Q. What is InterLibrary Loan (ILL) and how does it work?
Aug 18, 2021     34198
What is Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a free service that allows cardholders to borrow books, articles, and microfilm not available at the San Francisco Public Library or via LINK+.  ILL is a cooperative effort among many libraries in North America. 
How do I submit an ILL request?
submit your request online: 
We cannot accept ILL requests if:
What is not available through ILL?
You cannot request items that are owned by the San Francisco Public Library, electronic resources (such as eBooks, A/V items such as DVDs or CDs, books published in the current calendar year, or books that are available via LINK+.
How many ILL requests can I make?
You may have a total of 10 (ten) ILL requests / items checked out.
How will I know when my item arrives?
Items may take 4-6 (four to six) weeks to arrive. You will be notified by email or postal mail. Please pick up your items as soon as possible, as they are checked out to you by staff as soon as we receive them. Do not remove the ILL label.
How do I renew ILL items?
Materials are eligible for renewal once, for an additional (2) two weeks, with the consent of the lending library. Items that are not renewable will note that on the ILL label. Renewal requests must be placed on or before the due date. Overdue items are not eligible for renewal. Renewal requests must be made to ILL staff at 415-557-4406. ILL staff will contact you after the lending library responds. 
How do I return ILL items?
Items may be returned to any San Francisco Public Library location during open hours only. Do not place items in the book drop or self-return. 
What is the cost?
San Francisco Public Library does not charge for ILL requests. However, some lenders may charge a fee, which we would pass on to you. You will always be notified of any fees before we request an item that requires fees be paid. If you lose or damage an ILL item, the fee may be as much as $200, depending on the owning library's policy; always contact ILL before paying for lost or damaged ILL items.
How do I contact the ILL department?
Call 415-557-4406.
Links & Files
ILL Book Request
ILL Article Request
ILL Microfilm / Microfiche Request
SFPL Catalog
What is LINK+ and how does it work?
¿Qué es el Préstamo interbibliotecario (Interlibrary Loan, ILL) y cómo funciona?
FAQ Actions
Contact Us
phone / email / text hours:
send email
call 415-557-4400
send text (sms) to 415-723-4414
eBook / eAudiobook help
suggest a title
My Library Account
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How do I renew an expired account?
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How many items may I borrow?
How many items may I hold / reserve?
How long may I keep items?
How do I renew items? Why can't I renew?
How do I replace or pay for lost / damaged items?
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