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Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service, which allows Falmouth Public Library patrons to borrow materials from other libraries. Millions of books and other materials are within reach for our patrons. Interlibrary Loan is based on a network of cooperative agreements that provide access to books (foreign language and large print editions), musical scores and periodicals in the collections throughout the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Europe. Document Delivery Service provides access to a wide range of articles from nearly 20,000 periodicals.

You may request Interlibrary Loan service when the item or periodical article you need is not available through the CLAMS network.

Interlibrary Loan request forms are available at the Reference and Circulation Desks. Please write out a separate form for each item. Fill out request forms completely (no abbreviations please). Include the latest date that the item will be of use to you.

The Interlibrary Loan Department will make every effort to fill requests for all types of materials. However, most libraries will not lend the following types of items:

  • Newly published materials and bestsellers
  • Material in high demand at the lending library
  • Bound volumes or single issues of periodicals (photocopies are sent)
  • Reference and genealogical material
  • Media items: Sound recording, audiobooks and videos are more difficult to obtain but sometimes can be borrowed.
  • Old, rare or valuable items, including manuscripts
  • Bulky or fragile items which are difficult to ship

Government documents, dissertations, theses, microfilm, and microfiche may also be difficult to borrow depending on the item. The Interlibrary Loan service is also subject to copyright restrictions.

Interlibrary Loan orders take from 2-4 weeks, sometimes longer, so please be sure to plan ahead. Photocopy requests are usually filled within a week. We cannot guarantee delivery within a specific period of time. You will be notified by phone or by postcard as soon as the material arrives. Items may be picked up at the Circulation Desks.

Lending libraries determine any conditions regarding the use of their materials. Limitations such as "No Renewals," "In-library Use Only," and "No Photocopying" will be honored. Please indicate on your request slip if you will not accept any of these conditions.

The loan period for books is established by the lending library. Most items circulate for 2 weeks. The due date is indicated on the white label or white band on the front cover. When a periodical article is requested, the lending library sends a photocopy, which the borrower may keep. To maintain good relations with cooperating libraries, books borrowed via Interlibrary Loan should be returned to the circulation desk on or before the due date.

Some lending libraries allow Interlibrary Loan materials to be renewed, others do not. Please bring item to the Library's Circulation desk before an item is due to inquire about renewing it.

Our library staff would be happy to provide further information on how to request material through the Interlibrary Loan system.