaster Collection materials, or materials in other non-circulating collections.

Who may request an Interlibrary Loan?

Any adult patron of a member library in the Library System of Lancaster County (in good standing) may make a request for an Interlibrary Loan item. As the District Library Center of the Library System of Lancaster County, the Lancaster Public Library will supply requests to member libraries from its own collection and will request materials from libraries outside the system for items not in its collection.

How long will it take for the materials I requested?

Please allow 7-10 business days if the item is requested from a Pennsylvania library and is available for shipping at the time of request. Allow 2 –3 weeks if the requested items is coming from another state.

Does it cost anything?

Every effort will be made to obtain requested materials at no cost, however, any costs incurred by Lancaster Public Library will be passed on to the patron. Therefore, please be sure to indicate on the Interlibrary Loan Form how much you are willing to pay for a requested item. Lending fees range from $5.00 to $20.00. Medical articles usually have fees that are $12.00 and up.

Is my request confidential?

As with the circulation records of member libraries of the Library System of Lancaster County, Interlibrary Loan requests are confidential.

Are there any items that cannot be interlibrary loaned?

In compliance with the Pennsylvania Interlibrary Code, the Library System of Lancaster County will NOT request the following kinds of materials:
• Best sellers and newly published materials (within 12 months)

• Titles owned locally (within the Library System of Lancaster County)

• Issues/Volumes of periodicals and journals

• Reference materials

• Books-on-tape, videos, CDs, and DVDs

• Rare books, special collections, and archival materials

• School/Course materials

• Licensed computer software data files