Interlibrary Loan Guidelines

The St. Lucie County Library provides interlibrary loan service (ILL) to enhance and extend resources available to its users. ILL is a cooperative service agreement between libraries to make items in their collection available to the patrons of other libraries.  Because the St. Lucie County Library System cannot purchase or subscribe to every useful resource, ILL is an essential service to meet the information needs of its users.


Fair Warning

Please note that the use of ILL involves the policies and regulations of other institutions which are beyond the control of the St. Lucie County Library, particularly those related to replacement fees for lost or damaged items. Patrons are advised to read the section titled “Overdue Fines and Replacement Costs” carefully before using this service.

Loan Period and Renewal of Items

Loan periods are 2 weeks from the date the item is picked up, with no renewals.

Eligibility and Limits on Interlibrary Loan Borrowing

Because ILL involves items owned by other institutions and because of the labor the service requires, certain restrictions and limits apply to ILL borrowing.

  1. ILL is available to St. Lucie County Library adult cardholders whose account is in good standing, that is, not blocked or barred.
  2. Patrons are limited to 5 active requests at any one time. Active requests include items currently on loan and items currently being searched for.
  3. Patrons who fail to return items, repeatedly return items late, return damaged items, or fail to pick up requested ILL items will not be eligible for ILL borrowing.

Materials Available for Borrowing

Books, audio-visual materials, and copies of periodical articles or other documents that we do not own, including items in our catalog with records that show no holdings.

Materials Not Available for Borrowing

Any item currently owned by the Library, including items checked out, reference items, and items on order.

Because other libraries do not lend them out, we will not request college textbooks or items less than a year old.


While the Library will attempt to obtain items without charge, there are times when an item can only be borrowed from a library that charges a fee for lending it, or for making a copy of the requested document. In these cases the Library will contact the patron and ask if the fee is acceptable. If the patron agrees to be responsible for the fee the Library will borrow the item and the patron will reimburse the Library for the fee when the item is borrowed.  Once charges have been incurred on a patron's behalf, the patron is responsible for the amount he or she has agreed to even if the item is not picked up.

Overdue Fines and Replacement Costs

  1. Fines for overdue Interlibrary Loan items are $1.00 per day, per item, with a maximum overdue fine of $10.00.
  2. Replacement costs for damaged or lost items are determined by the lending institution, and may amount to many times the actual value of the item. It is not uncommon for academic libraries to use a default replacement fee of $100 or more per item.
  3. Once the St. Lucie County Library System has been invoiced by the lending institution and has paid the replacement fee for an item that has not been returned on time, a bill for the replacement fee will be added to the patron’s account and the account will be barred until the bill is paid.
  4. This bill cannot be cancelled, even if the item is later returned. Since the item can no longer be returned to the lending institution the patron is free to keep the item, but the patron’s account will remain barred until the bill is paid.

Copyright restrictions on copied materials

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of the specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, and later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.