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Home > Programs & Services > Interlibrary Loan FAQ

Interlibrary Loan FAQ

If an item you’re looking for is not listed in our online catalog and we are unable to offer an adequate substitution, we may be able to borrow the material from another library in the United States through a service called InterLibrary Loan (ILL). The Library uses the WorldCat database to make ILL requests.

Before submitting a request for an ILL, check our online catalog to make sure the item you want is not there. We will not request an item through ILL that already exists in our catalog.

View step-by-step instructions for placing an ILL request through WorldCat.

Place an ILL Request

Read the following information before placing an ILL request.


Who may use the ILL service?
Residents of the Library's service area with a Fresno County Public Library card. Your account must allow you to check out materials. You cannot have any outstanding fees or fines on your account.

What kinds of materials can be requested through ILL?

  • Books published more than 2 years ago
  • Newspapers on microfilm
  • Photocopies of specific pages from journals or newspapers
  • Photocopies of specific information from genealogy or other non-circulating items, including genealogical material
  • Music scores
  • Theses, dissertations, or government documents

What kinds of materials are not available through ILL?

  • Books published within the last 2 years
  • Audio/visual materials (videos, DVDs, CDs, books on CD, etc.)
  • Computer software
  • Items we already own, even if our copies are Reference or have holds

What happens if the Library can’t get the item I want?
If the Library is unable to borrow the item you requested, a message will be placed on your library account.

How long does it take?
Allow a minimum of three weeks. Some items may take longer. The library cannot guarantee a delivery date.

Are there any fees?
Fresno County Public Library does not charge a fee for this service. However, sometimes the lending library charges a lending fee. You can indicate how much you are willing to pay if there is a lending fee, on the request form. We are usually able to get most items at no cost. If there is a fee, it is due at the time you pick up the material.Overdue fees do apply. Interlibrary loans are considered "special materials." See fees and fines schedule.

Are there any limits?
You may place up to 5 ILL requests per month, and you must have less than 30 holds on your library account’s holds list because ILL requests are routed through your holds list. For example, if you place requests for two ILLs, the maximum number of holds you can have at the time would be 28 (28 holds + 2 ILLs = Max of 30 holds).

How am I notified?
You will be notified by email or phone, depending on the option in your library account. If you do not know which option you selected or would like to change the method of notification, contact your local branch and have your library card number ready.

Where should I pick up my ILL?
You can pick up your ILL at any branch of the Fresno County Public Library. Select the specific branch when you make your request. The item will be held at the check out desk. Items requested through ILL will arrive with a white wrapper on the front cover. Please do not remove the white wrapper.

Where should I return my ILL?
Return the ILL to any branch of the Fresno County Public Library.

How long can I keep my ILL?
The lending library determines the length of the loan period. No renewals are permitted. Some lending libraries may restrict use of their materials to within one of our branches. These items will need to be used at the library only.

How can I check the status of my request?
Once the lending library ships the item, it will appear in the holds list of your library account. You may contact our Interlibrary Loan Department, or set up a personal account in WorldCat (click “My Account”) to track your Interlibrary Loans yourself.

White Wrapper!
To ensure the correct handling of the material, do not remove the white wrapper.

Place an ILL Request

Contact Information for Interlibrary Loan Requests:
Phone: (559) 600-READ (7323)
Mailing Address:
Interlibrary Loan
Fresno County Public Library
2420 Mariposa St.
Fresno, CA 93721