Did you know we can borrow materials from other libraries for you?


Did you know that, if we don’t have something you’re looking for at one of our branches, we can access a network of libraries across the country to find it for you?

It’s true! As you may know, we can transfer items from one Chatham County branch to another for patrons’ convenience, but we can also ask libraries outside of our system for material via Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

It’s important to note that ILLs differ from regular hold requests in the following ways:

  • We ask for three dollars (on receipt of the item) to cover postage to return the item to the lending library.
  • ILLs typically arrive around ten days from the date they are requested, but they can arrive far later (or sooner) than that.  If you need an item right away (say, for a book club), ILL may not be the right option for you.
  • You will need to present your own library card to check out an interlibrary loan.
  • We can’t use the ILL system to borrow items that were published within the last six months.
  • The lending library sets the borrowing period, which can range from a couple of weeks to a few months.  If you need to request a renewal, please do so at least three days before the item is due. That gives the lending library time to process (and to grant or deny) the renewal.
  • There is no grace period for ILL due dates. They are due on the day indicated on the material’s attached slip, and late fees (25 cents per day) begin immediately.
  • We ask that you return ILLs in person at the front desk to avoid damage to other libraries’ materials.

If you are interested in pursuing an ILL at one of our branches, stop by our reference desk and we’ll get you started.

See you soon!


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