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Interlibrary Loan

Can't find it here?

We can help!  Use the Interlibrary Loan service to request materials not owned by the Detroit Public Library.

Borrowing Information

The Interlibrary Loan borrowing service will request material from other libraries if the item is not owned by Detroit Public Library. The ILL office will request:

  • Books
  • Photocopies from journals and newspapers

The following types of material will NOT be requested from other libraries:

  • Books owned by DPL including reference books and circulating books temporarily in use
  • Books on order or in process
  • Audiovisual materials, such as videos, CD's, DVD's, phonograph records and books on tape and CD
  • Textbooks


ILL borrowing service is available to any registered DPL customer with an active library card. We will not borrow items for customers who have outstanding fines or overdue material.

The ILL office cannot promise to meet any deadlines so plan ahead. The average time to process a request is 2-4 weeks. This time varies depending on the availability of the material, and the turnaround time of the lending library.

Conditions of service are set by the National Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States and the Michigan Interlibrary Loan Code. Photocopy requests will be made in accordance with current copyright laws.


$5 per request (this helps defray the cost of return postage, insurance, and online computer charges) 

Additional lending charges may apply. Every attempt will be made to find libraries that have no or low charges.

Loan Period

The length of loan is determined by the lending library but is usually 3-4 weeks. Call the ILL Dept. before the due date if a renewal is needed.

Where to Pick Up Materials

When material arrives you will be notified by phone by an ILL staff person. It is important that you give us a phone number at which you can be reached 12:00-8:00 pm, Tuesday-Wednesday or 10:00 am-6:00 pm,  Thursday-Saturday.

Materials can be picked up at the Main Library Circulation Desk

Please return ILL material to Main Library. Do not return in the drop box.

Once you have checked the online catalog to determine that DPL does not own the item you need, you may complete the Interlibrary Loan Request or Photocopy Request online forms or download the forms and fax them to (313) 833-5333.

Lending Information

The decision to lend material is based on the physical condition and rarity of, and local demand for, the item.

We accept requests by US mail, fax and e-mail.  The loan period is 21 days, with an additional 14 day renewal if needed.

Non-circulating Materials

Much of DPL's holdings is reference, and the decision to loan is made on a case by case basis. When reference material is loaned it is strictly for library use only.

Materials not available for loan include:

  • Genealogy material and family histories from the Burton Historical Collection
  • Rare books
  • Audio-visual materials, including DVDs, videos, books-on-tape and music CDs


We lend microfilm and some bound periodicals (decided on a case by case basis). We loan Detroit Free Press and Detroit News microfilm after 1873, however both newspapers cannot be requested concurrently for the same dates. A maximum of 3 reels is allowed.



  • Free to all Michigan libraries
  • Non-Michigan and Canadian libraries are charged $5.00 (this includes up to 3 microfilm reels or 5 volumes)
  • International libraries are charged $10.00


  • $2.00 handling plus .20 per page
  • Rush faxing is $4.00 handling plus .40 per page
  • Microfiche copies are free to all non-profit Michigan libraries. All other libraries are charged $2.00 handling plus $1.50 per fiche


ILL Fee Management (IFM) Service or invoiced with material. Prepayment is not required and is discouraged.

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