Interlibrary Services and Document Delivery
For NYPL Cardholders
Interlibrary Services provides access to materials held at libraries outside the NYPL system. For more detailed information, see Frequently Asked Questions.
For Other Libraries/Organizations
Requesting Materials from NYPL: Interlibrary requests can be submitted through OCLC. For libraries and other organizations without access to OCLC, please submit your requests for copies using our online ILLiad order form by logging on to your account above. If you are a first-time user, please see our fee schedule, and then register as a new user to enter your order through the online form. Non-OCLC libraries seeking to borrow materials should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Independent Researchers
You may order copies of materials from the Library's collections for research or personal use. If you are a first-time user, please see our fee schedule for information about fees and turnaround times, and then register as a new user to enter your order via our online form. Returning users may log on to your account above.
- Who may use Interlibrary Services? >
- What can I request through Interlibrary Services? >
- What cannot be borrowed through Interlibrary Services? >
- Why can't I request a book or a recording published/released for less than one year? >
- There are too many holds for the item I want to borrow. Can I request it here and get it more quickly? >
- There is a copy of the book I want in the research collection, but I need to take it home. Can I request a copy through Interlibrary Services? >
- Is there a charge for Interlibrary Services? >
- How do I place a request? >
- How many items may I request? >
- How long does the process take? >
- How can I cancel a request? >
- How can I find the status of a request I placed? >
- What is the meaning of the status message in my ILLiad account? >
- Where will the items I request be delivered? >
- How will I know when to pick up my item? >
- A book I requested has arrived. Will you scan the entire book and send it to my email address? >
- How long can I use materials received through Interlibrary Services? >
- Can I renew my Interlibrary Services materials? >
- Where can I return my Interlibrary Services item(s)? >
- I returned the item I borrowed. Why does the status in my account still say In Transit? >
- I know that the item I requested is held at another library. Why could you not get it?
- Can I speak to someone for further assistance? >
- How can other libraries submit a request to borrow an item owned by NYPL? >
- How can other libraries request a scan/copy of an article or material owned by NYPL? >
- Is there a charge for libraries to borrow an item or order a copy from NYPL? >
Interlibrary Services are available to all New York Public Library cardholders. If you owe the Library more than $100 in fees, you must pay the fees before placing a request. If you have a temporary Library card, you must acquire a permanent card before placing a request.
- Books, recordings, microfilm not owned by NYPL
- Books which are only available at NYPL as non-circulating research copies
- Copies of articles or portions of books
- Items for which there is a circulating copy in our collection
- Scans of entire items protected by copyright
- Scanning of more than 50 pages from a single item
- Nonprint materials (DVD's, CD's) released within the 12-month period before the date of your request
- Books published within the 12-month period before the date of your request
Libraries generally prefer to keep new materials for use by their own patrons rather than sending them through interlibrary loan for use by patrons at another library. Most libraries will not lend an item which is less than one year old through interlibrary loan.
No. We cannot accept an interlibrary loan request for an item if the Library owns a circulating copy of the item.
Yes. We will attempt to borrow a circulating copy for you from another library, if the Library owns only a non-circulating research copy of an item.
Interlibrary Services are free for cardholders.
You may place your request through ILLiad, our online ordering system, accessible via the login box at the top of this page. Paper request forms are available and can be submitted at any library location.
You may have up to 15 requests in process at one time. A request is considered in process from the time it is entered into ILLiad until a requested item has been returned to the lending library or a scanned item has been delivered.
A requested item should arrive in two to three weeks, depending upon how widely available it is and the location of the library sending it. Scans/photocopies may arrive more quickly. If you need an item more quickly, you may request a METRO pass which will allow you a one-time entrance into a New York area library which holds the item.
Log on to your ILLiad account. From your list of outstanding requests, click on the transaction number of the request you wish to cancel. When the request opens click on Cancel Request at the top.
Log on to your ILLiad account where you will see a list of your outstanding requests with the current status. If you are still uncertain, please call or email us. Please do not assume that a request is no longer in process and place a second request for the same item.
- Awaiting User Verification: If you are newly registered in ILLiad, we must verify that the information in your ILLiad account matches the information in your NYPL patron account. This process should require no more than 24 hours. If the information does not match, we will ask that you update your patron account before we go forward with your request(s).
- Awaiting Request Processing: Your request has been received and will be sent out to potential lending libraries soon.
- Temp Direct Request: Your request is under an initial review by staff. This is a temporary status which is generally resolved within 24 hours
- Request Sent: Your request has been sent to one or more potential lending libraries, and we are waiting for a response.
- In Transit: The requested item has been received in the Interlibrary Services office and sent to the pickup location you selected. The item will remain in this status until it is received back in the Interlibrary Services office.
- Awaiting Unfilled Processing: We have sent your request out to one or more libraries, and it has returned unfilled. Your request will be reviewed by staff to determine if it can be sent out a second time to additional potential lending libraries.
You may choose any Library location to pick up your Interlibrary Services materials. However, some lending libraries occasionally restrict materials to in-library-use only. Those materials can only be used in one of the research libraries. Scans can be delivered to your email address. Photocopies can be mailed to you or picked up at the location you choose.
When the item has been received at the pickup location you selected, you will be notified by whatever method you have selected in your account for notification for pickup.
No. We do not scan materials owned by other libraries. Additionally, there could be a risk of copyright violation by scanning and delivering an entire book.
The loan period is three weeks.
You may request an extension of the loan period. You cannot renew these items yourself as you would NYPL materials. Likewise, library staff at the location where you receive materials cannot renew them for you—you must make the request through the Interlibrary Services office at least five days before the item is due.
Staff must first request a renewal from the lending library. If the renewal is allowed, we will notify you with the new due date (determined by the lending library), which may be shorter or longer than the three-week lending period. Contact the Interlibrary Services office at 212-930-0878 or email@example.com to request an extension of the loan period for ILL materials.
You can return your Interlibrary Services item(s) to any NYPL location service desk. Items CANNOT be returned in a dropbox. Only return items to a staff member at a circulation desk.
When you return an item, the status will immediately change in your NYPL patron account. However, the status in your ILLiad account will remain In Transit until the item is received back in the Interlibrary Services office, usually a few days later.
Many libraries will not lend certain types of materials such as CDs and DVDs. An item may be part of a special collection or other non-circulating collection that is not allowed to leave the library.
For assistance from Library staff, you may bring all citation details with you to an information desk at any Library location. For questions about Interlibrary Services policies or concerning an active interlibrary request, please contact the Interlibrary Services staff at 212-930-0878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Borrowing requests from libraries can be submitted through OCLC. For libraries unable to submit requests through OCLC, you may send your request by email to email@example.com. Individuals must initiate a borrowing request through the interlibrary loan service at your local library. Be aware that the lending of materials held in the Library’s research collections is restricted.
Libraries can request scans/copies through OCLC. Libraries which do not use OCLC as well as other organizations and individuals can submit requests by registering in ILLiad and submitting our online order form. Document Delivery requests will also be accepted by telephone (212-592-7200), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (212-391-2502) for an added $5 charge.
Yes. The charge for borrowing is $25. Libraries submitting borrowing requests through OCLC must enter at least $25 in the Max Cost field to avoid deflection of the request. See our Document Delivery fee schedule for charges for scans/copies.