Interlibrary Loan & Purchase Suggestion FAQs

Who do I talk to for more information about my request?

Interlibrary Loan
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Telephone: 720-865-1718
Email Interlibrary Loan

How do I make an Interlibrary Loan request?

  • First check the Denver Public Library Catalog to see if we own the title you want.
  • If not, try WorldCat.
  • Once you have located the item, click on ILL BORROW FROM ANOTHER LIBRARY and fill in the form with your information. You will need to fill out a one-time registration if you're a first-time user.
  • Use the blank online request form if you have the information about the item (such as author, title, ISBN...) but are unable to locate it in WorldCat.
  • Contact Reference staff by telephone or in person at any Denver Public Library.

Can I suggest the Library purchase items that have not yet been released or published?

We prefer that customers not use Request It for items that have not yet been released or published. The system was designed for customers to suggest items that are currently available but that we do not have in our collection. We do order popular titles as soon as they are available for preorder from our library vendors. The best way to find out about new titles we have ordered is through our catalog. To see items on order go to: catalog.denverlibrary.org and click on one of the "On Order" links in the left column. These lists will give you all the titles we have on order sorted by popularity.

Can I decide whether the Library purchases or borrows my request for me?

The Library reserves the right to determine the best way to fill your request, while still delivering the item to you in as timely a manner as possible.

Why didn't the Library purchase the item I requested?

We are unable to purchase every title that is requested so we have created a set of criteria that will determine whether or not we will purchase a title for our collection. Among other things, it is generally based on the year of publication, the sales ranking on Amazon and availability from our library vendors.

Does the Library attempt to borrow new items?

No. Our success rate for securing items released in the last year approaches 0%. If the item you have requested is new and not purchased for the collection, no attempt will be made to secure the item through Interlibrary Loan. After the item has been available in stores for one year, please submit a new request and we will attempt to borrow it for your enjoyment.

How long will it take for my request to arrive?

The average time to process your request is 2 weeks, however, some requests take longer depending on how long it takes for libraries to respond to our request. Your request will not show up on your library account until it is ready to be sent from our office to your designated pickup location. Canceled requests will never show on your library account. Check Request It for all canceled requests.

How many requests may I submit?

You may submit 30 requests per calendar year. A request is anything submitted using the customer's library card, regardless of who entered it. A request counts against your 30 limit even if it is eventually canceled for any reason.

How can I take full advantage of my requests?

  • Always check the Denver Public Library catalog for the item you are looking for before you submit a request through the Request It system.
  • Denver Public Library will not attempt to purchase brand new materials unless they meet a certain criteria and we will not attempt to borrow brand new materials through Interlibrary Loan because of the extremely low fill rate.
  • When less than 10 libraries own an item, the chance of obtaining the title is minimal.
  • Items owned by public libraries are often available at no charge. University and medical libraries generally charge a fee of $11-$25. If there are no free lenders and you are not willing to pay a loan fee, your request will not be filled.

If you are borrowing or buying my request can you send it to my non-DPL library?

No, but we are happy to send your request to any of our locations for convenient pick up. If you want an Interlibrary Loan delivered to a non-DPL library you must submit your request through that library's Interlibrary Loan Department.

How long can I keep an item you borrowed for me through Interlibrary Loan and can I renew my item?

The lending library determines the length of the loan. Some libraries allow one renewal. If you think you need to renew your item you can call the Interlibrary Loan office prior to the item’s due date and we’ll let you know if it will renew or not. Telephone: 720-865-1718. Email Interlibrary Loan.

Be sure to pick up your items as soon as possible after you receive notification. This will allow you to have it for the maximum loan period given by the lending library. The longer your item sits on the hold shelf, the less time you will have with it. Some items borrowed are only for use in the Central Library and cannot be checked out, such as rare or fragile materials, microfilm, microfiche, and other special materials.

My ILL item is lost/damaged/stolen. What happens now?

