Recent Policy Changes

Fine rate for borrowed material is $1.00 per day, up to the cost of the book effective January 1st, 2012.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Interlibrary Loans and the Illiad System

Interlibrary Loan - What is it?

Interlibrary Loan allows libraries to share their circulating collections. The Lexington Public Library has direct electronic communication with over 4,100 participating libraries and document suppliers. We can obtain materials from any library in the United States willing to lend them.

What kind of items can I ask for?

Any book or magazine article that the Lexington Public Library does not already own. Microfilms can be requested but are often difficult to obtain. When placing a request, offer as much information about the item as possible. Full information will hasten the response. ILL requests are limited to 4 items at a time.

What kind of items cannot be borrowed?

Newly published books (within one year of publication date), items that the Lexington Public Library owns and are in our circulating collections, electronic books, textbooks, entire issues of magazines, videos (see exception below), cd's and cd-roms, books on tape, or other audio/visual material. Items from outside the United States cannot be borrowed. If KDLA owns a video or DVD, we can borrow it, as long it will not be shown in a public school setting. Please check the KDLA catalog to see if your item is available. Please do not submit more than four i.l.l. requests at a time.

What about reference and genealogical materials?

Although we can request such materials, libraries are often unwilling to lend them. For example, the Lexington Public Library does not lend its own reference books or materials kept in the Kentucky Room. However, sometimes photocopies of specified pages can be obtained. Census images are now available on our Ancestry Plus database. Patrons can borrow census microfilm directly from the National Archives.

How much does it cost?

Usually there is no charge, but large academic libraries sometimes do charge fees. If you are willing to pay such fees, usually $15-25, please type this information in the Notes field of the request form. This is your authorization for us to act as your agent in borrowing what you need from the lending library.

Fine rate for borrowed material is $1.00 per day, up to the lending library’s price of the book effective January 1st, 2012.

How long does it take?

It varies. Some items arrive within a week; others take several weeks. You will be notified by letter or e-mail when the request arrives. If you don't pick up the item, you are still responsible for those charges which you previously agreed to in order to obtain the item. We will notify you if we are not able to obtain the item.

Where do I pick up the item?

At the library location you specified when setting up your ILLiad account. All Interlibrary Loan items may be picked up at the Circulation Desk. The exception is microfilm, which must be picked up and used in the Central Library’s Kentucky Room. Items designated “In Library Use Only” cannot be removed from the library and must be returned to the Circulation Desk.

How long do I have to pick up the item?

We will hold items until the due date set by the lending library. Each item that is not picked up will have a $1.00 charge assessed to the customer’s account.

How long may I keep the Interlibrary Loan item?

The lending library determines the due date, usually two to three weeks. Please note that I.L.L. items do NOT check out for the same amount of time as those from our own collection. The due date will be noted on the label or book-strap attached to the book. Fine rate for borrowed material is $1.00 per day, up to the cost of the book effective January 1st, 2012.

Can I renew my Interlibrary Loan item?

Renewals can be requested via Illiad online system. Most lending libraries will allow one renewal, but they determine whether an item can be renewed, and if so, for how long. While the renewal request is pending, you may keep the item without incurring overdue fines if you have contacted us on or before the original due date. If the item is past due, you must contact us directly at 231-5527 or and you will be responsible for any fines accrued. You will be contacted when a renewal decision is made.

I have a new library card number. How do I update my Interlibrary Loan account?

The ILLiad software does not allow us to change the library card number associated with your ILL account. You must re-register as a new ILLiad borrower using your new card number. We will then merge your new account with the old one, which will also transfer all your requests to the new account.

What is ILLiad?

ILLiad is the electronic system you use to request an item through Interlibrary Loan. The name ILLiad can be thought of as an acronym for InterLibrary Loan internet accessible database.

How is ILLiad better than traditional ILL systems?

  1. You will find it easier to submit your interlibrary loan requests. With ILLiad, you enter your name, address, and other personal information into the system only once, at the time of your first request.
  2. Your request will be handled more rapidly and accurately as problems relating to misinterpretation of hand-written requests are eliminated.
  3. You can get many of your photocopies more quickly through Electronic Delivery.
  4. You can get information about the status of your request through the Web at any time from any location without having to call the ILL Department.
  5. Library personnel are able to serve you better because all data about your request and its handling is stored in a searchable database. We are able to respond quickly to your inquiries about your request. We are also able to gather statistical information about the performance of the libraries that lend to us, enabling us to make better decisions when choosing a lender to supply an item.

Are there any disadvantages to the electronic system?

Some people might find it troublesome to have to log into ILLiad using a username and password. We believe this is less trouble than traditional paper and electronic systems which require you to enter your personal information with each new request.

What if I forget my password?

If you have forgotten the password to your ILL account please first try clicking the "Forgot Password?" link on the ILL main page. If you have an e-mail address associated with your account you can use this link to send an e-mail to your account and reset your password.

In the event that you forget your password and do not have an e-mail account associated with your ILL account, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at (859) 231-5527. We can then reset your password allowing you access to our Interlibrary Loan system. Please change your password once you logon to the ILL System.

What Web browser should I use?

You need a Web browser that can handle forms, tables, and preferably Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). We recommend the current versions of either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

Is security a problem if I use a public computer in the library?

No. Security is only a problem if you are using a public computer outside the library. Other public computer's web browsers cache information and create a history file on the local workstation. This allows a subsequent user of the workstation to access the system under your name using the browser's Back button to recall a page from the cache, or by finding a page with your personal information in the browser's history file. If you are concerned about the security of your interlibrary loan requests, you can take the following steps:

  • Access ILLiad only from your personal computer or an otherwise secure workstation.
  • Access ILLiad from a public computer in the library. These computers are supervised by the library staff and your information is removed at the end of your library computer session.
  • When using a public access workstation outside the library:
    1. Delete from the history file those pages that contain your personal information.
    2. Exit from the Web browser before you leave the workstation. This prevents the Back button from accessing the pages you were using.

Why don't I see all my older requests when I look at my request history?

From time to time we purge older records from ILLiad. Our policy is to keep requests online for several years order to comply with record keeping requirements of the copyright law.

What is electronic delivery?

Many libraries ship photocopies of articles to us in electronic format. In the past we printed these articles before delivering them to you. Now, through ILLiad, we are able to offer you the option of electronic delivery of these articles in PDF format (Adobe's Portable Document Format). You can read more about electronic delivery on the Electronic Delivery Information page.

Who do I contact if I have problems with or questions about ILLiad?

System Problems or InterLibrary Loan Questions: Central Reference Dept. at (859) 231-5527 or e-mail to

Why does my browser say that you're sending a cookie? What's in it?

The technology that we use sends a Session ID to be stored on your machine. You can refuse this cookie and still be able to use ILLiad without any problems.