Inter-Library Loan (ILL)

What is an Inter-Library Loan (ILL)?

“Inter-library loan is a process by which a library requests materials from, or supplies materials to, another library.” (Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, ALA, 2001).

Camden County Library District (CCLD) provides a free inter-library loan (ILL) service that allows patrons to obtain materials from other libraries that we (CCLD) don’t own but have a partnership with us.

Requesting Materials: 

To request an item to be borrowed through ILL, please:

First, check our CCLD Evergreen Catalog and make sure that the item you are interested in borrowing isn’t available from one of our branches.

Note: If you are trying to request new items (current year publications) that you cannot find in the CCLD Evergreen Catalog, please visit your local branch or call to speak with the branch manager about purchasing these items before trying to order them through ILL.

Second, check the Missouri Evergreen Catalog. We partner with Missouri Evergreen, a consortium of Missouri libraries where most items not found in our catalog can be obtained using a valid CCLD library card. The catalog is also found by clicking on “All Libraries” or choosing “Missouri Evergreen” in the Library: drop-down box on our catalog search bar.

Items not found through our catalog and the Missouri Evergreen catalog might be accessible from the Mid-America Library Alliance (MALA).

To request a book, audiobook, DVD, or other materials through MALA, please use WorldCat. This link is also available from the search screen of our catalog. 

States who lend through Inter-Library Loan (ILL)
Located in Independence, Missouri, the Mid-America Library Alliance (MALA) is an active consortium consisting of nearly 900 libraries or library systems in eight states. MALA was established in 1978 as the Kansas City Metropolitan Library & Information Network (KCMLIN) with a mission to “develop, coordinate, promote, and share information resources and facilitate professional development.”

Note: WorldCat is a worldwide database and therefore lists items that are not available to us through MALA. Items listed as owned by libraries in the above states may be available to borrow from. Borrowing items from MALA can take up to six weeks or longer. Items might not be available for the following reasons: item(s) checked out; the lending library’s policies; times you requested are not owned by a library we have a partnership with. Items not held by libraries from our partnerships would require a fee to borrow.

If you need help or have questions regarding requesting materials through ILL, please call or visit one of our branches. Our staff is always available to help locate and request items.

Other Information You Might Need:

What costs are associated with an inter-library loan request?

The Camden County Library District only sends requests to libraries that do not charge a fee. However, if a patron is willing to pay a borrowing fee, an attempt will be made to acquire the item(s). When filling out the request form, please fill out the box stating how much you would be willing to pay in borrowing fees. The lending library will always determine the cost, and any shipping costs our library incurs will be added.

What is NOT available through ILL?

As lending policies vary from one library to another, many libraries may not lend items. Some of these include:

  • audiovisual materials of any kind
  • local history or genealogy articles
  • reference materials
  • current year publications or bestsellers
  • materials from special collections

While every effort is made to locate the desired materials, finding a library that will lend the item(s) is NOT guaranteed.

Are patrons notified when their ILL requests are available for pickup?

Yes, patrons will receive a notification the same way they are notified about their regular holds via email or phone, depending on the patron’s preference.

Is the checkout period for ILL items the same as for CCLD materials (21 days)?

No, ILL materials generally have a two-week loan period. All materials are subject to a recall, and if the lending library requests an item to be returned before the assigned due date, the materials must be returned promptly. If this occurs, the materials may be requested again.

May the loan period of interlibrary loan materials be extended?

Yes, in most cases, the lending library will generously grant one (1) renewal on an item. But this is not guaranteed. To request a renewal of ILL items, please contact any CCLD staff member. Renewal requests should be made before the due date, if possible.

Where can I return my ILL items?

You can return your ILL items at any branch of CCLD. It is preferred that you return these items inside the building and not to an outside book drop.

Is there any charge if an ILL item is lost, not returned, or damaged?

Yes, lost material charges are determined by the lending library and will most likely incur a cost of more than $50.

What if an ILL request is no longer needed?

Patrons must contact CCLD staff to cancel the hold and have the items returned to the lending library.

Why do some ILL requests go unfulfilled?

In most cases, lenders cannot be found for an item because it is either on loan, non-circulating, on hold, or involves fees. If a request goes unfulfilled, the library branch stated on the request form will be contacted, who will, in turn, notify the patron. Patrons may resubmit their unfulfilled requests after a three (3) week waiting period.