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Frequently Asked Questions

What is interlibrary loan?
Who can borrow items through interlibrary loan?
What kinds of items can I order?
How do I place a request?
Is there a limit on the number of requests?
How long will it take to get my item?
How long can I keep my item?
Can I renew my item?
Is there a charge for using the interlibrary loan service?
Can you fill every request?
Why does my item have a label on it?
How can I reach the interlibrary loan department?
What are my obligations in using the interlibrary loan service?

 


What is interlibrary loan?
Interlibrary loan is a service provided by Charleston County Public Library to enable patrons to use items that are not owned by the library. Libraries throughout the state and the country are contacted to see if any of them are willing to lend a particular item.

Who can borrow through interlibrary loan?
Any patron of Charleston County Public Library who does not have library fines in excess of $10 may request items through ILL. Patrons who live outside of Charleston County must have paid the out-of-county fee for the current year. Requests may be placed and items may be picked up at any branch.

What kinds of items can I order?
The easiest items to obtain are books and photocopies from journals. Very few libraries lend certain formats, such as rare books, current-year publications, videos, audio books, CDs, DVDs, genealogical materials, microfilm and reference books.

Any item already owned or ordered by the Charleston County Public Library may not be obtained through interlibrary loan, even if the item cannot be checked out. Exceptions will be made for damaged, missing, or lost items.

For items that have been published or released within the last twelve months, please submit a suggestion for purchase via Ask-A-Question.

If you are looking for a music CD, you may be interested in our Freegal Music collection, which offers downloadable songs for those with an mp3 player and/or Internet computer access for playing music.

How do I place a request?
Charleston County Public Library is pleased to offer ILLiad, the Inter Library Loan Internet Accessible Database, starting March 1, 2012. ILLiad enables patrons to take control of their interlibrary loan requests by creating an online account, then entering requests via that account. Patrons will be able to track the status of their requests by logging into ILLiad at any time.

For a step by step guide to creating an account and placing a request, click here (PDF file with screenshots).

To go to CCPL's ILLiad site, click here.

The more information we have about an item, the easier it is for us to locate it and place an order.

Is there a limit on the number of requests?
A patron may not have more than four active requests at one time. This includes both items in use by the patron and items for which the ILL department is searching.

How long will it take to get my item?
The length of time it takes to get materials depends upon several factors - how many libraries own the material requested, where the libraries are located, and the delivery time of the US Postal Service. Requests may take as little as one week, or as many as six weeks to arrive.

How long can I keep my item?
The loan period and any restrictions on using the item are determined by the lending library. In most cases, the book may be retained for at least two weeks. Some materials may have shorter loan periods, and other materials may be restricted to use in the Charleston County Public Library.

Can I renew my item?
You may request one renewal for each item you borrow, unless the lending library has already stipulated that no renewals will be granted. The lending library has the right to refuse any request for a renewal. Please make your request to the Interlibrary Loan Department at least two days before the due date. This allows our staff sufficient time to contact the lending library for permission to renew.

Is there a charge for using the interlibrary loan service?
Effective April 1, 2009, Charleston County Public Library will charge a $2.00 fee for every interlibrary loan item received. This includes requests for photocopies, as well as items that must be returned to the lending library.

The lending library may set additional loan conditions and fees. All additional costs are passed on to the patron. Patrons will be advised of any additional charges before requests are placed with lenders.

Charges will be assessed for overdue, lost and damaged materials. Items returned after the due date will be charged $.25 per day overdue, to a maximum of $15.00. Items lost or damaged will be charged to the patron at a fee assessed by the lending library. If this fee is less than $15.00, patrons will be charged the $15.00 maximum overdue fine plus the charges assessed by the lender.

Can you fill every request?
Due to the rarity or extreme popularity of some items and formats, some requests may not be filled. A maximum of ten libraries will be contacted (it may be fewer if fewer libraries own the item). If none of those libraries will lend the item, the patron will be notified.

Why does my item have a label on it?
The label identifies the item as an interlibrary loan item. It provides the patron with information about the ILL department and the due date of the item, as well as any restrictions placed by the lending library. Removing this label causes the item to go to a different department, and patrons may be charged for items that do not arrive in the ILL department. PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THE LABEL FROM INTERLIBRARY LOAN ITEMS.

How can I reach the Interlibrary Loan Department?
By phone: 805-6940 (voicemail is available)
By e-mail:
ill@ccpl.org

What are my obligations in using the interlibrary loan service?
Borrowing materials from another institution is a privilege. Patrons are expected to honor any use restrictions stipulated by the lending library, including the prompt return of items borrowed. Patrons are also expected to leave the yellow or pink book band on the items at all times. Repeated abuse of these privileges could result in their revocation.

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