Purpose of Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary loan (ILL) acquires books, photocopies of non-circulating materials
(such as magazine articles), and government publications not already owned by
the public libraries of Jefferson County for library patrons.
Location of Interlibrary Loan
ILL requests may be submitted at any public library in Jefferson County.
Hours of Operation
|Monday through Friday
||9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Phone : (205) 226-3730
Interlibrary Loan is available to anyone 18 years of age or older with a
Jefferson County Public Library Card.
This service is free of charge. Occasionally, however, the lending library will
charge a fee. The patron may preauthorize acceptance of any fees on the ILL
request form or be notified of any fees before the material is ordered.
How to use Interlibrary Loan
Search the library catalog
first to see if the material you need is owned by a public library in Jefferson
If no public library in Jefferson County owns the material you want, go to a
public library in Jefferson County and ask a librarian for the Interlibrary Loan
- Fill out the form completely.
- Give an accurate bibliographic citation and the source of each
- Provide your library card number, name, phone number, and address.
- Fill out a separate form for each item you want.
- Forms that are illegible, incomplete, or have inaccurate citations delay
Turn in the completed form(s) at your local library.
You also can go to
FirstSearch. Search for the title you want. Click on this icon:
. Fill out the form and submit.
The ILL Office will locate the material you want and will request it from
The library where you submitted your request for ILL service will contact you
when the materials are ready for pickup.
To insure that requests are processed promptly, please limit requests to ten
(10) "in-process" at a time. For books, in-process is the time from when a
request is made until the time is returned to the library. For photocopies, the
transaction is complete when they are picked up by the patron.
The following materials cannot be requested through
- entire issues of a periodical
- most genealogical material
- current-year materials
- audiovisual material
- reference books
National, regional, and state ILL codes may restrict or limit borrowing in
some cases, i.e., picture or easy books, sound recordings, and other audiovisual
material, multiple copies of books, and photocopies of more than five articles
from a single periodical published within the past five years.
Please plan ahead. Most requests are filled within 7-10 days. However, delays
are common and there is no guarantee that a request can be filled. Lending
libraries may take up to 28 days to respond to a loan request.
Materials may be unavailable at the lending library, or the first owning
library contacted may choose not to loan the material. In such cases, a second,
and sometimes a third library must be contacted. A sudden influx of ILL requests
may also slow the process.
A patron may ask that an unfilled request by reinitiated. However, the
Interlibrary Loan Staff must first determine if there is sufficient reason to
expect a second request to be filled. The patron may be asked to provide
additional information or to agree to some reset condition established by the
lending library (for example, in-library use only or an increased lending fee).
When the material arrives, the patron is notified either by telephone or by
mail. Materials received through ILL are picked up at the library specified on
the request form. Materials not picked up within 7 days after notification of
arrival will be returned to the lending library.
At the time of pick-up, you will be asked to sign a log sheet acknowledging
receipt of the requested material. Any fees charged by the lending library must
be paid at this time.
Loan Periods and Due Dates
The loan period for books is determined by the lending library. The due date
is indicated on the paper wrapped around the item's cover. This wrapper should
be left intact to insure accurate and prompt processing of the loan. Material should be
returned by the due date to the circulation desk of any library in the Public Libraries in
Jefferson County system. Borrowers who disregard due dates jeopardize their
Interlibrary Loan borrowing privileges.
Patrons will be charged one dollar ($1.00) per day for each day that an
Interlibrary Loan book is overdue, with a maximum fine of $25.00 per item.
The lending library retains the right to request the immediate return of any
material it has loaned to the Birmingham Public Library and the public libraries
of Jefferson County at any time before the original due date given. In these
rare instances, Interlibrary Loan will contact the patron and inform them of the
new due date. The patron will owe an overdue fine for any materials returned
after this newly established due date.
A patron may ask that the loan period of a borrowed item be extended. Any
request for renewals must be made before the due date. The lending library
determines the length of time, if any, the loan period may be extended. Many
items borrowed through ILL are clearly marked "NO RENEWAL." No attempt will be
made to extend the loan period of these times.
The lending library will determine the replacement cost of any lost or damaged