Spokane Public Library can request materials from or supply materials to libraries outside of our library system.

The library provides interlibrary loan service in order to enhance and extend the resources available to its users. Because the library cannot purchase or subscribe to every useful resource, interlibrary loan is an essential part of its mission to meet the informational needs of the community.


Who can borrow?

Interlibrary loan service is available to library card holders who live within the city limits of Spokane and business library card holders who own businesses within the city limits of Spokane. In order to process a request ALL of the following must apply:

  • library card must be verified (proof of address and identity must be shown)
  • fines must be under $50.00
  • library card must be current (no expired cards, please)

Non-resident cardholders should contact their home library system for interlibrary loan service.



What can I borrow?

The library can borrow a wide variety of materials, including:

  • books and audiobooks published earlier than the last 6 months
  • copies of journal/magazine articles or genealogical information
  • microfilm or microfiche of newspapers
  • theses or dissertations

The owning library will make the decision as to whether or not they will lend the material. You can find book information and check owning library locations by searching WorldCat. Customers may only request the same title twice per calendar year.

Items not available for interlibrary loan include:

  • videos, DVDs, music cassettes and CDs, downloadable audiobooks, downloadable ebooks, software, genealogy books (though we can request specific copies from genealogy items)
  • books already owned by Spokane Public Library (including items located within our Reference, Northwest Room, and Genealogy collections)



How do I request?

Fill out the Request a Title form to request an interlibrary loan. Select the type of material to be borrowed or copied. Be sure the box next to ILL Request is checked.

  • Only four items can be in process at a time. This includes items that could only be used in the library and microfilm. For each item that has been returned, another item can be requested
  • Microfilm requests must be for a reasonable date range in order to be processed
  • Because interlibrary loan items are borrowed from across the United States and Canada, it can take 4-8 weeks to receive an item



Are there charges for interlibrary loan?

Most of the time customers are not expected to pay for interlibrary loans.

  • Spokane Public Library requests items only from free lenders
  • We do not charge for photocopies we receive through interlibrary loan
  • Customers will be responsible for paying for any requests that require prepayment, such as for genealogy microfilm



What happens when my item arrives?

You can pick up most items at any Spokane Public Library branch.

  • Books and audiobooks are sent to the branch specified on the request
  • “In library use only” books can be viewed at your local branch
  • Photocopy requests are mailed to the address on the library card (so please make sure your address is correct)
  • Microfilm or fiche can only be viewed at the Downtown branch

You will be notified with a request notice (by email, phone, or mail) when the item is available for pick up at your branch.

  • Interlibrary loan materials will be held behind the checkout desk, not on the regular hold shelf
  • You will have five days to pick up your items before they will be sent back to the lending library
  • Interlibrary loan materials check out for a maximum of three weeks. Because Spokane Public Library does not own items borrowed using the interlibrary loan system, renewals are not allowed
  • If we are unable to borrow an item, you will receive a notice by email or with a note on your library card record



What do we lend to other libraries?

Spokane Public Library’s interlibrary loan service reciprocates by loaning our items to other library systems. We will loan the following to other libraries:

  • books that are no longer considered new
  • audiobooks on CD
  • some reference books (with permission of Branch Manager) to be used in the library only
  • We do not lend Genealogy items, Northwest Room items, DVDs, music CDs, electronic items, or microfilm