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Interlibrary Loan (Collections Access, Loan and Management Division)
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ILL FAQs

 

Who can borrow materials from the Library of Congress?


Any domestic and international academic, public, and special library can borrow from us.  Our lending policies are governed by these two documents: National Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States (from ALA) and International Lending and Document Delivery (from IFLA).

 

How much does it cost for interlibrary loan?


Our services are free to libraries in the 50 states and Puerto Rico.  For international libraries, the fees are 3 full IFLA vouchers per book and 2 full IFLA vouchers per article.

 

How long does it take?


Due to the high volume of requests received at the Library of Congress each day from all over the world, a request may take up to a few weeks to process.  If your request has been in the system for some time, please email us at ILL@loc.gov (if domestic library) or IFLALoan@loc.gov (if international) to obtain your request status.  Alternatively, you can call 202-707-5444 to talk to us.

 

How do I submit my request?


There are two ways to submit an interlibrary loan request to us:

1) Via OCLC at http://www.oclc.org/resourcesharing/default.htm.  This route requires you to be a member of OCLC in order to send your request to us.

2) If you are not a member of OCLC, you may submit a request through our website.  You must register as a Lending Web borrower first by submitting the form found here: First Time Registration for ILL.  Your application will be reviewed, and an email response sent to you with a user ID and password, which you may use to submit an actual Interlibrary Loan borrowing request.

Before you submit your request, please check our OPAC to see if we own the item you want.  Our catalog is at: http://catalog.loc.gov

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us directly at 202-707-5444 or email us at ILL@loc.gov (domestic) or IFLALoan@loc.gov (international).

 

What can I borrow?


Most of our books and some microfilm collections can be borrowed for two months.  However, unless there is also a microfilm copy, many of our special collections do not circulate, including serials, rare, genealogy and local history, manuscript, and performing arts materials. 

 

How do I find out whether or not you have what I need?


The best way to find out what we have is to search our online catalog:  http://catalog.loc.gov 

If you still need assistance, please call us at 202-707-5444.

 

Do you have everything?


No, we do not.  After all, we have always been a library with collections policy guidelines, much like your own, just bigger.  While it is true that Copyright law requires deposit of two copies of everything copyrighted in the United States, all these items are not necessarily added to the Library of Congress’ collections. However, the Library of Congress does have more than 144 million items, which include more than 33 million cataloged books and other print materials in 460 languages; more than 63 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings. We do have a lot.

 

Are there any renewals?


Unfortunately, our policy does not allow renewals.  Our materials can be borrowed for two months and must be returned when they are due.  If you wish to discuss the due date, or other circulation policies, please call an Account Representative at 202-707-5441, or send an email to LoanCirc@loc.gov.  

 

May I submit RUSH requests?


Due to the high volume of requests, and our obligation to serve all U.S. taxpayers equally, we cannot accept rush requests.

Do you have a waiting list?

Unfortunately, we do not.  While we lend our materials worldwide, the Library of Congress is only a lending library and our office is not set up to function as a full circulation operation.  Thus, we lack the resources needed to maintain a waiting list or a reserves shelf. 

Do I have an account with the Library of Congress?


For all account questions and/or issues, please contact an Account Representative at 202-707-5441, or send an email to LoanCirc@loc.gov

 

How do I contact you?


For interlibrary loan request-related reference inquiries, please contact us at 202-707-5444 or email us at ILL@loc.gov (domestic), or IFLALoan@loc.gov (international). 

For circulation issues, please contact an Account Representative at 202-707-5441, or send an email to LoanCirc@loc.gov

 

 

 

 

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  June 23, 2014
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