Interlibrary loan policies

Last revised 07.01.20

Who can use interlibrary loan?

  • Residents of Multnomah County.
  • Patrons who pay taxes on real or personal property in Multnomah County.
  • Patrons who purchase a non-resident library card.
  • Library staff and volunteers.

What we borrow and can’t borrow

We will try to borrow the following materials from libraries located in the United States or Canada:

  • Books
  • Audiobooks on CDs
  • Microfilm
  • Copies of articles
  • Non-Fiction video recordings

The library is unable to borrow:

  • Items published in the current calendar year.
  • Ebooks and downloadable audio.
  • Musical recordings, software, video games or fictional video recordings (DVDs/BluRays) in any format.
  • Items owned by Multnomah County Library
  • Books printed before 1800. We will try to borrow these materials in reprint or microform, if available.
  • Bound periodicals. We will request photocopies or microform.


The library always attempts to borrow from libraries who lend free of charge. However:

  • The library will pay up to $10 per request.
  • If the cost of borrowing is more than $10, the library will not continue with the interlibrary loan request until the patron agrees to pay the remaining charges.

Overdue and Damaged Material

  • No late fees will be charged for overdue material.
  • Items that are 30 days overdue or returned with significant damage will result in a $50 minimum charge.
  • Patrons with overdue interlibrary loan items may not check out additional items through interlibrary loan.
  • Interlibrary loan materials can only be checked out on the library card of the person who requested them.
  • Patrons may request one renewal of interlibrary loan materials, but renewals are not guaranteed and must be requested before the due date. Contact the interlibrary loan office ( to request a renewal.   
  • There is a limit of five active interlibrary loan requests.
  • For help and frequently asked questions see our help page.

If you have questions about these policies, please contact us.