Interlibrary Loan Frequently Asked Questions

Starting May 10th the Interlibrary Loan Department will be transitioning to their permanent location, customers may experience longer than normal wait times.

Please be sure you have first checked our library catalog for the item you are seeking. Interlibrary Loan requests cannot be made for items that we have in our catalog.

Interlibrary Loan Policies

  • Items will be held for seven days at the Circulation Desk at the pickup location.
  • Items are checked out for three weeks with one possible renewal for a total of six weeks.
  • You must return items inside any branch. Do not use the book drop.
  • Damaged Items:  If a customer returns a damaged interlibrary loan item(s), their library card account will be assessed the full replacement cost of the item as determined by the lending facility.

  • $100.00 Lost Item Fee - the default price is $100.00. Please speak with ILL staff about lost items as we will need to discuss the matter. Many times the cost will be lower, however it may be higher.

  • Maximum Borrowing Charge is required on the request form- 95% of items received are free, however if the owning library charges us, we must pass that to you. You should fill in the maximum fee you are willing to pay the owning library.  The Maximum Borrowing Charge is in addition to and separate from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's Interlibrary Loan fee.

Difficult to Obtain Materials

  • Genealogical material
  • Material not published in the U.S.
  • Very old or rare books
  • Very expensive books
  • Reference material

Do Not Request Items Our Library Owns

  • Reference materials
  • North Carolina Room materials
  • High demand items with a waiting list

Due to Budgetary Constraints We Cannot Request

  • Audio books
  • Videotapes
  • DVD’s
  • Compact Discs

Use our suggest a purchase to request such materials to be considered for purchase by the Library.

When Your ILL Arrives

Items usually arrive within 2 to 6 weeks and you will be contacted by email, phone or U.S. mail according to the settings on your library card account. Items will be held for one week at the branch you designate.

What happens if we can’t get the item you want?

If you have provided an email address in your Interlibrary Loan account, you will be notified by email if we are unable to borrow the item you requested. You can also check the status via the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan software. Our Interlibrary Loan Service cannot guarantee the procurement of any item you request. We always have to rely on other libraries’ willingness to loan material.

Checking Out Your ILL Item

Visit your branch’s Circulation Desk to pick up your item. It will be held behind the desk. Please do not remove the label on the item’s cover. ILL items are checked out for three weeks.

Renewing Your ILL Item

Loan periods are three weeks with one possible renewal of an additional three weeks. Be aware that some lenders do not allow renewal.

Returning your ILL Item

Interlibrary loan items may be returned to any branch during operating hours. Please return ILL materials by the due date. When returning ILL material, please be sure the label is still attached, bring it inside the library and give it to a staff person instead of dropping it off in a return bin. If ILL items are returned in the book drop, your ILL privileges will be revoked. If an item is lost, the patron is expected to pay the lender's charges for replacement.

Miscellaneous Questions

What if I forget or lose my Library Card Number or PIN?

In the event that you forget your library card number or PIN, please contact the Interlibrary Loan office at (704) 416-0105. We can then reset your information allowing you access to interlibrary loan. If your library card is replaced, you will need to create a new Interlibrary Loan account  with your new library card number and ILL staff will merge the old and new accounts.

Who do I contact if I have problems with or questions about interlibrary loan?

System Problems or Interlibrary Loan Questions: Interlibrary Loan office 704-416-0105 or contact us.

Why does my browser say that you’re sending a cookie? What’s in it?

The technology that we use sends a Session ID to be stored on your machine. You can refuse this cookie and still be able to use Interlibrary Loan without any problems.

Contact Us

Phone: (704) 416-0105
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
310 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Send us an email

How to Request Interlibrary Loans

Making a Request

You must have a current library card with borrowing privileges to request an ILL. You cannot have fees over $10 on your library account. Please be aware it usually takes between 2 to 6 weeks for a requested item to arrive, and you can have no more than 5 active requests at a time. A request is considered active from the time it is submitted to the time it is returned to the lending library. We always strive to provide this service for free. 95% of the items we receive are loaned to us free of charge; however, some libraries will charge us without notification for filling a request. This happens rarely and we must pass these charges on to you. Please indicate the maximum cost you are willing to pay in the request form. The average charges range from $15-$25.

Request a Book

Please provide the book’s correct title and author, plus any other information you have such as ISBN, OCLC accession number, publication date or edition.

Request Microfilm(Currently unavailble)

Please provide the specific reel number and/or time period you need (for example: The New York Times; Jan-Mar 1920).

Request Journal Articles

Please provide the correct journal name & volume, pages numbers, article title & author.