Things You Never Knew About Your Library

Books, Tools/Resources/Services

Can’t find the book you are looking for?

Ask us to borrow it for you through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)!
Have you ever searched through the Library’s catalog for a book you wanted to read but couldn’t find it? Did you know that if we don’t own the book you are looking for, you can ask us to search for it through interlibrary loan (ILL)? This service allows us to borrow books, music, DVDs, microfilm articles and even photocopies for you from other libraries across the country and occasionally even outside of the United States.
The interlibrary loan service is free to Boone County residents who are at least 18 years of age and have a library card in good standing. It’s easy to request a book through ILL. Go to and scroll down to Not in Our Collection. Click on Borrow a book from another library and fill out the form that appears.
Our ILL Department will first determine if the requested item should be added to the Library’s collection. If it is not a good fit for BCPL, our staff will begin the search for a library who owns the item. After compiling a list of libraries who own it, a borrowing request is placed, one library at a time, to avoid multiple copies being sent. When one of the libraries agrees to lend the item, it is shipped to us and we temporarily add it to our system, allowing it to be checked out. If we cannot find a library to lend the item, the search is stopped and you are contacted.  The ILL process can take up to six weeks from the date a request is submitted.
The lending library determines the item’s due date and whether or not there is a fee for borrowing the item. Most libraries don’t charge a borrowing fee. Fees are sometimes charged for photocopies, microfilm or when rare items are borrowed. If there is a fee, don’t worry, an ILL staff member will contact you first to see if you want to pay the fee or cancel the loan. If you agree to the fee, the fee is charged to your account and must be paid before the item is checked out. If an item is rare, the lending library can dictate that the item be labeled as “in-library use only” which means the item cannot be checked out, but can be used inside BCPL.
You can request a renewal of your interlibrary loan item, but it should be done at least five days before the current due date and must go through our ILL Department. You can reach ILL at 342-BOOK (2665), extension 8118 or by email at  When you are ready to return your ILL book, simply take it to any Boone County Public Library location and we will return the item to the lending library.
In addition to using interlibrary loan to borrow books, (and other items) we also use it to lend books to other libraries across the United States. Happy reading!

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