Interlibrary Loan

Can't find what you need in the Roanoke Valley Libraries online catalog? Maybe another library would loan it to you!

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What is interlibrary loan?

Through this service, we have access to a vast network of libraries across the U.S. that will loan materials to each other. If we don't have something you need, we can see if another library has it and ask them if they would loan it to you. 

Am I eligible for this service?

To take advantage of our interlibrary loan service, you must:

  1. Be a Botetourt County resident. (If you're not, please contact the library in your city or county of residence for their interlibrary loan service.)
  2. Have a current Roanoke Valley Libraries account in good standing and with full borrowing privileges. (Not sure? Contact us to find out!)

How can I know if another library has the material I need?

We're happy to look for you, but you can check yourself by searching on your own. This shows the collections of the libraries in our network. 

Libraries will usually not loan materials that are recently published (within the past 1-2 years), rare or fragile, audiovisual (DVDs/CDs), bestsellers, or in-library use only. 

How much does it cost?

We charge a $3.00 fee for each item borrowed, or printing costs if we're printing out an article. Sometimes the lending library will charge additional fees on top of that. If the item is returned late, then the lending library may charge overdue fees as well. You are charged a fee only if we are able to get the item on loan for you. 

How many items can I request at one time?

You can have up to active interlibrary loan requests at one time, including both filled and unfilled requests.

How long does it take for a borrowed item to be ready for pickup?

The request and shipping process can take 1-4 weeks. Don't use this service if you're in a rush! 

How long can I keep borrowed items?

It varies, since the due date is set by the lending library. Usually the borrowing period is 8-10 weeks to allow for shipping time. If you need more time, we can request an extension from the lending library (which they may or may not grant). 

How will I know if you can't get an item or if an item is ready to be picked up?

We'll contact you if your material arrives or if we're unable to find a library that can loan it to you. 

Where should I return the item when I'm done?

You can return it to any Botetourt County Libraries branch, but please hand it to a staff member in person! Material can be easily damaged in the bookdrop, and we want to take extra good care of items that other libraries have loaned to us. 

I have another question...

Read our Interlibrary Loan Policy. If that doesn't give you the information you need, please contact us for help!