What is the charge for an interlibrary loan? Thanks
Thanks for asking! That is one detail that isn't explicitly described in our inter-library loan information because the cost can't be guaranteed in advance. Users pay the return postage for shipping an item back to the lending library, which will depend on weight and other variables. Certain lenders may require additional lending fees; for certain other transactions like photocopies of an article, lenders will not require any charge trusting that the balance will even out among all inter-library loan transactions.
What I can say is that by submitting an inter-library loan request through Omaha Public Library, you may incur a postage cost of up to $7.00 applied to your Omaha Public Library account once the item arrives. If it becomes clear that a transaction will involve any costs above that amount, or if the lending library requests special lending fees, our staff will contact you before moving forward with the inter-library loan. A "typical" postage cost is more in the $2.00-3.00 range, but it is wise to make your ordering decisions based on the highest possible charge.
I've always found inter-library loan to be a very cost-effective way of getting access to scarce, specialized, or out-of-print titles. I do encourage potential borrowers to consider the cost and availability of used copies through other sources, but ILL is always available for items you aren't necessarily dying to have in your own permanent collection.
Thanks again for using AskOPL! If you have additional questions about inter-library loan, please feel free to contact our ILL clerk at 402-444-4857 or give us a call at 402-444-4800.