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Interlibrary Loan Policy

Printable policy (PDF)


The Interlibrary Loan Policy establishes eligibility requirements and guidelines for interlibrary loan. Interlibrary Loan is the process to request materials that are not available through Durham County Library but can be borrowed from other libraries.


These policies explain how Durham County Library conducts interlibrary loan borrowing and lending.

Durham County Library subscribes to the Interlibrary Loan Code set forth by the RUSA division of the ALA, which is available here: Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States.


To use ILL, a patron must have no more than $25 in outstanding fees and can be an adult or a child with a full privilege Durham County library card, out-of-county borrowers with full privilege cards, or staff.

The checkout period and option to renew are set by the lending library system.

Patrons can request books or other materials that Durham County does not have.

Books that are designated as “in library use only” status cannot be requested as an ILL. However, patrons may request an exception due to hardship.

Patrons cannot place ILL requests for items that are on order.

Books that are less than 1 year old or more than 100 years old cannot be requested.

A patron can request individual articles, magazines, and journals that Durham County does not have. The cost to print is the same as in the Circulation and Library Fee policy.

A patron can borrow up to 5 items at any stage of the ILL process at a time – one of which can be an audiovisual material (such as a DVD, audiobook, or CD). For example, a patron could have 2 ILL items checked out, 2 request reviewed, and 1 being shipped.

A patron may request a microfilm reel, which will be counted as the 1 AV item borrowed, but it must be used in the North Carolina Collection on the third floor of the Main Library.

While Durham County Library does not charge overdue fines or non-pickup fees, the lending library may charge fines or replacement charges for lost items. These charges are the responsibility of the customer.

Renewals must be made 5 days before the due date set by the lending library.


Durham County Library lends items that are more than 1 year old but less than 50 years old to other library systems.

Items are lent for a period of 4 weeks.

They can be renewed up to two times – each time for up to 3 additional weeks.

The following collections are not lent: North Carolina Collection materials, items from the Selena Warren Wheeler Collection, and non-circulating materials.

We also do not lend the following types of materials:

  • Archival/Mixed Material
  • Computer File
  • E-Audio Book
  • E-Serial
  • E-Text
  • Government Document
  • Integrated Resource
  • Internet Resource
  • Kit
  • Manuscript
  • Map
  • Microform
  • Musical Score
  • Newspaper
  • Serial
  • Sound Recording – Cassette
  • Sound Recording – LP
  • Visual Material – VHS

The Library lends books, large print books, audiobooks, DVDs, and CDs.

The Library is able to make copies in accordance with copyright policy from materials from our circulating collection as well as from the following:

  • Archival/Mixed Material
  • Government Document
  • Manuscript
  • Microform
  • Newspaper
  • Serial – Bound

Electronic copies are free, but print photocopies cost the amount set in the Circulation and Library Fee Policy.

Durham County Library does not lend or borrow physical items internationally.


The Library follows copyright law in accordance with Title 17 USC § 108, which is available here: 17 U.S. Code § 108. Displayed prominently on the Interlibrary loan request page is our copyright notice. It states the liability of the user for copyright infringement and the right of the library to refuse a copy request if, in its judgment, it would violate copyright law:

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.”


Recognizing that ours is a free society, The Durham County Library subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights set forth by the American Library Association. In addition, the library endorses ALA’s Freedom to Read Statement and Freedom to View Statement, also developed by the ALA and adopted by the Library Board of Trustees on January 28, 1985.


It is the responsibility of the Resources and Finance Officer, with the advice of the ILL Coordinator, ILL Staff, and with the advice of the Board of Trustees, to interpret, monitor, and recommend updates to the policy. The ultimate responsibility for implementing the Interlibrary Loan Policy lies with the Library Director.


  1. American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights
  2. American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement
  3. American Library Association’s Freedom to View Statement
  4. Reference & User Services (RUSA’s) Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States
  5. 17 U.S. Code § 108

Effective July 2023