Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary loan (abbreviated ILL) is a service that allows a Middletown library user to borrow books or receive photocopies of documents that are owned by another library. You can make an ILL request at the Reference Desk. A librarian will identify owners of the desired item and place the request. If the request is approved, the lending library will send it to Middletown and library staff will make it available to you as a regular hold through our catalog. ILL items circulate for two weeks. You may not renew ILL items. All regular late fees apply. Although books and journal articles are the most frequently requested items, some libraries will lend audio recordings, video recordings, maps, sheet music, and microforms of all kinds.

Loan requests  between library systems may take weeks to complete. However, if an item is rare, fragile, or exceptionally valuable, the owning library is under no obligation to release it for interlibrary loan. Some collections and volumes, especially bound journals and one-of-a-kind manuscripts, are non-circulating, meaning that they may not be borrowed. Books may be delivered by mail or courier service. Photocopies may be faxed or scanned and delivered electronically. If an ILL request is denied by the lending library, Middletown staff will inform you of this decision.

  • Interlibrary loan policies vary from library to library.
  • New releases or high-demand titles are not always available through ILL because most libraries need to satisfy local demand first. 
  • The patron requesting the item does not need to identify a library who owns it. 
  • Journals are not usually loaned; rather, a photocopy is made of the needed article.