Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that allows you to request materials that Durham County Library does not own. There is no guarantee that we will be able to obtain a copy of the item you’re interested in, but we’re always happy to try. Most items can be checked out like an ordinary library book, but some must be used within the library building.
While we’re very happy we can provide this service, it does involve extra cost to the library, so we encourage you to search through our materials that might give you the information you need first. Ask a librarian if you need help!
Durham County Library patrons with full-privileges adult, juvenile, and out-of-county borrower cards may use Interlibrary Loan services. Fines must be no more than $10.00 to place a request.
Visit durhamcountylibrary.org/services/librarycards for more information on obtaining library cards with Durham County Library.
When making your request, be sure to specify your preferred pickup location so that you can use the item for the maximum amount of time possible.
Items that can be requested are:
- Books that Durham County Library does not own, though there are some exceptions (see below).
Note: Textbooks that fit the other requirements may be requested, but please note that ILL is not ideal for borrowing them because we are unable to predict how long it will take for the book to arrive or how long you will be allowed to keep it.
- Microfilm materials, which must be used at Main Library and may not be checked out.
- Articles from magazines, newspapers and journals that Durham County Library does not have access to. These are usually copied for you rather than loaning you the item itself.
Items that CANNOT be requested are:
- Books that Durham County Library owns, including Reference materials and items in the North Carolina Collection and the Serena Warren Wheeler Collection.
- Books that Durham County Library has ordered but not yet received – but you can place a normal request on these items any time!
- Books that were published less than a year ago.
- Audio-visual materials, including DVDs, music CDs, and audiobooks.
- E-books and e-audiobooks.
At any given time, you can have no more than 5 requests in any stage of the process. For example, you could have 2 requests being reviewed, 1 being shipped to your preferred Durham County Library location, and 2 more checked out.
The time between your request and when the book arrives varies and can be as much as 4 weeks or more. Because of the many steps involved in the ILL process, and because much of it is in the hands of other libraries, we are unable to predict how long it will be before your materials are ready for you to pick up, regardless of which library is sending them. We will contact you by email or phone, depending on your preference.
The library that loans the book decides how long you can check it out, so it varies from item to item. We will let you know the due date when we check it out to you.
You can always request renewals by contacting your location. The library that loans the book decides whether or not you can renew it and, if so, the length of the renewal.
Interlibrary Loan is a free service for patrons who are in good standing with the library and have a full library card rather than a computer-use card. Occasionally, a fee may be required from the library that lends the materials, but we will check with you first.
If you receive an article from a magazine, newspaper or journal, and you want us to print it, there is a $.10/page fee.
If you do not pick the item up at all, you will be fined $5.
Standard overdue fines of $.25/day per item apply, but there may also be overdue fines from the library that loaned the book.
The standard lost book processing fine of $5 per item applies, but there will be additional lost item fines from the library that loaned the book. These can be VERY EXPENSIVE and will prevent you from checking out or renewing any Durham County Library items or Interlibrary Loan items until they are paid.
If you do not pick an Interlibrary Loan item up at all, you will be fined $5.
If you need assistance with any ILL question, contact the designated staff member at your library location.
Stanford L. Warren
De Lois Cue
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.
This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.