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Interlibrary Loan

Eligibility for Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Patrons must have had a valid Ohio County Public Library card for at least three months and be in good standing (account free of fines or overdue materials) in order to request material via ILL. Patrons with a history of excessively late or lost materials are ineligible for ILL.

Patrons are limited to 5 ILL requests at one time.

All transactions are from library to library, and students from local colleges must request our materials through their college library.

Requests made in person with completed ALA forms will not be honored. Individual patrons from out of the area are encouraged to request ILL service through their local public libraries.

How to Request Items via Interlibrary Loan

  1. Requests to borrow items on interlibrary loan should be made in person at the Reference Desk, via email, fax, or over the telephone.
  2. To request a book, you will need the author, title, and if possible, the year of publication. Subject requests are also accepted.
  3. To request a periodical article, you will need the title of the journal, date, page numbers, author, and title of the article. The source of the information should also be included (index, bibliography, etc.) Because many libraries impose a minimum photocopying fee of $5.00 to $20.00 per article, maximum charges you are willing to pay must be included on request forms before requests can be processed. We will always attempt to fill requests for the least possible cost. Compliance with U.S. Copyright Law must also be indicated.
  4. A "need by" date should be indicated if applicable.
  5. If you do not have all the pertinent information, please discuss your request with the staff of the Reference Department so that they can determine if enough information is available to attempt to fill your request.

Once the Reference Staff has the request, they will fill out an OCPL ILL form which is used to search both WV public libraries and OCLC, which is an online database comprised of member libraries (and their library collections) from across the United States and around the world. Most members of OCLC agree to provide interlibrary loan services to all other members.  Once a request is made, either via email or through OCLC, the form is filed to await the arrival of the materials

Materials usually take 1-3 weeks to arrive at the Ohio County Public Library following a request. 

Once materials arrive at OCPL, they are barcoded and checked out to the patron with the lending library's due date indicated (NOTE: This date is decided by the lending library, not us). The patron is contacted and the material is filed at the Circulation Desk. Although we attempt to speak with the patron directly, sometimes that is not possible, so please check messages carefully.

If the material is not picked up by the due date, the materials are returned to the lending library and the patron is charged $1.00. Materials that are not picked up within the allotted time (usually 3-5 weeks) will not be reordered.


OCPL provides ILL service at no charge. Fees associated with standard ILL service, such as database searching and shipping, are paid by the library. Fees for photocopying and occasionally other charges may be assessed by the lending library. Such charges will be passed on to the patron. OCPL will obtain authorization from the patron before ordering material for which there is a charge.

ILL is a costly service and OCPL cannot afford to borrow material for patrons who do not pick up the material borrowed for them. OCPL will, therefore, assess a $1.00 fine for each unclaimed item. Patrons who no longer need materials requested through ILL should contact the Reference Desk immediately. If the request can be canceled before the items are sent, this fee will be waived.


OCPL assess fines for the late return of ILL material at the rate of 50 cents per day with no maximum fine. The lending library will assess repair or replacement charges if materials are returned damaged or are lost. In order to ensure the effectiveness of ILL service, it is necessary to maintain good relations with cooperating libraries. Loan periods and use restrictions set by the lending library must be strictly observed. Abuse of ILL privileges (failure to return material on time or to pay fees for late return, damage, or loss) will result in loss of these and other library privileges. 


Because Interlibrary Loan materials are given an extended circulation period by the lending library (usually 3 - 5 weeks), renewal of ILL materials is discouraged. However, in special circumstances, renewal can be requested once for these materials by the patron. This request must be made to the Reference Staff at OCPL no later than 3 days before the due date.

We cannot request renewals for items that are already overdue. The lending library makes the ultimate determination on renewals and due dates. This decision will be conveyed to the patron by OCPL staff.

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