Interlibrary Loan Request (ILL)

About Interlibrary Loan

Do you have questions that are not answered below?
Please contact us at or 408-293-2326 ext. 3013

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 $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 certain collections or formats, such as:
  • reference items
  • original or rare materials
  • newspapers in original format (although these may be available on microfilm)
  • DVDs
  • CDs
Newer items (i.e., published within the last twelve months) are normally 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 three 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 the online ILL request form on a library computer. Start by searching for your item here.
    Once you have located the correct version of the item you want (i.e. title, author, format, etc.) click on the "Request Item" button.
    For example:

Request Item button

You will then be taken to the Interlibrary Loan Request Form, which looks like this:

Ill Request Form
Ill Request Form

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 and you will see a confirmation page with your Interlibrary Loan Request number.  

3.  To fill out an online ILL request from a computer that is not connected to the library computer network start your search here.


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 the 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 will not be able to check out an ILL item for someone other than the borrower, unless the person has both the requestor’s library card and knows 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 request 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. 

Cancelling Your ILL Request

If you want to cancel your ILL request, please let us know by emailing or calling 408-293-2326 ext. 3013. If you cancel your ILL request online, neither the SCCLD ILL department, nor the lending libraries receive notification, so the process of attempting to obtain the ILL item goes forward. The $4.00 ILL fee still applies to cancelled ILL requests.


To request a renewal of your ILL item, please email or call 408-293-2326 ext. 3013. We will contact the lending library and let you know if your renewal request is approved.