Interlibrary Loan Services & Document Delivery

For NYPL Cardholders

Interlibrary Loan Services provides access to materials outside the NYPL system. For more detailed information, see Frequently Asked Questions.

You may submit and manage your Interlibrary Loan requests online if you have a current library card. Either log on below, or register as a new user.

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For Other Libraries/Organizations

Requesting Materials from NYPL: Interlibrary Loan requests can be submitted through OCLC. For libraries and other organizations without access to OCLC, please submit your requests for copies using our online ILLiad order form by logging on to your account. If you are a first-time user, please see our fee schedule, and then register as a new user to enter your order through the online form. Non-OCLC libraries seeking to borrow materials should send an email to

For Independent Researchers

You may order copies of materials from the Library's collections for research or personal use. If you are a first-time user, please see our fee schedule for information about fees and turnaround times, and then register as a new user to enter your order via our online form. Returning users may log on to your account above.


FAQ For NYPL Cardholders

Who may use Interlibrary Loan Services?

Interlibrary Loan Services are available to most New York Public Library cardholders. If you have a temporary Library card, you must acquire a permanent card before placing a request.

What can I request through Interlibrary Loan Services?

  • Books with no circulating copy at NYPL
  • Audio and visual recordings (DVD or CD)
  • Microfilm
  • Manuscripts
  • Copies of articles or portions of books

What can’t I request through Interlibrary Loan services?

  • Items published less than 12 months before the request
  • E-books
  • Scans of entire items protected by copyright
  • Scanning of more than 50 pages from a single item

Why can't I request a book or a recording published/released for less than one year?

Libraries and institutions generally prefer to keep new items for use by their patrons rather than sending them through interlibrary loan for use by patrons at another library. As well as most libraries will not lend an item less than one-year-old through interlibrary loan.

There are many holds for the item I want to borrow. Can I request it through Interlibrary Loan Services and get it quicker?

No. We will deny a request if NYPL owns an available circulating copy.

I want a copy of a book in the research collection, but I need to take it home. Can I request a copy through Interlibrary Loan Services?

Yes. We will attempt to borrow a copy from another library.

Is there a charge for Interlibrary Loan Services?

Interlibrary Loan Services are free for cardholders.

How do I place a request?

You may place your request through ILLiad, our online ordering system, accessible via the login box at the top of this page. In addition, paper request forms are available at any NYPL location. Once complete, please submit your request to an NYPL staff member.

How many requests can I make?

You may have up to fifteen (15) active requests simultaneously. A request is active once entered into ILLiad until the item has returned to the lending library or a scanned item is delivered.

How long does the process take?

A requested item can take up to three weeks or more, depending upon how widely available it is and the location of the library sending it. Scans/copies may arrive more quickly. If you need an item quickly, you may request a METRO pass which will allow you a one-time entrance into a New York area library that holds the item.

How can I cancel a request?

Log on to your ILLiad account. From your list of outstanding requests, click on the transaction number of the request you wish to cancel. When the request opens click on Cancel Request at the top.

How can I find the status of a request I placed?

Log on to your ILLiad account, and click outstanding requests under view. Please call or email us if you are still figuring out your status. Please do not assume that a request is no longer in process and place a second request for the same item.

What is the meaning of the Status message in my ILLiad account?

  • Awaiting User Verification: If you recently registered in ILLiad, we must verify that the information in your ILLiad account matches your NYPL patron account. If the information does not match, we will ask that you update your patron account before we go forward with your request(s).
  • Awaiting Request Processing: Your request has been received and sent to potential lending libraries.
  • Temp Direct Request:Your request is under an initial review by staff. This temporary status will be updated within 24 hours.
  • Request Sent: Your request has been sent to one or more potential lending libraries, and we await a response.
  • In Transit: The requested item has been received in the Interlibrary Loan Services office and sent to the pickup location you selected. The item will remain in this status until it is received back in the Interlibrary Loan Services office.
  • Awaiting Unfilled Processing: We have sent your request to one or more libraries, which have returned unfilled. Staff will review your request to determine if it can be sent to additional potential lending libraries again.

Where will the items I request be delivered?

You may choose any NYPL location to pick up your Interlibrary Loan item. However, some lending libraries occasionally restrict items to in-library use only. In-library use items can only be used at one of the research libraries. Scans/copies will only be delivered to your email address.

When can I pick up my item?

When the item is received at the pickup location, you will be notified by whichever method you have chosen in your account for notification for pickup.

A book I requested has arrived. Will you scan the entire book and send it to my email address?

No. We do not scan materials owned by other libraries. Additionally, there could be a risk of copyright violation by scanning and delivering an entire book.

How long can I use items received through Interlibrary Loan Services?

The loan period is three (3) weeks with a minimum of one renewal. However, the renewal can be longer or shorter than three weeks.

Can I renew my Interlibrary Loan items?

You may request a renewal by contacting the Interlibrary Loan Services office by phone at 212-592-7200 or by email at at least five (5) days before the item’s due date. Interlibrary Loan staff must first request a renewal from the lending library. We will notify you of the new due date if the renewal is allowed. The lending library determines this due date. The new due date may be shorter or longer than the three-week lending period.

Library staff cannot renew the Interlibrary Loan items at your pickup location. You must contact the Interlibrary Loan office for all renewals of these items.

Where can I return my Interlibrary Loan Services item(s)?

Please return your interlibrary loan item(s) to any NYPL location. Do not return items to the book drops; only return items to a staff member at a circulation desk or as instructed by the NYPL location.

I returned the item I borrowed. Why does the status in my ILLiad account still say In Transit?

When you return an item, the status will immediately change in your NYPL patron account. However, the status in your ILLiad account will remain In Transit until the item is received back in the Interlibrary Services office, usually within the week of being returned.

I know that the item I requested is held at another library. Why could you not get it through interlibrary loan?

Many libraries will not lend certain types of  materials such as CDs and DVDs. An item may be part of a special collection or other non-circulating collection that is not allowed to leave the library.

Can I speak to someone for further assistance?

For assistance from Library staff, you may bring all citation details with you to an information desk at any Library location. For questions about Interlibrary Loan Services policies or concerning an active interlibrary loan request, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Services staff at 212-592-7200 or

FAQ For Libraries and Individuals (Non-NYPL Cardholders)

How can I submit a request to borrow an item owned by NYPL?

Borrowing libraries/institutions and individuals requesting item(s) from NYPL can submit a request through OCLC. For libraries/institutions unable to submit requests through OCLC, you may send your request by email to Individuals must initiate a borrowing request through the interlibrary loan service at your local library. Be aware that lending items in the Library’s research collections are restricted.

How can I request a scan/copy of an article or other material owned by NYPL?

Libraries/Institutions can request scans/copies through OCLC. Libraries/Institutions that do not use OCLC or other organizations and individuals can submit requests by registering in ILLiad and submitting on our online order form. Document Delivery requests will also be accepted by telephone (212-592-7200), email (, or fax (212-391-2502) for an added $5 charge.

Is there a charge for borrowing an item or ordering a copy from the NYPL collection?

Yes. The charge for borrowing is $25. Libraries submitting borrowing requests through OCLC must enter at least $25 in the Max Cost field to avoid deflection of the request. See our Document Delivery fee schedule for charges for scans/copies.