Interlibrary Loan Print Email

The Whatcom County Library System loans to and borrows from other libraries in the United States, Canada, and even, rarely, overseas. 

We will attempt to borrow most items EXCEPT:

  • whole issues of magazines;
  • DVD's released in the last 5 years;
  • CD-ROM games;
  • VHS tapes;

Additionally some items may be unavailable for borrowing: 

  • very old items; Check googlebooks or the internet archive.  Many out-of-copyright items have been digitalized and are freely available.
  • very new items;
  • highly technical items ;
  • items published outside the US;
  • some genealogy items; check HeritageQuest available from WCLS.org or Ancestry.com available at the Lynden Public Library.

WCLS staff check WorldCat for a list of the libraries that have the item. One after another is contacted until an available copy is located to borrow. It is difficult to predict how long this process will take: it depends on work load, how long it takes the other libraries to respond, the delivery system, and other factors. Two to six weeks is usual, or it may take several months.

The library system will notify you when interlibrary loan materials are ready for you to use.

  • Length of the loan period and conditions for use are set by the library that is loaning the item.
  • Items not returned by the due date will start accumulating overdue fines after a 2 day grace period.

If you have questions about the status of your request, please call your local library.