Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan is a service that allows eligible customers to borrow items from other library systems that Loudoun County Public Library does not have in the collection. Please check the catalog to verify the item is not owned by LCPL before placing a request. 

Customers must either live, work, attend school, own property or own a business in Loudoun County to use this service. Reciprocal customers from other counties or cities may use the interlibrary loan service of their local library system.  

Customers may have up to three (3) active requests at any given time. 

To use Interlibrary Loan, click here.


Is there a charge for the service?
LCPL does not charge for Interlibrary Loan services. However, some lending libraries charge a fee to borrow, photocopy or transmit items. When submitting a request, customers are asked to indicate the maximum cost they are willing to pay. Customers who do not wish to pay a fee can denote $0.00. If no libraries will lend the item free of charge, the customer will be informed and can choose to accept the fee or cancel the request. 

Please note that once an item has shipped from the lending library, any fees assessed must be paid by the customer, even if the item is not picked up. 

How many requests can I make?
You may have up to three (3) active requests at any given time.

What items can I request? 
You may request any of the following:

  • Physical items such as books, DVDs and CDs.
  • Articles from magazines, journals and newspapers: Please include specific information about the article such as month, year and page numbers. Libraries do not lend entire issues of periodicals.
  • Sections from reference and genealogical books: Please include specific information such as page numbers, chapters, sections and/or names. 

Some lending libraries will not release items until a year after publication; for outgoing LCPL items that we lend to other systems, that minimum is six (6) months. This is a standard practice that allows new items to circulate to the lending library's customers first. If we are unable to fulfill your request for a recent publication, please consider placing another request after the full year.

Whenever possible, copies will be delivered electronically. The copyright laws of the United States govern the making of copies of copyrighted items. LCPL reserves the right to decline a request if, in its judgment, fulfillment may violate copyright law.

What happens after I make a request?
You will be notified by email when your items are ready for pickup. If LCPL is unable to obtain the item, you will receive an email notification. This information is also available by logging in to your Interlibrary Loan account.

The length of time it takes for an item to arrive varies significantly. Please allow a minimum of four (4) to six (6) weeks for your request to be filled and shipped. If you have a deadline, please fill out the “Not Wanted After” information on the request form. Items that are rare, old or held by a small number of libraries may take longer than six (6) weeks or may not be available. 

How do I check out and return items?
Please visit the service desk inside the library to check out and return your Interlibrary Loan with a staff member. To avoid potential damage to the items, Interlibrary Loans are not placed on the regular hold shelves and should not be placed in outside book returns.

How long can I keep items?
Borrowing periods and renewal options vary based on the lending library's circulation rules. Typically, lending periods are at least three (3) weeks; however, Interlibrary Loans do not fall under the same rules as items in LCPL's collection. Once the item arrives, you will be able to see the due date and renewal options on the information slip attached to the item as well as online in your Interlibrary Loan account.

Some items cannot be renewed and will include the text, “No Renewals,” on the information slip attached to the item. For items that can be renewed, the renewal option will appear in your account three (3) days prior to your original due date. Request a renewal by logging in to your Interlibrary Loan account and clicking on, “Checked Out Items.” The renewal process typically takes a few days, during which you may keep the item. You will be contacted by email when a renewal decision has been made by the lending library.

What does "in-library use only" mean?
Although rare, some items may be designated as "In-Library Use Only." This means that the item may not be removed from the library. This restriction is imposed by the lending library. If this restriction applies to your item, it will be noted on the email you receive to notify you the item has arrived. It will also be noted on the information slip that accompanies the item.

How do I cancel a request?
You may cancel a request at any point before item has been shipped by the lending library. To cancel a request, login to your Interlibrary Loan account and click on “Outstanding Requests.” Click on the transaction number of the request you'd like to cancel. Click the red "Cancel Request" link at the top of the page. If "Cancel Request" is not visible, you may still be able to cancel a request by emailing

Please note, if the request cannot been cancelled before the loan has shipped, you will still be charged any fees set by the lending library.

What if I lose or damage an ILL item?
Customers will be billed for lost or damaged items at replacement costs established by the lending library. If you have lost or damaged ILL items, please email or call your local branch.

Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please email questions to and allow up to two (2) business days for a response. For immediate assistance, please call your local branch