InterLibrary Loan: Overview

InterLibrary Loan - Frequently Asked Questions

Interlibrary Loan - Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary Loan is a cooperative service among libraries for obtaining materials not available in local library systems. Items requested are located, ordered, and, if available for loan, shipped by mail or other delivery services to your local library.

Before requesting any material through Interlibrary Loan, check the Public Library catalog to make sure that the material is not owned by any of our 18 libraries . We are only able to request items through interlibrary loan that the library system does not own, even if our copy is for reference only. If all copies of an item are in “Billed” (long overdue) status, we will process the request.


2. Who is eligible for Interlibrary Loan services? 
ILL service is available to New Mexico residents with full accounts in good standing.

The borrower must have library card from the Public Library. The card must be current, the account must be in good standing, and the request must be placed by the cardholder. If your library account has any of the following problems, your request will be not be processed until all problems are resolved:

  • your card has expired
  • money is owed for overdue or lost materials
  • your library account address does not match your Interlibrary Loan request address.


3. How do I request material through Interlibrary Loan?
Submit a signed Interlibrary Loan application form in person at any branch of the the Public Library Albuquerque/Bernalillo County.


4. Are there additional costs?
Some libraries charge for loans and photocopies, however, the library staff follows your instructions for maximum costs from your interlibrary loan request form, including “Free” or “No charge.” We make every effort to obtain materials at no cost. If payment is required and you have authorized it, you must pay by check or money order only made payable to the lending institution when you pick up the item. Please write the Interlibrary Loan number on the check or money order to insure proper credit.  Overdue items will be charged a $1 late fee for every day past the due date (up to a maximum of $25).


5. What is generally not available through Interlibrary Loan?
Current best sellers and recently published books.
Items in Special Collections.
Genealogical materials. Libraries will often photocopy indexes or family names.
Compact discs, DVDs, videos, audio books – limited availability (many libraries will not lend).
Reference books.
Complete issues of periodicals or newspapers. Libraries will usually photocopy articles (within the copyright law) or lend microforms.


6. How many requests may I submit at a time? 
You may currently have a maximum of 4 (four) request outstanding at any one time. This includes any combination of pending or filled requests.  


7. How long can I keep an item?  Can it be renewed?
The loan period for requested items depends upon the length of time allowed by the lending library, which can vary from less than a week to a month or more. The due date will be visible on your account just like all other items borrowed from our library. Interlibrary loan materials may not be renewed. Please return materials on time. Privileges will be suspended if materials are not returned on time and in good condition. Overdue items will be charged a $1 late fee for every day past the due date (up to a maximum of $25).


8. How long will I have to wait for an item?
The normal process of an ILL request is approximately two to four weeks. If we cannot obtain a requested item, you will receive a cancellation notice by mail or e-mail stating why we could not get it for you.


9. What if I lose or damage a book?
Notify the library where you picked up the item immediately. The lending library will request that you pay for the damage or loss and may charge a processing fee. Note that your borrowing privileges will be suspended until all fees are paid


10. Where do I return interlibrary loan materials?
Return them to the library where you picked up the item with the ILL label attached. Please do not place Interlibrary Loan materials in the book drop.



Call Interlibrary Loan Services at 505-768-5141, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

InterLibrary Loan Forms