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Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that allows valid Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) cardholders to request print books that are not in our collection from other libraries in the United States. We do not request:

  • Print books already owned by BPL (including Reference materials);
  • Textbooks;
  • Multimedia materials (including DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks);
  • Computer software (such as Rosetta Stone); or
  • Print articles from magazines or journals and/or an entire issue of a magazine or journal;

Placing Requests

At this time you may have up to 6 active requests at a time. An active request is considered books you have requested, have checked out, or are in transit to our office. We cannot always find a library willing to lend us their materials.  Not all libraries participate in our ILL consortiums. The requested books may also be non-circulating, lost, checked out, or deemed to be too new for loan.

You can place an ILL request in person at any open BPL branch. See a list of open BPL branches, as well as hours and directions, on our locations map.

All ILL notifications will be sent via email. An email address is required to place a request.

To check the status of your ILL request, or to renew your items, contact the ILL department at 718-230-2187.

Returning ILL Items

ILL materials should be returned to the reference of the library from which you picked it up. Please do not return books to the drop box.

We do not charge daily late fines, so there are no charges for any item you return late. Items not returned more than 28 days after their due date are considered lost. A replacement charge for the cost of lost items will be added to your account.  Please note that the cost is set by the lending library. You cannot place holds, renew, or check out any physical library material until you have returned your lost items or have paid for their replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions

ILL books are time-sensitive materials whose due date and renewals are determined by the lending library. Please pick up your materials as soon as possible after its arrival. The due date is stated on the book strap attached to the front of the book and in the email notification you will receive when the requested book arrives at BPL.

Renewal decisions and due dates are made by the lending library. You may call our office at 718-230-2187 and request a renewal. We will contact the lending library and will contact you when we hear back from them.  Please hold on to the book until you receive an email from us.  If the library denies the renewal you will have 3 days to return the book.

We do not charge daily late fines, so there are no charges for any item you return late. Items not returned more than 28 days after their due date are considered lost. A replacement charge for the cost of lost items will be added to your account. Please note that the cost is set by the lending library. You cannot place holds, renew, or check out any physical library material until you have returned your lost items or have paid for their replacement.

Please do not purchase a replacement copy as many libraries do not accept replacements for their materials.

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