Frequently asked questions about your Interlibrary loan account

Who can use interlibrary loan?

  • Interlibrary loan services are available to people who live or pay property taxes in Multnomah County, or who pay an annual fee for library services.
  • Patrons with overdue interlibrary loan items may not check out additional items through interlibrary loan.
  • Please contact us with questions.

How do I create an account?

  • Go to the Interlibrary loan Sign-up page
  • Review the agreements and click I agree to open the registration form. You may want to read our policies for more information.
  • Fill out the registration form and click on Submit Information.
  • You now have an interlibrary loan account.
  • Please contact us with questions.

How do I request an interlibrary loan?

  • Log into your interlibrary loan account.
  • Select the appropriate request form for their loan type, i.e.; "Loan" (for books), "Articles" (for magazine and newspaper articles, book chapters,) "Microfilm" (for reels of microfilm).
  • This will redirect you to WorldCat where you can search for items.
    • If you cannot find the item in WorldCat you can submit a request by clicking on the “Blank loan form”
  • When you find the item you want, click on the title to go to the Detailed Record.
  • Click the orange “Request Item” button.
  • Review the loan request form.
  • Click Submit Request.
  • Please contact us with questions.

How do I check on an interlibrary loan request?

  • Log in to your interlibrary loan account.
  • Items that have arrived at the interlibrary loan office will be under Checked out.
  • Articles delivered electronically will be under Available.
  • Items that have not arrived at the interlibrary loan office will be under In process
  • Prior requests will be under Cancelled requests or Previous requests. This information is available for six months. Click Details for more information.
  • Please contact us with questions.

How do I cancel an interlibrary loan request?

  • Log in to your interlibrary loan account.
  • Under the In Process section find the title you want to cancel.
  • Click Cancel Request.

What if I forget my password?

  • On the interlibrary loan login screen enter your library card number and click “log in” to receive a password hint.
  • You can reset your password by  email by clicking Reset Password or by calling 503.988.5123.

How many requests am I allowed?

  • You are allowed two active requests.
  • A request is active from the time you submit it online until the item is returned to the interlibrary loan office. Copies or scanned PDF articles are active until they arrive from the lending library. It may take up to a week for returned items to be updated in your My MCL account. 
  • Please contact us with questions.

How long will it take for my interlibrary loan to arrive?

  • Interlibrary loans depend on the type of item, the lending library, and the delivery method. These are estimates only:Books may take 3-4 weeks or longer
  • Electronic articles may take 5-10 days to be delivered or longer.
  • Mailed articles may take 2 weeks or longer.
  • To check on the status of your request log into your interlibrary loan account.

How will I know when my interlibrary loan item is ready?

  • For most items, you will get a hold pickup notice.For electronic articles, you will get an email. e. You can log into your interlibrary loan account to view the available item. 
  • Copied articles will be mailed to you. 
  • You will be called when in-library use items are available. 
  • Please contact us with questions.

How long can I keep my interlibrary loan material?

  • Most loan periods are around 3 weeks. Check the white band on your item or your My MCL account. 
  • Due dates can be different because they are set by the lending library 
  • The loan period starts when items are sent to your library for pick up, not when the item is checked out to you. ​

Can I renew my interlibrary loan?

  • You may request one renewal, unless the white band on your item says that the item cannot be renewed.
  • Renewals are not guaranteed. 
  • To request a renewal, contact us. Do not contact the library where you picked up the item or the owning library.

Why don't I see all my older requests when I look at my request history?

  • Requests are deleted from your account after 6 months.
  • Some people keep a personal list of their interlibrary loan requests. 

What if I lose my library card?

  • Please pick up  a new card at any library location.
  • Once you get a new library card, create a new interlibrary loan account with your new card number. 
  • You may place interlibrary loan requests on your new interlibrary loan account.
  • Library staff will merge the two interlibrary loan accounts.