Interlibrary Loans

interlibrary loansMoney, or  lack of it, is a hot topic these days.  Even libraries feel the pinch. Budget restraints force us to try and purchase as wide a range of materials as possible, but unfortunately we cannot hold every title. Space is an issue as well, therefore we are not able to keep all of our resources forever, and must pick and choose which ones to keep and which ones will go to our used bookstores,  The Southside Book Nook in Victoriaville Centre, and the Hilltop Book Nook inside the Waverley Resource Library.  A reciprocal borrowing system helps libraries save money and provides for the information, cultural and recreational needs of patrons, using the resources of public libraries across Canada.

What kinds of materials can be ordered through interlibrary loan you might ask?  We will try to borrow any print items that are not considered rare or reference material, photocopies of journal articles, books or music CDs, occasionally DVDs, and microfilm reels from the provincial archives. We do not borrow any materials that are newer than 6 months old but you can submit a suggestion for us to purchase a copy for our collection.

Books can accumulate a considerable amount of wear and tear.  Books that are beyond repair are often removed from the collection.  It may be that some of those titles are no longer in print and cannot be reordered for the collection.  This is when interlibrary loan is particularly handy.  If we do not have an older title from one of your favourite authors we will try to borrow a copy.  If it is part of a series and we are missing one from the set, don’t despair, try interlibrary loan.

Doing some research?  If you need a specific journal article that the library does not carry in either print or electronic format, we can try to help you obtain a copy.

Traditionally libraries loaned only print material through the mail. However, many libraries have now expanded their lending policies to include CD books, and music CDs.  A select few libraries will lend DVDs as well, although sometimes it proves difficult to find a lending location as this format is so popular and in high demand.

You may be wondering how interlibrary loan items arrive here.  All items are shipped through Canada Post.  Libraries’ across Canada are eligible for a reduced postage rate, called Library Book Rate.  The lending library pays to ship the item out and included in the shipping rate is a free return mailing label.  Generally you can expect to wait anywhere from two to 6 weeks for an item.

In 2017, The Thunder Bay Public Library received a total of 5002 requests from both our patrons and other public libraries.  From those requests, we were able to supply 2487 books to other libraries.

A request for material using our interlibrary loan service can be made at any branch of the library, by phone, or online from our website –   All you need is a valid library card.  This service is free of charge.

Michelle Paziuk  – If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!

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