Interlibrary loan policies

Last revised 06.3.2010

Only residents of Multnomah County, those who pay taxes on real or personal property in Multnomah County, and those who purchase a non-resident library card may use Multnomah County Library's interlibrary loan service. Your library card record must accurately reflect your resident or taxpayer status.

We will attempt to borrow any item (exceptions listed below) as long as it is owned by a library that participates in interlibrary loan and is in the United States or Canada.


The library is unable to borrow:

  • Items published in the current calendar year.
  • Items that are owned by Multnomah County Library (unless all copies are lost or missing).
  • Bound periodicals. We will request photocopies or microform.
  • Books printed before 1800. We will try to borrow these materials in reprint or microform, if available.
  • Ebooks and downloadable audio.
  • Musical recordings, software, or video recordings in any format.

We will attempt to borrow spoken audio (language instruction, books and lectures on tape or CD).


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

  • If a free lending library is not available, the library will cover up to $10 on any item requested.
  • If the cost of borrowing exceeds $10, interlibrary loan will not continue with the request until the patron agrees to pay the balance.
  • To avoid delays, patrons are advised to indicate the amount they are willing to pay in the Maximum Cost field on the interlibrary loan form. $10 will cover most lending charges.

Patrons with lost materials or fines of $20 or more may not request interlibrary loan items until the lost materials are cleared or the fines have been reduced.

Patrons with overdue interlibrary loan items may not check out additional items from interlibrary loan. It is still possible to access your interlibrary loan account and submit additional requests.

Interlibrary loan materials are not renewable.

Responsibilities and other important information

Since interlibrary loan materials are lent through the generosity of other libraries, it is essential that responsibility for these items be absolutely clear. Therefore, interlibrary loan materials can only be checked out on the library card of the person who requested them. Educator Cards cannot be used to request or check out interlibrary loan materials.

Failure to return an interlibrary loan will result in a minimum charge of $50 to your library card at 30 days past the due date.

There is a limit of five active interlibrary loan requests.

Patrons must have an interlibrary loan account in order to place an interlibrary loan request.

If you have questions about these policies, or would like to check on the status of your interlibrary loan request, please contact the Interlibrary Loan office at 503.988.5245 or The Interlibrary Loan office is not staffed during all library hours, but we will respond to your question as quickly as possible.