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Interlibrary Loan Policy

This policy covers interlibrary loan activity outside of the agreements and policies established by Decatur Public Library’s membership in the SHARE consortium of the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS).

Decatur Public Library endorses the Illinet Interlibrary Loan Code, 2008, the American Library Association Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, 2008, and complies with Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its accompanying guidelines. The Library offers interlibrary loan services to any Decatur resident holding a valid Decatur Public Library card. Decatur Public Library participates in interlibrary loan with U.S. libraries only.


Decatur Public Library will not request materials that are owned by the Library, or that are available in SHARE. Length of loan periods, renewal options, overdue fines, and conditions for use are determined by the supplying libraries.

Patrons should be prepared to assume the following fees:

  • Any cost charged by the lending library.
  • $5.00 per item for all materials requested outside of the State of Illinois.

Every effort is made to obtain requested materials from libraries in Illinois. Any charges must be paid even if the item is not picked up. Charges will be collected by library staff at the time of request and held until the library discovers if it can obtain the item. If the library cannot obtain the item, the charges will be refunded.

A limit of 5 audiovisual (DVDs, CDs, VHS, Audiobooks, etc.) materials per calendar month may be requested by each patron.

Interlibrary loan requests will not be processed for patrons with overdue materials or more than $25.00 unpaid fees.

Patron requests may require completion of an interlibrary loan request form available at the reference desk. The patron will sign the form indicating their acceptance of the charges.

The condition of the borrowed material is the responsibility of Decatur Public Library until it is picked up by the patron. Thereafter, the patron is responsible for any damage to the original item. The patron agrees to a minimum charge of $50.00 or the actual charges from the lending institution if it is more than $50.00 for all material that is damaged or lost.

Patron will be charged $1.00 if paperwork checked out with the book is not returned with the item borrowed.

Decatur Public Library will not attempt to borrow, nor will it lend the following type of material:

  1. Material that is less than 1 year old.
  2. Microfilm
  3. Reference books
  4. Newspapers
  5. Magazines
  6. Games

It is frequently difficult for the Library to borrow:

  • Bound periodicals. We will request photocopies, electronic copies, or microforms.
  • Textbooks for school use. Current textbooks are very difficult to obtain through interlibrary loan and libraries will not loan us books for an entire semester.
  • New materials. Libraries have various definitions on what constitutes “new” books and audiovisual materials.
  • eBooks. Licensing issues may restrict loans.


Renewals may be requested in person, by email, or by telephone to the Interlibrary Loan Clerk. Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library. Patrons will be notified by phone or email of the new due date.

All material lost or damaged will result in the borrowing library being charged the full cost of the item.

Approved by the Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees, Feb. 28, 2013. Amended June 21, 2018. Amended July 15, 2021.