Interlibrary Loan FAQ

Below are common questions that many library patrons ask in regard to interlibrary loan.

What is interlibrary loan?

Like all libraries, the Greenfield Library owns only a portion of all materials published. Interlibrary loan is the process in which the Greenfield Library borrows materials that are not part of our collection, from academic, public, and private libraries around the world.

Who can make interlibrary loan requests?

The interlibrary loan service is available to St. John’s faculty, students, and staff.

When should one place an interlibrary loan request?

Patrons should make interlibrary loan requests for items that are not part of the Greenfield Library’s collection. Before making requests, always check the library’s online catalog to make sure that the library does not have the item you are searching for. (Please do not submit an interlibrary loan request for a book that is checked out from our collection. We can have the book recalled for you.)

How can I place an interlibrary loan request?

Requests can be submitted via our online Interlibrary Loan Portal.

How long does it take to receive requests?

Requests usually take one to two weeks to arrive. Sometimes there are delays in processing that cannot be helped. Patrons will be notified if such delays occur.

How much does interlibrary loan cost?

Borrowing from most Maryland libraries is free. However, borrowing and lending policies vary with each library. Fees are typically charged for unusually expensive books, hard to find books, and scans of articles from rarer journals. When filling out an interlibrary loan request form, it is always important to fill out the section asking whether you are willing to pay a fee to receive a particular request. Although some libraries do charge fees to fill interlibrary loan requests, the Greenfield Library makes every attempt to reduce costs and to borrow from libraries that do not charge fees. Patrons do not have to be willing to pay a fee in order to place interlibrary loan requests and will be notified if a fee is necessary to fill interlibrary loan requests.

Where do I pick up requests?

Notifications will be sent to patrons via email when requested materials arrive. Patrons can pick up requests at the Greenfield Library’s circulation desk. A download link and password will be emailed to patrons for article requests. Patrons have 30 days in order to download pdfs of requested articles. After 30 days the download link will expire.

What is the loan period?

Please refer to the slip attached to the front cover of the borrowed item for the item’s due date and renewal policy. Photocopied articles are yours to keep.

Can items be renewed?

Renewal policies for each library varies. Therefore we cannot guarantee that items can be renewed. However, we will try our best to renew interlibrary loan items. We ask that patrons make renewal requests three days prior to the item’s due date. Renewal requests can be made via the Interlibrary Loan Portal.

Where do I return interlibrary loan requests?

Items must be returned with their attached interlibrary loan slips to the circulation desk.

Are there charges for overdue interlibrary loan books?

Overdue and lost policies for interlibrary loan materials vary from library to library. If overdue charges are incurred, patrons will be notified. Patrons are responsible for any overdue or lost charges that lending libraries may charge.

In order for our library to maintain a good relationship with other lending institutions, the Greenfield Library asks that patrons return interlibrary loan materials in a timely fashion.