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Interlibrary Loans

Request a Book or Request an Article

Interlibrary Loan is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library.

The purpose of Interlibrary Loan is to complement our collection by sharing resources with other libraries, based on the belief that no library, no matter how large or well supported, is self-sufficient in today's world.

In the interest of providing quality service, Greenwich Library uses Interlibrary Loan to obtain material to meet the needs of our patrons, when our local resources do not meet those needs.


  • Who can place Interlibrary Loan requests?

    Anyone with a valid Library Card issued by either Greenwich Library or Perrot Memorial Library may request Interlibrary Loans. If your library card number starts with a Greenwich number (21117...,) or a Perrot number (22021...,) and it is not expired or blocked, you may request Interlibrary Loans.

  • What type of materials can be requested?

    You may request books or photocopies of periodical articles.

  • What are the fees?

    Interlibrary Loan photocopies of journal articles cost $0.20 per page. These photocopies are sent to the patron through surface mail, and a fee is added to the patron's record.

  • Where do I place an Interlibrary Loan request?

    You can place an Interlibrary Loan request at any of the Information Desks at Greenwich Library or by submitting your request online: Request a Book or Request an Article

    You can also place a request at the Main Desk of the Byram Shubert or Cos Cob Libraries. Requests can be taken over the phone by calling the Reference Desk at (203) 622-7910.

  • Where can I pick up my Interlibrary Loan?

    Interlibrary Loan books will be held at the Holds Desk of the branch of Greenwich Library where the request was taken. Photocopies of periodical articles will be sent to the patron via surface mail, and a fee of $0.20 per page will be added to the patron's record.

    NOTE: Perrot Memorial Library has its own Interlibrary Loan Department. If a patron wishes to pick up an Interlibrary Loan at Perrot, the request must be placed with them. Please feel free to contact the Perrot Memorial Library at (203) 637-1066.

  • Where must I return my Interlibrary Loan?

    Interlibrary Loan books must be returned to the branch of Greenwich Library where the request originated, and the book was borrowed.

  • What is the loan period?

    Interlibrary Loans are checked out for 3 weeks. They may be renewed once, for an extra 7 days.

    Occasionally, the supplying library will stipulate that a book it lends is to be used only inside the Library. In the interest of maintaining good relations with other libraries, while meeting the needs of our patrons, these "In Library Use Only" books will be checked out to the patron and used only inside the Library. The patron can look at the book every day for up to three weeks during Library hours, but the book must be returned to the Holds Desk before Greenwich Library closes each night.

    In addition, sometimes the supplying library will "Recall" the loaned book, because one of their patrons has requested it. In the event that this does occur, the Interlibrary Loan Department of Greenwich Library will make every effort to get the book back for our patron from a different source. While this is rare, we do expect our patrons to return their Interlibrary Loan books as soon as possible after they have been notified of this "Recalled" status.

  • Can Interlibrary Loans be renewed?

    Interlibrary Loan books may be renewed once for a 1 week period.

  • How long does it take?

    Interlibrary Loans generally take at least two weeks to fill, and some can take as long as a month depending on the availability of the book and the location of the supplying library.

    We will do our best to get Interlibrary Loan materials to our patrons as quickly as possible, but much of this process is out of our hands, since it involves staff at other libraries, as well as the US Postal Service, so please be patient.

    If it has been more than a month since your request, and you haven't heard from us, please feel free to call us at (203) 622-7944.

  • Are there any limits to the number of requests?

    Please limit your requests to three items per day, with a maximum of ten per week.

  • What happens if I lose or damage an ILL book?

    Patrons assume complete responsibility for all materials checked out on their library cards; therefore, lost or damaged materials will be billed to you at the replacement cost as invoiced by the lending library.

  • How am I notified that my loan has arrived?

    When Interlibrary Loan books arrive, you will be called and given one week to pick them up. In order to maintain a good relationship with the supplying library, and better serve the whole community, no exceptions to this rule can be made.

    Interlibrary Loan photocopies of periodical articles will be sent to you through surface mail, and a fee of $0.20 per page will be added to your record. You can pay this the next time you are in the Library.

  • Questions?

    If you have any questions that have not been answered in the FAQ, please feel free to call the Interlibrary Loan department at (203) 622-7944, or email us. Thank you for using the Greenwich Library.