The title of this post is a little bit of an exaggeration, but it’s also kind of true. You may not have the time, let alone the intellectual capability to read every book (oh, don’t act offended: you know it’s true). But in theory, your library card gives you access to just about every book that exists, and the magical key is only three little letters long: ILL.
ILL stands for Interlibrary Loan, and it simply means your library can borrow items from other libraries for you, usually at no charge. I hate to admit it, but sometimes the local library doesn’t have a book or journal article you need, or an album you would like to hear, or a movie you would really love to see. Maybe you don’t want to buy it. Or maybe you can’t buy it, because it’s out of print or very rare. No PROBLEM-O!
When I’m helping customers look for items that aren’t in CLP’s collection, I first check WorldCat.org, which is a comprehensive catalog of more than 1.2 billion items in more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. I verify the title and then check to see what libraries own it. Sometimes, customers are happy to see, a nearby library has the exact item they are looking for.
To place an ILL request, go to our homepage and then select Using the Library, and then choose Interlibrary Loan (ILL). To create your account, select First Time Users, which explains how your ILL account works. Enter your library card and contact information, and then you are free to order your items, all by yourself. You can even check the status of your items later by signing in on the Interlibrary Loan Logon page. But of course we are always happy to help if you feel confused.