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Welcome back to Interlibrary Loan Service!

Sunday July 26th, 2020

The Library is again able to provide you with  Interlibrary and District lending services. These services broaden your ability to borrow an item you want even when it is not in The Library’s collection.  

What is interlending, or interlibrary loan (ILL)?   

Since libraries can’t own every title published, ILL allows libraries throughout a network of organizations to borrow from each other. 

The Library offers two types of interlending services—District lending and ILL.  District lending incorporates 12 public libraries throughout Cumberland and Perry Counties, as well as the two independent libraries of Hershey and Middletown.  If a title is not accessible through the District, the search is expanded to ILL.  It’s not uncommon to find titles for members from another library a couple of miles away, or a library in another state. 

How to request a title?   

First, you need a library card.  Don’t have one?  No problem.  Stop by one of our convenient locations to get your card* today. Next, check our catalog to see if we own the title.  If we don’t, go to our Interlibrary loan webpage to fill in a request form, and we will search for a library that owns the title and see if we can get it for you.  

*An online library card will not work for an ILL request. Members with an online card should stop by your local library to upgrade to a full-service card to access ILL requests. 

Things to know about ILL and the materials you receive through District lending or ILL:  

  • Due dates to return the items are determined by the owning library and not the Dauphin County Library System 

  • If an ILL or District item is lost or damaged, replacement costs are set by the owning library. 

  • Items published in the last 6 months are too new to be loaned. 

  • It may take several weeks for your title to arrive. 

  • Many libraries throughout the country are not yet fully operational and some may not be lending items through ILL.  Finding libraries able to fulfill requests takes longer due to the pandemic. And though all District libraries are currently lending, we are getting a high volume of requests.  For the time being, so everyone can have their orders fulfilled, the number of items we distribute will be up to 10 items per month from District libraries and three items per month via ILL request.     

We are thrilled District and ILL lending are back! We are always looking for your suggestions. Please tell us what you think and help us by recommending additions to our collections. 

The above piece represents the views of the author and is meant to inspire dialogue and increase understanding and a sense of community. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of The Library. Members are welcome to comment below or contact us privately by using our online contact form >