Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about ILLiad

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is service that allows patrons of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) to request materials not owned by B&ECPL from other library systems throughout the interlibrary loan community.

Who is eligible for Interlibrary Loan services?

Interlibrary loan service is available to all current B&ECPL cardholders. Patron requests will be processed if the library card is not blocked by fines or fees over $10.00 (including fines for overdue materials, or fees for lost materials). The patron must present the library card when picking up interlibrary loan materials. To determine if you are eligible for a B&ECPL library card go to How do I get a library card? Anyone who is not eligible for a B&ECPL library card must contact their library system to request Interlibrary Loan services.

What can be requested through Interlibrary Loan?

Materials that are not owned by B&ECPL, or currently not on order, may be requested through Interlibrary Loan. Patrons may complete loan requests for:

  • Books, books with accompanying media material, and sound recordings (on CD or cassette). Please contact staff regarding "non-circulating" material that cannot currently be requested through our online catalog. For information, contact any B&ECPL branch, or call eBranch at 858-8900.


  • DVD and VHS materials that are educational in content. We cannot honor requests for theatrical releases (feature films) or television series that are theatrical in content (e.g."The Sopranos"). The Interlibrary Loan Department reserves the right to cancel a request that is judged to be theatrical.


  • Microfilm materials including microfilmed editions of newspapers and periodicals not owned by B&ECPL

In addition, patrons may complete copy requests for articles in periodicals not owned by B&ECPL.

How long does it take to get ILL Material?

Please allow two to six weeks for your ILL request to be filled, since we will be working with libraries outside of B&ECPL to receive the material. Receipt time may vary according to factors including the availability of the material and the geographic location of the lending library. If we cannot obtain a requested item, you will receive a cancellation notice by email or by phone.

Is there a charge for this service?

B&ECPL does not charge patrons to use this service. However, some libraries have lending and copying fees, which B&ECPL must pass along to you.

While we will first attempt to obtain materials from libraries that provide service at no cost, we request that you indicate the maximum cost that you are willing to pay for a request to expedite processing. When there is a lending fee, the fees range between $10.00 and $20.00. Copying fees can vary, and may include copyright payment. If you indicate a $0 fee amount in your request, you will be contacted by the Interlibrary Loan Department if the lending library requests a fee.

There is a $.50 fee per page for printing articles that are held for pickup, and a $5.00 + $.50 per page fee if articles are mailed to your home. If electronic document delivery is selected at registration, electronically received articles are added to your ILLiad account and are delivered at no extra cost. Simply click Electronically Received articles within your ILLiad account. A pdf will appear.

You can decide to pay the fee and proceed with the request, or cancel the request at that time at no charge. Please note that if you indicate that you are willing to pay a fee, you will be charged the amount whether you pick up the item or not, since the lending library has charged B&ECPL to borrow or copy their material and B&ECPL is responsible to pay that cost regardless of patron use. Payment is due upon receipt of the material. Acceptable forms of payment include cash, check, money order, or credit card.

What is the loan period?

Loan periods are determined by the lending library. Most libraries will lend material for two to three weeks. The loan period begins when the items leave the lending library, and not when the material is picked up. Patrons may keep photocopied material.

May ILL material be renewed?

If you are interested in renewing items, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Department at 858-7126 at least three days before the material is due. We will contact the lending library to see if they will grant a renewal. Please provide the transaction number (TN) for the item, the title and your name if leaving a message. This process can take a few days. The lending library determines if the material can be renewed and, if renewable, provides a new due date. The Interlibrary Loan Department will contact you with the decision of the lending library.

You may also request a renewal directly from inside your Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) account. Simply click the transaction number of the item requiring a renewal from your active checkouts, and use the Renew Request link.

Renew Request

May ILL requests be cancelled?

It may be possible to cancel an ILL request. Requests that have the status "Awaiting Request Processing" can be cancelled by you, and the cancellation will be approved by the Interlibrary Loan Department. However, if a request has the status of "Request Sent," your cancellation must be reviewed by the Interlibrary Loan Department. Please note that a cancellation will not be approved if the material has already been shipped by the lending library system and you have agreed to accept the lender's fee.

Approved cancellations will have the ILLiad status "Cancelled by ILL Staff" in your view of "Cancelled Requests."

