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Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan (ILL) allows you to obtain materials currently not found in the East Central Regional Library catalog. Please check the East Central Regional Library Catalog before placing an ILL request.

Once you have searched the catalog and determined that your selection is not owned by ECRL, you have two options depending on the publication/release date of the item you are requesting:

  • For items published or released within 6 months:

Fill out a Purchase Suggestion form. East Central Regional Library staff will decide to either purchase the item or borrow it from another library. Once the decision is made, the item request will be placed on your account, if possible.

  • For items published or released over 6 months ago:

Place an Interlibrary Loan request.  This statewide service allows you to request materials held in academic and public libraries throughout Minnesota and a shared region. Once a request is filled, it will be delivered to your East Central Regional Library branch. 

To place an ILL request go to MNLINK.ORG and search for an item.  You will need your East Central Library barcode and PIN to place requests.  We are happy to show you how this process works or you may access  MNLINK Tutorials to view videos that can help you search for items, make requests, etc.


What can be requested through Interlibrary Loan?

Books, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, and magazine articles that were published more than 6 months prior to the request date are eligible for interlibrary loan. Electronic versions of some books may be available if a physical copy is not available. Article and microfilm requests may also be placed through ILL. 


Borrowing FAQs

  • How do I make an interlibrary loan request?

Begin by searching the East Central Regional Library Catalog to see if your item is available there.  If your item is not available through ECRL, please go to mnlink.org and locate a record for your item.  Click “Request Item,” then log into your account using your ECRL library barcode number and PIN. Click “Request.” If you need any help with this process, please don’t hesitate to ask us.  We are happy to help!

  • How long can I keep ILL materials?

The loan period for an interlibrary loan is three weeks.  Interlibrary loans cannot be renewed.

  • How long will it take to get my items? 

Please be patient. Items come from different parts of the region, so it may take some time to reach you, usually 2-4 weeks. Please do not make a second request for the same item within that time frame as this may confuse the process and increase your wait time.

  • How many interlibrary loan requests can I make at one time?

You may place up to 20 active interlibrary loan requests at one time. Requests remain active until items have been returned to East Central Regional Library and checked in by the Interlibrary Loan Department.

  • My request was denied. What should I do next?

If a request cannot be filled, an email will be sent to advise you of the reason. If the reason for the denial was due to the item being checked out at the time of your request, please wait 30 days before placing your request again.  This will increase the chances the item has been returned, shelved, and is available for your request. 

  • Are there fees to use interlibrary loan?

There is no charge to use the interlibrary loan service if the requested item is from a Minnesota library or can be found in our shared region.  

Late fees may be assessed for interlibrary loan items not returned on time. 

Replacement fees will be assessed for items not returned.