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Interlibrary Loan: Home

A guide to resource sharing activities and services at MLS and beyond.

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COVID-19 and ILL: FAQs

What should I do with returns?

For loans being returned through the mail: OCLC is crowd sourcing a list where libraries can self-report whether they are accepting returns and/or lending items. Because libraries are adding themselves, it is by no means comprehensive, but at this time has over 2600 entries. Libraries may have multiple entries as their status has changed over time; check the date and time stamp column to find the most recent. That list can be found here:

If you cannot find the owning library on this list, you can try checking their website for signs that the library is staffed at some capacity. If it looks like staff is reporting to the building, ILLs should be safe to mail back. If you would like us to confirm, email us at with the Clio ID and/or ILL number of the request and we will check to see if the owning library is accepting returns.

As always, we suggest making note of the USPS tracking number of your ILL returns.

For loans being returned through Delivery: Items can be returned to any library through Delivery. Optima will hold bins for libraries that have not resumed Delivery services yet. A list of libraries that have resumed Delivery is available on the Delivery LibGuide under Routes Information. Interstate delivery to Rhode Island is operational again; be sure to use Rhode Island slips and 3 letter codes, found here:

Can I place new requests?

Yes! If your patrons are looking for material, please feel free to place requests. Not all libraries are back to lending physical materials, but many are, so we will do our best to find a lender.

Why is this loan taking so long to arrive?

We are seeing longer shipping times through the mail due to recent policy changes at the USPS. Library mail can take 2-3 weeks to arrive. Please let us know if ILLs have not arrived and we will check with the owning library.

Items coming through Delivery are also taking a little longer; many libraries currently have fewer Delivery days than their normal routes which is adding to time spent in transit. If items haven’t arrived within 2 weeks please let us know so we can check with the owning library and Delivery.

Questions? Concerns? Email the ILL team at
(Updated 10/29/2020)

Contact us!

Resource Sharing Team
866-627-7228 select option #4

Laura Bogart, Resource Sharing Assistant x318

Kathryn Bowen, Resource Sharing Assistant x321

Vincent Nguyen, Resource Sharing Assistant x316

Alison DeMers, Resource Sharing Librarian x317

Scott Kehoe, Library Resources Director x308

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