Interlibrary Loans

If we do not have the book, video, audiobook, or magazine article that you want, we may be able to locate and borrow it from another library through a national library collection sharing program called Interlibrary Loan or ILL.

Use our online request form to request materials from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan.

Frequently answered questions about the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service:

Who is eligible to use the ILL service?

Anyone with a valid Princeton Public Library card may request items through the ILL service. Because interlibrary loan requests are very labor intensive and may require the library to pay borrowing fees to lending libraries there is a limit of 5 active interlibrary loan requests per customer.

What materials may be borrowed though ILL?

We will try to borrow any kind of material that is held by another library. We are most successful in borrowing books and photocopies or scans of magazine articles. Libraries rarely loan whole copies of magazines to other libraries, but will sometimes loan reels of microfilm. We are less successful in borrowing videos, DVDs, CDs and audio tapes because many libraries restrict the use of these materials to their own customers.

Is there a cost?

As of May 1, 2014 there is a fee of $3.00 for each ILL request unless the loaning library charges additional fees. In that case there is a $20 charge to complete the ILL transaction. However, we always check with you first before requesting an item that would incur any additional charges.

Extended Use Fees: Our standard extended use fees of $0.25 per day for books, CDs and audio tapes and $1.00 per day for videos and DVDs apply to any ILL item kept out beyond the item's due date.

How do I request an item through ILL?

For your convenience, you may request items online, by phone, by email, or in person as follows:

  • Use our online Interlibrary Loan Request form.
  • Request an item in person at the Welcome or Adult Services desk, located on the first and second floors respectively.
  • Call the Adult Services Dept. at 924-9529 x-220
  • Email your request to refstaff@princetonlibrary.org. Include as much information about the item as you know. Also include your name, phone number, e-mail address, and library card number.

What if I don't know the exact title or author of the item I want?

Our librarians can help identify the exact citation, whether the item is a book, a journal article, or a piece of audiovisual material. Do not hesitate to ask a librarian to help with a citation.

How long will it take to receive the item?

Turnaround time can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors including the availability of any specific item, the distance of the lending library, etc.  The average turnaround time is between two and three weeks. 

How long may I keep the item?

Unless the loaning library indicates otherwise, the loan period for books, audiobooks and CDs is four weeks. The loan period for DVDs and video cassettes is one week. You will be notified if the loaning library has placed any restrictions on the lending period.

May I renew the item?

Unfortunately we are unable to offer renewals on items obtained from other libraries through ILL.

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