Travel the Country Bibliographically!

You can travel the country, bibliographically, thanks to the Mercer County Library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Department. Library patrons have the opportunity to access a wide variety of books, non-fiction DVDs, and journal articles from libraries throughout the United States, as well as books-on-CD from other New Jersey libraries. The staff of the Interlibrary Loan Department, Krista and AJ, can search library catalogs in most of the 50 states, from east to west, north to south, to find even those very obscure texts owned by only one or two U.S. libraries.

If you have your heart set on a particular book but it is only located at the San Francisco Public Library or Harvard University, we can make a request for you electronically. If it is available for loan, the library will have it delivered through the mail, processed and sent to your local branch for free!

The form for all interlibrary loan requests, including research articles, books, non-fiction DVDs, and books-on-CD can be accessed through the Mercer County Library System website. Librarians at all branches are happy to assist you in making a request or you may do it from home. You may request up to three items at a time. To learn more, visit our ILL FAQ page.

The book of your choice can be on its way to you in no time. The Mercer County Library System provides a great many popular books to our patrons, as well as rare and obscure finds, via the interlibrary loan department. Move over, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble!

Now, once you have received your interlibrary loan book, please remember to take good care of it, especially since it is owned by a different library system than our own. It can be costly to replace a lost or damaged book from a lending library, especially a college or university. This means that it will be costly to you in turn, as we must unfortunately place a bill on your patron card accordingly. Also remember to return your borrowed ILL book to the library on time. Overdue ILL items will result in fines, as well as lead to your patron card being “barred” until you have returned the item.

Almost all of the lending libraries from which we borrow are “free” lenders and, whenever possible, we will obtain your item from them at no cost to you. Some academic libraries, however, charge a fee for the loan of books. This fee can range from $10 to $35, and sometimes more. We of course will only borrow from these lenders as a last resort, if you have given us permission to do so, and have agreed to pay the fee.

Finally, to all of our patrons who are students and research professors—we can save you a trip to the microfilm archives of your school’s local library. Just make your article request with us instead.

If you have any questions, you may contact Krista or AJ in the ILL department at Tel: 609-883-0245 or email us at mclill@mcl.org.

-Krista D.

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