Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
Interlibrary loan is a way for you to borrow items not owned in our library system from another library outside of Waukesha County. Interlibrary loan items can come from libraries in Wisconsin or from other libraries across the United States. There is, however, no requirement that libraries participate. It is the decision of the owning library whether or not they will lend their materials.
Placing an Interlibrary loan request is different than placing a hold. If you see an item that you’d like to borrow in our shared CAFÉ catalog, you may place a hold on the item and have it sent to the library of your choice. This is not considered to be an interlibrary loan.
Any adult with a CAFÉ library card in good standing is a candidate for ILL.
How do you know if the item you want is available to be requested through ILL? The Wisconsin State Catalog (WISCAT) contains the holdings of most of the libraries in Wisconsin. WISCAT can be searched from any computer or mobile device with Internet access at www.wiscat.net. Most items that appear in WISCAT are eligible for ILL. If you have any questions, or would like assistance with your search, our reference staff will be happy to assist you.
Ill requests are accepted at the Reference Desk, both in person and on the phone, and through our Ask a Librarian email service. There is a limit of five interlibrary loan requests per library card in the system at one time. We are not able to request audiovisual items (DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, etc.) from out-of-state libraries. We also do not request items that have been in publication for less than six months due to popular demand at the owning libraries.
- Books may be requested.
- CDs & DVDs may be requested from Wisconsin libraries.
- Genealogical Materials do not circulate. It may be possible to obtain a photocopy of a page, chapter, photo, table of contents, or the index. Please be as specific as possible when you make your request. The number of pages that can be copied varies by library.
- Magazine & Journal Articles can often be obtained. You must provide specific title, issue and page number information. Full issues of magazines/journals are not available through ILL.
- Newspapers on Microfilm can often be requested for use in the library. Out-of-state microfilm is not always available. Physical copies of newspapers are not available through ILL.
- Older formats such as audiocassettes, videocassettes, CD-ROMs and record albums can be requested, but they are often difficult to obtain due to limited availability in library collections.
There is no cost to you. There are overhead costs associated with interlibrary loan, but those are absorbed by the library. Waukesha Public Library does not borrow items from libraries that charge additional ILL fees. By law, public libraries cannot pass ILL fees along to customers; therefore, we cannot borrow items from libraries that charge a fee.
The length of time it takes to receive an ILL can vary greatly depending on the location of the item. On average, items arrive in 2-4 weeks, but the waiting time could be shorter or longer depending on the owning library’s response time and the amount of time needed for shipment.
Due dates for ILL items are set by the owning library, and we are obliged to honor those dates. A typical loan period averages one to three weeks. Photocopied and scanned items are generally yours to keep.
ILL materials cannot be renewed. If you find that you need an item longer than the owning library allows, you must return the item and re-request it at a later date.
There is a $1.00 per day late fee charged on overdue ILL items. It is important that you return your items on time. Interlibrary loan is a courtesy between libraries, which is made possible by every user's cooperation.