Lexington Public Library

Interlibrary Loan Frequently Asked Questions

The Lexington Public Library offers an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service which allows cardholders in good standing to borrow books and magazine articles we do not own and cannot purchase. The Lexington Public Library also lends our books to libraries both inside and outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Interlibrary Loan allows both public and academic libraries to share their circulating collections. The Lexington Public Library has access to over 4,000 participating libraries from which to borrow books. Many of these participating libraries borrow books from us as well.

Lending libraries provide material to us as a courtesy and we are required to follow the rules they establish pertaining to loan period, renewal policy, and any other conditions they choose to impose. Customers who do not return their ILL books on time may have their ILL privileges suspended.

If you have questions about Interlibrary Loan:

The Interlibrary Loan department voicemail number is 859-231-5527.

Our email address is ill@lexpublib.org.

How do I sign in to my ILL account?

Enter your library card number and PIN on the ILL sign-in page.

What kind of items cannot be borrowed?

Newly published books (within twelve months of publication date), items that are in the Lexington Public Library’s circulating collection, e-books, entire issues of magazines, DVDs, audiobooks, or other audio/visual material.

Requests for classroom textbooks will not be processed.

Items outside the United States cannot be borrowed.

What about reference and genealogical materials?

Although we can request such materials, libraries are often unwilling to lend them. The Lexington Public Library does not lend its own reference books or materials kept in the Kentucky Room. However, sometimes photocopies of specified pages can be obtained. There is a Notes field in the request form if you are looking for specific information that can be copied (fees may apply). Census images are available through Ancestry Library Edition for our cardholders.

There is a book the library owns but it cannot be checked out, or all the copies are lost. Can I request the book through Interlibrary Loan?

Non-circulating items can be requested through ILL, but lending libraries will usually not lend their own reference materials.

Please use Suggest-A-Purchase for lost LPL titles.

How much does it cost?

We make every attempt to obtain items for free, but some libraries do charge fees, anywhere from $5.00-$25.00. Please input the maximum amount you are willing to pay in the request form (this is a required field). This is your authorization for us to act as your agent in borrowing what you need from the lending library.

How long will it take to receive my item?

It varies. Some items arrive within a week; others may take several weeks. You will be notified by letter or e-mail when the request arrives. If you do not pick up the item, you are still responsible for any charges to which you previously agreed in order to obtain the item. We will notify you if we are not able to obtain the item.

Where do I pick up my item?

You will specify your pickup location in the request form. All Interlibrary Loan items may be picked up at the Circulation Desk during business hours. The exception is microfilm, which must be used in the Central Library’s Kentucky Room. Items designated “In Library Use Only” must be used on library premises only then returned to the Circulation desk (Kentucky Room at Central) after each use.

Please do not remove any labels and/or paperwork included with the item.

How long will I have to pick up the item?

We will hold items for 7 days from the date or your notification.

How long may I keep the item?

The lending library determines the due date, usually two to three weeks. Please note that ILL items do NOT check out for the same amount of time as those from our own collection. The due date will be noted on the label or book-strap attached to the book. Customers who do not return their ILL books on time may have their ILL privileges suspended.

Can I renew my Interlibrary Loan item?

Renewal requests can be submitted through your ILL account. Most lending libraries will allow at least one renewal, but they determine whether an item can be renewed, and if so, for how long. While the renewal request is pending, you may keep the item. If the item is past due, you must contact us directly at 231-5527 or ill@lexpublib.org and you will be responsible for any fines accrued. You will be contacted when a renewal decision is made.