Please contact the Interlibrary Loan Office immediately at 720-865-1718 or request@denverlibrary.org to report your lost/damaged/stolen ILL item. We will contact the owning library for an invoice. You are responsible for any replacement fees associated with the item. Because we do not know the total cost of an item until we receive an invoice, a $150.00 default price will be charged to your account until we can adjust it to the invoice price. The final amount you are charged will depend on the cost of the item which is determined by the owning library. Your ILL account will be suspended until the item is paid in full. We cannot accept replacement copies.

How do I check/change my pickup location?

To check or change your pickup location, sign in to Request It, and click on the Change Pickup Location button on the Main Menu. Select a location and click the Submit Information button.

How will I be contacted when my item arrives?

You will be contacted by the preferred method of notification you chose in My Account when your item arrives at your designated pickup location.

What does the status of my request in Request It mean?

Not Purchased-Forwarded to ILL: Your request does not meet Denver Public Library’s purchasing criteria. We are processing your request as an Interlibrary Loan Request.

Request Sent: Interlibrary Loan is working on your request.

On Order, Check Library Card for Status: We have purchased your requested item for our collection and a hold has been placed for you. Please see My Account for more information.

Interlibrary Loan Request Successful: Your item will be added to your library account as a hold as soon as we receive it in our office. It will then be sent to your designated pickup location. You do not need to call the Interlibrary Loan Office.

Awaiting Customer Contact: We are currently processing your request for delivery. Please check My Account for request status. You do not need to contact our office.

Canceled by ILL Staff: Please sign in to your Request It account at denverlibrary.org/requestit, or contact the Interlibrary Loan Department for more information.

ILL - Awaiting ALA Request Processing: We are contacting a library that does not manage their requests electronically. These requests may take longer.

Awaiting Copyright Clearance: Before processing your request, we must verify that the article you requested is not in violation of copyright law.

I haven’t used Request It before. Where do I sign up?

You will need to complete a one-time registration before you can start using the service. Go to Request It, click the Register Here button and fill out the form. You will be able to place requests immediately. Please call 720-865-1718 or email us if you have questions.

I can't sign in, but I have used the Request It system before.

If you have changed your library card number or received a replacement card, you will need to register with Request It by clicking on the Register Here button. Please call 720-865-1718 or email us if you have any outstanding requests so that we may update your account.

How do I know if my request went through?

You will know if your request went through when you submit your request and receive a transaction number. If you have any questions about whether or not we received your request, check Request It. If you see your item under Outstanding Requests, we have received your request.

Will my request show up on My Account right away?

Interlibrary Loan requests will show on your library account when the item has been sent from our Interlibrary Loan office to your designated pickup location.

An item I requested never showed up on my library account. What do I do?

If you placed a request and it never showed up on your library account, please check your Request It account. We are not able to fill every request, despite our best efforts. If your item is no longer listed as an Outstanding Request, check under Canceled Requests. Only requests we are able to fill will show on your library account. Canceled requests will never show on your library account, however they are still viewable in Request It.

What does the reason for cancellation mean?

If we are unable to fill your request, the request will be canceled and an unfilled reason will be posted to your Request It account. Some of the most common reasons for cancellation (and what they mean to you) are:

This item is in use at the lender(s): Please wait at least 3 weeks to resubmit your request for this item. This will give it time to circulate at the owning library.

The owners will not lend this item. It is non-circulating: We are unable to borrow this item for you because it is a reference item.

This item does not meet the selection criteria for purchase and is not available for loan: Denver Public Library is not purchasing this item for its collection at this time. Additionally, the Interlibrary Loan Department is unable to borrow this item for you.

This item does not meet purchase request guidelines and is too new to borrow: The title does not meet purchase request guidelines, which are based on the year of publication, the sales ranking on Amazon and availability from our library vendors and has been released in the last year. Our success rate on borrowing new items approaches 0%.