Interlibrary Loan Request (ILL)

About Interlibrary Loan

An Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a request to libraries in North America for material not owned by the Santa Clara County Library District. This service is available to customers with currently active library cards. There is a $4.00 non-refundable processing fee for each ILL item requested. In addition, some lending libraries may charge additional fees. There is a mandatory $1.00 per day overdue fine for ILL materials. No exemptions will be made.  If an ILL item is not returned or returned damaged, the charge will be the cost of the item ($5 minimum) plus a $24 non-refundable processing fee.  An out-of-print surcharge of $20 may be added.  

Types of Materials

A wide range of materials are available through ILL. Some materials are more difficult to obtain because other libraries may not loan, including

  • reference items
  • original or rare materials
  • newspapers in original format (although these may be available on microfilm)
  • DVDs
  • videocassettes

Newer items (i.e., published within the last twelve months) are not available through ILL. However, you may recommend newer titles for purchase for the library's collection by submitting a Suggest a Purchase form online, or at your local library's reference desk.


The library has Two Methods for Accepting Interlibrary Loan requests:

  1. Submit an Interlibrary Loan Request at any reference desk during open hours at any of our libraries.
  2. Fill out a form online within the WorldCat catalog. To get to this form, first search WorldCat and find the item you would like to request. WorldCat searches books and other library materials worldwide. Note:  Make sure to use one of the WorldCat links here; they authorize you as a patron of SCCLD.

Locate the correct version of the item you want to request (i.e. title, author, format, etc.) In the item detail record under "Availability" select the link "Submit an ILL request for this item (Interlibrary Loan)" to access the online form.

You can also select the ILL icon in the gray menu bar just below the blue "Results" bar.

Fill out the online form. Required fields include:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Telephone
  • Patron barcode # (Must be a valid SCCLD Library Card matching the name of the requestor.)
  • Pick-up Location (Choose your pickup location from the dropdown menu.)

online form for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests

  • Maximum Cost (Indicate the maximum cost you would be willing to pay - in addition to the $4.00 base cost - if we cannot obtain the item for free.)
  • Comments (Please submit any comments that might be helpful to us in processing your request.)

If you are requesting a journal article use the "Comments" field to tell us as much as you can about the title, date, volume, issue number and page numbers of the article.

Once you fill in the required fields and click on "Submit" the form will be sent directly to the Santa Clara County Library District ILL department.

How Do I Check on the Status of My ILL?

Please allow 1-2 business days for your request to be in process online. Once in process, ILL items usually are received in 2-3 weeks depending on the lending institution and shipping time.

You may check on the status of your ILL request by logging into your library account and viewing your holds.  When you see your ILL request listed in your holds, then you know that your request has been received and is in process.

If we are able to get the ILL item you requested, we will notify you when it is ready for pick-up at the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) library you selected.  Please go to the Accounts Desk of your library to pick up the ILL item. If someone other than the cardholder will be picking up the ILL Item, they must have the library card and know the title of the ILL Item they are picking up.  Our Confidential Information Policy says Library staff may not give information about a patron's registration and circulation records to anyone other than the patron.  Library staff would not be able to check out an ILL item for someone other than the borrower, unless the person had both the requestor’s library card and knew the title of the ILL item.

Once the clerk checks the item out on the requestor’s library card, they will adjust the due date.  The lending library dictates the due date of the ILL item, so the check-out time allowed for your item may be shorter or longer than our normal loan periods.   

We require that ILL items be returned to the Accounts Desk of the SCCLD library where it was checked out, during regular business hours with all of the ILL paperwork attached.  Please do not return ILL items in the bookdrop.

Certain ILL items are for “Library Use Only”, which means you will be able to pick the ILL item up at the Accounts Desk at your SCCLD library and use the item in the library during regular business hours.  You must return the ILL item to the Accounts desk before leaving the library.  Let the clerk know if you are finished with the item or wish to return another day to use the item again.  You may come in as many times as you would like to use the ILL item until the due date which will show on your account as the Expire Date.

If we are not able to obtain the ILL item you requested, we will notify you.  As mentioned above, the $4 ILL Request Fee is non-refundable, even if we are not able to obtain the ILL item requested. 


If you have additional questions or need help, please contact Santa Clara County Library District's Interlibrary Loan Department at 408.293.2326 x3013 or