Interlibrary Loans: Services & Document Delivery
For NYPL Cardholders
Interlibrary Services provides access to materials held at libraries outside the NYPL system. For more detailed information, see Frequently Asked Questions.
If you have a current library card, you may submit and manage your Interlibrary Loan requests online: either log on here, or register as a new user (the system will be undergoing maintenance in the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 16th. 2023).
For Other Libraries/Organizations
Requesting Materials from NYPL: Interlibrary requests can be submitted through OCLC. For libraries and other organizations without access to OCLC, please submit your requests for copies using our online ILLiad order form by logging on to your account above. If you are a first-time user, please see our fee schedule, and then register as a new user to enter your order through the online form. Non-OCLC libraries seeking to borrow materials should send an email to email@example.com.
For Independent Researchers
You may order copies of materials from the Library's collections for research or personal use. If you are a first-time user, please see our fee schedule for information about fees and turnaround times, and then register as a new user to enter your order via our online form. Returning users may log on to your account above.
- Who may use Interlibrary Services? >
- What can I request through Interlibrary Services? >
- What cannot be borrowed through Interlibrary Services? >
- Why can't I request a book or a recording published/released for less than one year? >
- There are too many holds for the item I want to borrow. Can I request it here and get it more quickly? >
- There is a copy of the book I want in the research collection, but I need to take it home. Can I request a copy through Interlibrary Services? >
- Is there a charge for Interlibrary Services? >
- How do I place a request? >
- How many items may I request? >
- How long does the process take? >
- How can I cancel a request? >
- How can I find the status of a request I placed? >
- What is the meaning of the status message in my ILLiad account? >
- Where will the items I request be delivered? >
- How will I know when to pick up my item? >
- A book I requested has arrived. Will you scan the entire book and send it to my email address? >
- How long can I use materials received through Interlibrary Services? >
- Can I renew my Interlibrary Services materials? >
- Where can I return my Interlibrary Services item(s)? >
- I returned the item I borrowed. Why does the status in my account still say In Transit? >
- I know that the item I requested is held at another library. Why could you not get it?
- Can I speak to someone for further assistance? >
- How can other libraries submit a request to borrow an item owned by NYPL? >
- How can other libraries request a scan/copy of an article or material owned by NYPL? >
- Is there a charge for libraries to borrow an item or order a copy from NYPL? >
Who may use Interlibrary Services?
Interlibrary Services are available to most New York Public Library cardholders. If you have a temporary Library card, you must acquire a permanent card before placing a request.
What can I request through Interlibrary Services?
- Books, recordings, microfilm not owned by NYPL
- Books which are only available at NYPL as non-circulating research copies
- Copies of articles or portions of books
What cannot be borrowed through Interlibrary Services?
- Items for which there is a circulating copy in our collection
- Scans of entire items protected by copyright
- Scanning of more than 50 pages from a single item
- Nonprint materials (DVD's, CD's) released within the 12-month period before the date of your request
- Books published within the 12-month period before the date of your request
Why can't I request a book or a recording published/released for less than one year?
Libraries generally prefer to keep new materials for use by their own patrons rather than sending them through interlibrary loan for use by patrons at another library. Most libraries will not lend an item which is less than one year old through interlibrary loan.
There are many holds for the item I want to borrow. Can I request it through Interlibrary Services and get it quicker?
No. We cannot accept an interlibrary loan request for an item if the Library owns a circulating copy of the item.
The Library has only one copy of the book which I want to read in the research collection, but I would like a copy to check out and take home. Can I request a copy through Interlibrary Services?
Yes. We will attempt to borrow a circulating copy for you from another library, if the Library owns only a non-circulating research copy of an item.
Is there a charge for Interlibrary Services?
Interlibrary Services are free for cardholders.
You may place your request through ILLiad, our online ordering system, accessible via the login box at the top of this page. Paper request forms are available and can be submitted at any library location.
You may have up to 15 requests in process at one time. A request is considered in process from the time it is entered into ILLiad until a requested item has been returned to the lending library or a scanned item has been delivered.
How long does the process take?
A requested item should arrive in two to three weeks, depending upon how widely available it is and the location of the library sending it. Scans/photocopies may arrive more quickly. If you need an item more quickly, you may request a METRO pass which will allow you a one-time entrance into a New York area library which holds the item.
