Frequently Asked Questions

What is Interlibrary Loan?

The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department borrows materials from other libraries across the nation. This gives library customers access to books, movies and many other items which are not owned by TSCPL.

Who may request an Interlibrary Loan?

TSCPL customers with a library card in good standing are qualified to use this service. The library’s website has information about getting a library card.

What may be requested through Interlibrary Loan?

  • Books, including Large Print books and foreign language materials
  • Audio/visual materials such as DVDs, Blu-ray, music CDs, and audiobooks
  • Photocopies of articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers
  • Microfilm (newspapers, public records, etc)

What may not be requested through Interlibrary Loan?

  • Any material owned by TSCPL
  • Complete issues of a magazine or newspaper
  • Videogames like those for Playstation, Xbox or Wii
  • E-books

Does it cost anything to borrow through Interlibrary Loan?

TSCPL charges a $1 fee for each item we are able to borrow for you through Interlibrary Loan. If we are not able to borrow the item there will be no charge.

In most cases there is no additional cost to borrow Interlibrary Loan materials. A few libraries do charge a lending fee which the customer must agree to pay before we can borrow the item. Please indicate on your request the maximum amount you are willing to pay in case the only possibility of borrowing the item is from a library who charges.

How do I request an Interlibrary Loan?

Request Online
Use FirstSearch to find the item you would like to request and click on the title. Click the red ILL button and log in using your library card and PIN.

Request at the Library
Come in to TSCPL and make a request at a service desk or at a bookmobile.

Is there a limit to how many requests I may place?

There is a limit of 10 “active” requests per customer. A request is active from the time it is submitted until the item is marked returned by ILL staff or if it is cancelled.

How long does it take to get materials?

On average it takes 7-10 business days to borrow an Interlibrary Loan item. The actual time can vary from several days to a month or longer, depending on a number of factors including the location of the lending library, shipping method, and processing required. Popular or rare items can take significantly longer to borrow as they may not be checked in at the libraries who own them.

What if I need the material before a certain date?

Generally, ILL staff will continue asking other libraries for an item until we are able to borrow it or else a thorough search has eliminated all possible avenues. If there is a certain date after which you will not need the item, please be sure to let us know when placing the request. Customers are responsible for any borrowing fees once an item arrives in Topeka.

Where can I pick up my Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan materials are held at the TSCPL checkout desk or can be put on a bookmobile by request. Photocopies can be emailed, mailed to your postal address, or picked up at the library or bookmobile.

How will I be notified about this request?

Once your item is ready to be picked you will be notified by your choice of email, phone, or mail. You will be notified by email or mail if we were unable to borrow the item.

How long can I have to use this material?

Loan periods are determined by the lending library and can range from one week to six or more weeks.

Is it possible to renew Interlibrary Loan materials?

Renewals are granted by the lending library and some items are not renewable. All requests to renew material must be submitted before the due date and may be made online or at a service desk or bookmobile.

Are there overdue fees if I am late turning in my Interlibrary Loan materials?

Late fees of $1 per day apply to Interlibrary Loan materials returned after the due date, with a maximum of $10 before a customer’s account is blocked.

Where do I return the materials?

All materials must be returned to either the Main Checkout Desk at the Library or a bookmobile. Returning an item to a bookdrop or without the bookstrap on the cover may delay the checkin process.

Can I request an ILL item immediately after obtaining a library card?

Yes, you can make an ILL request the same day you obtain a library card at any service desk or bookmobile.

How can I update my contact information?

If your contact information has changed or is incorrect please let us know my email or phone.

What if I have a question not in this FAQ?

For additional information, please contact us.