Interlibrary Loan

Can't find what you’re looking for in the Vancouver Island Regional Library catalogue?  You may be able to borrow it for free from another library in the province or elsewhere in Canada through Interlibrary loan (ILL).

How do I place an Interlibrary loan request?

  1. Search our catalogue to try to find your item at one of our 39 branches.  If you find the item in our catalogue, place a request on it and choose your local branch as the pickup location.
  2. Check to see if the item is available in another BC Library system by using  Outlook catalogue.  This will search many library systems for the item you are looking for.
  3. Request the item using our  Interlibrary loan form

Frequently asked questions about Interlibrary loan:

How long will an Interlibrary loan request take?

Interlibrary loans can take considerably longer than requests placed within the Vancouver Island Regional Library system.  These requests may be coming from another library in the province or elsewhere in Canada.  The average wait is 4-8 weeks.

What can I request? Any exceptions?

Materials that are available through Interlibrary loan include:

  •  Books
  • Copies of articles from magazines, newspapers or conference proceedings
  • Photocopies of specific information from non-circulating books
  • Microfilm of census, newspaper or archival material
  • Audiobooks may be requested for the visually impaired

There is no limit on the number of ILLs you can have in a year, however, you may only have 10 active ILL requests at a time. This is consistent with BC Library interlibrary loan practice.


Materials that are NOT available through Interlibrary loan include:

  • Audiovisual materials (CDs, audio tapes, CDROMs, videocassettes, DVDs)
  • Non-circulating/reference materials
  • Books published in the current or previous year
  • Items priced under $15
  • Magazines, except photocopies of specific articles
  • Rare, old or fragile books
  • Computer software and computer games
  • eBooks or other electronic resources

What is the loan period for Interlibrary loan materials?

  • Loan periods are set by the lending library and are two or three weeks. Please return materials promptly.
  • Renewals are not allowed and items may not be re-requested for a three month period.
  • Lending libraries may place restrictions on the use of their materials, for example, "Library use only".

What are the charges when using Interlibrary loan?

  • There is no charge for using the service.
  • Overdue fines for Interlibrary loans are $1.50/day for adults and $.50/day for children.


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(877) 415.VIRL