Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan Policy

Interlibrary loan is the process by which a library requests materials from, or supplies materials to, another library. Through interlibrary loan, patrons can access materials from other libraries in Illinois and from other national and international OCLC participating libraries. The requested materials will be sent to the Melrose Park Library where the patron may check the item out (or use it in the library, as stipulated by the owning library).

The library affirms that interlibrary loan is an adjunct to, not a substitute for, the library's collection. The library will exhaust local resources first, including its own collection and those of libraries in RAILS, before requesting items from libraries out of the system. The Melrose Park Public Library endorses the Illinois State Library's ILLINET Interlibrary Loan Code.

Interlibrary Borrowing


This service is offered to all patrons holding a valid library card from any Illinois library or library system. Patrons' accounts must be in good standing to participate in interlibrary loan.


How To Submit a Request
Contact the Adult Services Department to initiate a request. Patrons may contact the Adult Services Department in person, by phone, by fax, or by e-mail ( The adult services staff will need as much information as possible about the item to be requested, along with the patron's name, phone number, and library card number.

What Can Be Borrowed

The library will request materials which are not available in RAILS. All formats may be requested (e.g., books, audiovisual materials, periodicals, government documents, microfilm, photocopies etc.). Generally, the library will not request an item that is available in the Metropolitan Library System unless it is unavailable for use (e.g. the item is non-requestable, non-circulating, in repair, or extremely overdue).

 There is a $3.00 charge to borrow materials from libraries not in SWAN. This fee is owed only if the library is able to obtain the item and is payable upon receipt. If the patron does not pick up items obtained from libraries outside of the SWAN libraries, a $3.00 fine will be charged to the patron's record.

Turnaround Time
Service will be provided as quickly as possible. The turnaround time varies depending upon the lending library and the status of the materials requested (e.g. on-order, checked out, etc.). Assuming the item is currently available, items requested within the state of Illinois generally take two to three weeks to arrive and items requested outside the state of Illinois generally take three to six weeks to arrive. Patrons will be notified by phone if the library is unable to obtain an item.

When material arrives, the requesting patron will receive an email if patron has email on file. The patron will have 7 days to pick up the material. For items obtained outside of RAILS. If the item is not picked up item will be sent back to the owning library. Patrons who do not pick up out-of-system interlibrary loan books will be assessed a fine.

Loan Period
The loan period and renewal options are determined by the owning library. Photocopies may be kept by the requestor. The library will strictly observe any conditions for use of loaned materials that are imposed by the owning library (e.g., short loan period, in library use only, no renewals). The interlibrary loan of an item will be limited to one request per patron for the same title every three months with as many renewal requests as the owning library allows.

Patron Responsibility
The patron is responsible for picking up the requested item. A failure to do so will result in a borrowing fee being charged to their record (for items obtained outside of RAILS). It is also the responsibility of the patron to return the item in a timely fashion. If an item is lost or damaged, the patron is responsible for all overdue fines, the cost of the item, and any processing fees charged by the owing library. When materials are lost or are returned late, the borrowing privileges of both the patron and the Melrose Park Library are jeopardized. Patrons who consistently abuse interlibrary loan borrowing privileges will find their interlibrary loan borrowing privileges suspended.

To renew an item obtained from outside the system, please contact the Adult Services Department at least three weekdays prior to the due date. The Interlibrary Loan staff will attempt to renew the item and notify the patron if the item may or may not be renewed. Renewals are at the sole discretion of the owning library and cannot be guaranteed.


Interlibrary Lending



The Melrose Park Library will loan materials to all libraries. If you are a patron of a SWAN library, you may request items from our collection through the SWAN catalog. All other individuals wishing to borrow an item from our collection must initiate their request through a library.


How To Submit a Request Illinois libraries may submit requests by mail (ALA form or equivalent required), fax, OCLC, or phone (confirming fax required). Libraries outside of Illinois may submit requests by fax (ALA form) or OCLC to the Metropolitan Library System. Please refer to the end of this document for mailing addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and OCLC library symbols. Items requested by Illinois libraries will be sent via ILDS.

What Can Be Borrowed
The library endeavors to make available the broadest range of materials for interlibrary loan, with the following exceptions: reference materials and newspapers. The library also reserves the right to refuse to lend materials or to ask a borrowing library to restrict use of materials lent.

Loan Period
Items will be checked out for four weeks. This allows for two weeks transit time and for a two week check out to your patron. If an item is not on reserve for another patron, the item may be renewed. There is a limit of two renewals.

The Melrose Park Library does not charge for lending materials for Illinois libraries and LVIS libraries.

Lost Interlibrary Loan Materials
The Melrose Park Library will assess a fee on a lost item equal to the replacement cost of the item, plus a $5.00 processing fee. The borrowing library is responsible for the payment of this fee.

Up to 25 pages will be provided, within copyright limits. There are no charges for photocopies. Materials will be photocopied from either hard copy or microfilm.


Contact Information


Melrose Park Library
Interlibrary Loan Department

801 N Broadway
Melrose Park, IL 60160
Phone: 708.343.3391 ext. 7485
Fax: 708.531.5327
OCLC symbol: CJO