home > reference & research > ask us > interlibrary loan > about interlibrary loan
Use interlibrary loan (ILL) to request an item that is not owned by Hennepin County Library (HCL). We may be able to borrow it for you from another library system; we cannot request titles owned by HCL. Check our formats page for more information on what items can be requested.

You can have up to 10 active ILL requests per patron. Requests are active from the time they are placed until the item has been returned to a Hennepin County Library and checked in by the ILL department

Lending libraries may decline to lend any item and may limit the number of times they will send an item. Items previously borrowed through ILL may not be available again.

Use MNLink to make an ILL request. Please see our MnLINK instruction page for more information.

Picking up items
Most requests are filled in two to three weeks. Some take longer due to demand for the item, how widely it is held, and delivery schedules. You will be notified by email or phone when the item is ready for checkout.

Loan period
The loan period is three weeks. ILL items can sometimes be renewed, at the discretion of the lending library. Please contact ILL staff several days before the item is due if a renewal is needed. Patrons are responsible for any fines and/or fees incurred due to the loss or damage of ILL materials. Fines for overdue ILL items are $.30 per item per day.

Canceling a request
You can cancel a request directly in MnLINK in My Account or you can contact ILL staff to cancel the request.

Requests for Articles
A request for a magazine article is usually filled with a photocopy or scan of the article, which may be mailed or emailed to you. You may keep these photocopies.

You can also request MEDD (Minitex Electronic Document Delivery) delivery of an article. The article is scanned and you are sent instructions for retrieving the document and downloading. To request MEDD delivery in MnLINK, after filling out the Part Details section, use the Special Instructions box and enter "MEDD" and your email address.

Requests for Microfilm
Items on microfilm, especially newspapers, may be requested. For the pickup location, you must choose a library that has microform readers/printers: Central, Brookdale, Ridgedale or Southdale. Microfilm is for in-library use only. Some historical societies require pre-payment for loans.

To request microfilm, search for the title on MnLINK. If found, fill out the request form. Use 'Create Request' if not found on MnLINK. Indicate "national search" in the Special Instructions box. Multiple requests may need to be placed if several years are needed.

Charges for ILL
There is no charge for interlibrary loan service, except for some microfilm requests that require pre-paid fees.

Contact ILL staff Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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