As in many professions, we librarians tend to forget that sometimes the terms we use in our day to day work don’t mean much to people who aren’t constantly thinking about libraries.
For my money, the biggest offender in libraries is “interlibrary loan”.
I know some of you are very familiar with it, but probably a lot have heard it but aren’t really sure what it is – or more importantly, how it can be so helpful to you. So that’s what I will try to explain today: what is interlibrary loan and how does it work at Griffin Free?
Interlibrary loan is a system in which libraries across the state have agreed to share their materials. Most public libraries, and a few collegiate and other libraries, in New Hampshire participate in our system. Let’s say there’s a book you want that has been out of print for a while. You ask us at Griffin Free about it, and we find that three libraries still have a copy. We put in a request that will determine which of the three libraries will lend it to us on your behalf.
Once each week, we receive Interlibrary loan deliveries from around the state. Usually within 2 weeks, we will have your request. We them loan it to you, using the due date provided by the owning library – usually 4-6 weeks, to make sure that you have plenty of time to finish.
One of the best parts about Interlibrary Loan is that you aren’t limited to books – we can also request DVDs, music CDs, magazines, and more from our partner libraries across the state.
All you have to know is the title (and author, if applicable) for the item(s) you want. Let one of our staff know about it, and we will do our best to get you the item within 1-2 weeks.
I hope that clarifies what Interlibrary Loan can do for you. If you are interested in trying it out for the first time, bring in your list and we will get started on finding the items you want! If you have further questions, just call or come by.
Thank you for being a part of Griffin Free!