What is InterLibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan is a service provided by Charleston County Public Library to enable patrons to use items that are not owned by the library. Libraries throughout the state and the country are contacted to see if any of them are willing to lend a particular item.

Who can borrow items through InterLibrary Loan?

Any patron of Charleston County Public Library who does not have library fines in excess of $10 may request items through ILL. Patrons who live outside of Charleston County must have paid the out-of-county fee for the current year. Requests may be placed and items may be picked up at any branch.

What kinds of items can I order?

The easiest items to obtain are books and photocopies from journals. Very few libraries lend certain formats, such as rare books, current-year publications, genealogical materials, microfilm and reference books.

Any item already owned or ordered by the Charleston County Public Library may not be obtained through InterLibrary Loan, even if the item cannot be checked out. Exceptions will be made for damaged, missing, or lost items.

For items that have been published or released within the last 6 months, please submit a suggestion for purchase through the Suggest a Title form.

If you are looking for a music CD, you may be interested in our Freegal Music collection, which offers downloadable songs for those with an mp3 player and internet access for playing music.

How do I place a request?

Charleston County Public Library is pleased to offer ILLiad, the InterLibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database. ILLiad enables patrons to take control of their InterLibrary Loan requests by creating an online account, then entering requests via that account. Patrons will be able to track the status of their requests by logging into ILLiad at any time.

The more information we have about an item, the easier it is for us to locate it and place an order.

To go to CCPL's ILLiad site, click here.

Is there a limit on the number of requests?

A patron may not have more than four active requests at one time. This includes both items in use by the patron and items for which the ILL department is searching.

How long will it take to get my item?

The length of time it takes to get materials depends upon several factors, including how many libraries own the material requested, where the libraries are located, and the delivery time of the US Postal Service.

Requests may take 1 to 6 weeks.

How long can I keep my item?

The loan period and any restrictions on using the item are determined by the lending library. In most cases, the book may be retained for at least two weeks. Some materials may have shorter loan periods, and other materials may be restricted to use in the Charleston County Public Library.

Can I renew my item?

You may request one renewal for each item you borrow, unless the lending library has already stipulated that no renewals will be granted. The lending library has the right to refuse any request for a renewal.

Please make your request to the InterLibrary Loan Department at least two days before the due date. This allows our staff sufficient time to contact the lending library for permission to renew.

Is there a charge for using the InterLibrary Loan service?

The lending library may set loan conditions and fees. All additional costs are passed on to the patron. Patrons will be advised of any charges before requests are placed with lenders.

Charges will be assessed for lost and damaged materials. Items lost or damaged will be charged to the patron at a fee assessed by the lending library.

Can you fill every request?

Due to the rarity or extreme popularity of some items and formats, some requests may not be filled. A maximum of ten libraries will be contacted (it may be fewer if fewer libraries own the item). If none of those libraries will lend the item, the patron will be notified.

Why does my item have a label on it?

The label identifies the item as an InterLibrary Loan item. It provides the patron with information about the ILL department and the due date of the item, as well as any restrictions placed by the lending library. Removing this label causes the item to go to a different department, and patrons may be charged for items that do not arrive in the ILL department.


How can I reach the Interlibrary Loan Department?

By phone: 843-805-6940 (voicemail is available)

By e-mail: [email protected]

What are my obligations in using the InterLibrary Loan service?

Borrowing materials from another institution is a privilege. Patrons are expected to honor any use restrictions stipulated by the lending library, including the prompt return of items borrowed. Patrons are also expected to leave the book band on the item(s) at all times. Repeated abuse of these privileges could result in their revocation.