Log on to your ILLiad account. From your list of outstanding requests, click on the transaction number of the request you wish to cancel. When the request opens click on Cancel Request at the top.
How can I find the status of a request I placed?
Log on to your ILLiad account where you will see a list of your outstanding requests with the current status. If you are still uncertain, please call or email us. Please do not assume that a request is no longer in process and place a second request for the same item.
What is the meaning of the Status message in my ILLiad account?
- Awaiting User Verification: If you are newly registered in ILLiad, we must verify that the information in your ILLiad account matches the information in your NYPL patron account. This process should require no more than 24 hours. If the information does not match, we will ask that you update your patron account before we go forward with your request(s).
- Awaiting Request Processing: Your request has been received and sent to potential lending libraries.
- Temp Direct Request: Your request is under an initial review by staff. This is a temporary status which is generally resolved within 24 hours
- Request Sent: Your request has been sent to one or more potential lending libraries, and we are waiting for a response.
- In Transit: The requested item has been received in the Interlibrary Services office and sent to the pickup location you selected. The item will remain in this status until it is received back in the Interlibrary Services office.
- Awaiting Unfilled Processing: We have sent your request out to one or more libraries, and it has returned unfilled. Your request will be reviewed by staff to determine if it can be sent out a second time to additional potential lending libraries.
Where will the items I request be delivered?
You may choose any Library location to pick up your Interlibrary Services materials. However, some lending libraries occasionally restrict materials to in-library-use only. Those materials can only be used in one of the research libraries. Scans can be delivered to your email address. Photocopies can be mailed to you or picked up at the location you choose.
How will I know when to pick up my item?
When the item has been received at the pickup location you selected, you will be notified by whatever method you have selected in your account for notification for pickup.
A book I requested has arrived. Will you scan the entire book and send it to my email address?
No. We do not scan materials owned by other libraries. Additionally, there could be a risk of copyright violation by scanning and delivering an entire book.
How long can I use materials received through Interlibrary Services?
The loan period is three weeks.
Can I renew my Interlibrary Loan items?
You may request a renewal by contacting the Interlibrary Loan Services office by phone at 212-592-7200 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org at least five (5) days before the item’s due date. Interlibrary Loan staff must first request a renewal from the lending library. We will notify you of the new due date if the renewal is allowed. The lending library determines this due date. The new due date may be shorter or longer than the three-week lending period.
Interlibrary Loan materials cannot be renewed like NYPL materials by the library staff at your pickup location for you. The Interlibrary Loan Staff must be contacted for all renewals of these materials.
Where can I return my Interlibrary Services item(s)?
You can return your Interlibrary Services item(s) to any NYPL location service desk. Items CANNOT be returned in a dropbox. Only return items to a staff member at a circulation desk.
I returned the item I borrowed. Why does the status in my ILLiad account still say In Transit?
When you return an item, the status will immediately change in your NYPL patron account. However, the status in your ILLiad account will remain In Transit until the item is received back in the Interlibrary Services office, usually a few days later.
I know that the item I requested is held at another library. Why could you not get it through interlibrary loan?
Many libraries will not lend certain types of materials such as CDs and DVDs. An item may be part of a special collection or other non-circulating collection that is not allowed to leave the library.
Can I speak to someone for further assistance?
For assistance from Library staff, you may bring all citation details with you to an information desk at any Library location. For questions about Interlibrary Services policies or concerning an active interlibrary request, please contact the Interlibrary Services staff at 212-930-0878 or email@example.com.
How can I submit a request to borrow an item owned by NYPL?
Borrowing requests from libraries can be submitted through OCLC. For libraries unable to submit requests through OCLC, you may send your request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals must initiate a borrowing request through the interlibrary loan service at your local library. Be aware that the lending of materials held in the Library’s research collections is restricted.
How can I request a scan/copy of an article or other material owned by NYPL?
Libraries can request scans/copies through OCLC. Libraries which do not use OCLC as well as other organizations and individuals can submit requests by registering in ILLiad and submitting our online order form. Document Delivery requests will also be accepted by telephone (212-592-7200), email (email@example.com) or fax (212-391-2502) for an added $5 charge.
Is there a charge for borrowing an item or ordering a copy from the NYPL collection?
Yes. The charge for borrowing is $25. Libraries submitting borrowing requests through OCLC must enter at least $25 in the Max Cost field to avoid deflection of the request. See our Document Delivery fee schedule for charges for scans/copies.