Interlibrary loan

Use interlibrary loan (ILL) to request items that are not owned by Hennepin County Library.

If Hennepin County Library does not own an item, you can use MNLINK to search for and request it from academic and public libraries throughout Minnesota. If you can't find the item in MNLINK, Ask Us for assistance.



Loan period

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


You can have up to 5 active interlibrary loan 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 Interlibrary Loan department.

Lending libraries may decline to lend any item and may limit the number of times they will send an item (see format availability below). Items previously borrowed through interlibrary loan may not be available again.

Pick 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 to pick up.


There's no charge for interlibrary loan service, except for some microfilm requests that require pre-paid fees.


Patrons are responsible for any fines and/or fees incurred due to the loss or damage of interlibrary loan materials. Fines for overdue interlibrary loan items are $.30 per item per day.

Cancel a request

You can cancel a request directly in MNLINK (My Account) or you can Ask Us by phone, email, text, or in person.


Formats that can be borrowed through ILL

  • Books
  • Photocopies of magazine or newspaper articles
  • Microfilm
  • Videos/DVDs
  • Cassette tapes/CDs

Formats that cannot be borrowed through ILL

  • eBooks
  • eJournals
  • Streaming video
  • Computer software
  • 16mm films
  • Posters
  • Maps
  • Art Prints

Item availability

See the items in constant demand list for information about items that are unlikely to be available.

Article requests

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

  • Search for the item in MNLINK.
  • Fill out the Part Details section.
  • In the Special Instructions box, enter "MEDD" and your email address.

Microfilm requests

Items on microfilm, especially newspapers, may be requested. Microfilm is only for in-library use at one of the libraries that has microform readers/printers: Minneapolis Central, Brookdale, Ridgedale or Southdale.

Some historical societies require pre-payment for loans.

How to place a request for microfilm

  • Search for the title in MNLINK.
  • If found, fill out the request form.
  • Use 'Create Request' if not found in MNLINK.
  • Indicate "national search" in the Special Instructions box.
  • For the pickup location, choose one of these libraries: Minneapolis Central, Brookdale, Ridgedale or Southdale.
  • Multiple requests may need to be placed if several years are needed.