If you need to cancel a request, log on to your ILLiad account and click on "Outstanding Requests." Click on the transaction number of the request, and the "Cancel Request" link will appear at the top of the request.

Where may I return ILL material?

All ILL material must be returned during regular business hours to the library from which it was picked up. ILL material may not be put in a drop box. Material must be returned to the Circulation Desk of the pick up library with all accompanying paperwork and coverings.

What is the late fee on ILL material?

B&ECPL charges overdue fines on Interlibrary Loan materials according to B&ECPL policy: Adult and young adult materials including books, audiobooks on CD and musical recordings are charged $.25 per day per title and juvenile materials are charged $.10 per day per title. The fine for adult VHS tapes and DVDs is $1.00 per day. The fine for children's VHS tapes and DVDs is $1.00 per day. In addition, if the lending library charges an additional overdue fee, B&ECPL must pass the charge to you.

Your ILL request privilege will be blocked if one or more ILL materials are 8 days overdue, and your B&ECPL library privilege will be blocked once overdue fees exceed $10.00.

Please be aware that if Interlibrary Loan material is not returned, you will be responsible for payment of the actual cost of the item and any processing fees that the lending library charges for the item, which will be added to your library card. Your B&ECPL borrowing privileges and ILLiad account will be blocked until payment in full is received.

What is the new online Interlibrary Loan service (ILLiad)?

The new Interlibrary Loan service is an electronic system that patrons will use to request an item. The system is called ILLiad, an acronym for Inter Library Loan internet accessible database. This system will improve our ILL service by:

  1. Making it easier for patrons to submit an interlibrary loan request. Using ILLiad, patrons will enter their personal information into the system once, at the time of their first request.
  2. Allowing library staff to handle patron requests more rapidly and accurately.
  3. Providing a means for patrons to view the status of their requests through the Web at any time, and from any location, without having to contact the Interlibrary Loan Department.

Why do I need to use my library card and password to use ILLiad?

Using your library card number and password allows us to give you secure access to information about your ILL request. This system also enables you to edit your personal information such as your address or phone number.

We recommend that you follow good security practice and choose a password that is different from those you use to access other systems. No one but you will know your password. The password you set is stored in an encrypted file.

What if I forget my password?

In the event that you forget your password, click on "Forgot Password" in ILLiad Logon, enter your library card number, and click on "Reset Password." If your library card number is registered in ILLiad, you will receive the following message: "Password reset e-mail sent to the address on file. Check your e-mail and click the link to continue." Clicking on the provided link will return you to ILLiad where you will be able to enter a new password. If you do not have email, contact the Interlibrary Loan Department at 858-8900 for assistance.

How will I know when my loan request has arrived?

You will receive a phone call from your designated pickup library when your material arrives.

For best service, please make sure that your ILLiad account includes your current email address and daytime phone number.

What is electronic delivery of articles?

Many libraries deliver photocopies of articles in electronic format. Previously, we printed these articles before delivering them to you. Now, through ILLiad, you have the option of electronic delivery of your articles in PDF format (Adobes's Portable Document Format). You will need Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view, download, and print your articles. Acrobat Reader is available without charge from Adobe Systems, Inc. Click the "Get Adobe Reader" button to go directly to the download page.

To view your articles when they arrive:

  1. Logon to your ILLiad account.
  2. From the main menu, click the "Electronically Received Articles" link under the View Requests options.
  3. A list will be displayed containing all of the items that you have waiting to be viewed or downloaded.

If you do not want electronic delivery, paper delivery is the ILL default. Electronic delivery will be provided only if you choose it as an option on your Personal Information form when you register in ILLiad.

Who do I contact if I have problems or questions?

Contact the Interlibrary Loan Department by email at ILL@buffalolib.org, or by phone at 858-7126, Monday through Friday, 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. for help with:

  • Verifying whether B&ECPL owns your needed item.
  • Completing the ILLiad registration form.
  • Submitting or cancelling a request.
  • Obtaining information regarding the status of your request.
  • Renewing an ILL request.
  • Technical problems with the ILLiad website.

B&ECPL Home

Search the online catalog to see if the library owns what you're looking for.
Library Catalog

Search for full text articles in our online library databases
Library Database

If you cannot find what you are looking for in our catalog or databases,
and place a request through ILLiad, our Interlibrary Loan Service.