Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a free service provided by our local libraries in conjunction with the North Country Library System (NCLS). ILL allows libraries to share items through the NCLS delivery system, giving patrons easy access to a diverse collection of materials.
Thus far in 2017, NCLS has transported 42,802 books, movies, and other items between 65 public libraries in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Oswego, and Lewis Counties. In St. Lawrence County, our public libraries have lent 15,486 items through interlibrary loan. Local libraries that have lent over 1,000 ILL items are Potsdam, Massena, Ogdensburg, Canton, Colton, and Lisbon.
Although the majority of items shared among libraries are adult books, about twenty-five percent of items sent through ILL are for children. In St. Lawrence County, Lisbon and Norwood have the largest percentage of juvenile ILL items: 40% (Lisbon) and 32% (Norwood) of the materials sent via ILL are for juvenile audiences.
DVDs and Blu-Rays are also a significant part of our ILL service. Potsdam, Ogdensburg, Massena, Colton, Canton, and Lisbon have lent a combined total of 2,390 DVDs – the highest six libraries in the county.
Interlibrary loan is available to anyone with a North Country Library System card. Loans may be requested at any public library, or from home or your mobile device. All you need is a library card which may be obtained from and used at any library in the NCLS service area. To place a hold online, visit http://www.ncls.org, log in with your library card and PIN numbers, search for the item you wish to borrow, and click on “place hold”. The default location to pick up your hold will be the library associated with your library card, but you can select any of our libraries or branches as an alternate pickup location. Users with an email address on file will receive an automated message when holds are available to pick up; users without an email will generally receive a telephone call from the library. Holds without a wait list are usually available within a week, depending on where the items is located and when the next pickup/delivery is scheduled.
With such a large geographic area, interlibrary loan is a wonderful resource that allows patrons to obtain materials without needing to drive long distances. The NCLS delivery van travels a different route five days a week, delivering and picking up gray plastic bins filled with books, movies, audiobooks, and other items. Every library has at least one pickup/delivery per week, with the larger libraries having two slots in the delivery schedule.
If you have questions about interlibrary loan, please stop by your local library, or give them a call. Almost all items may be sent via ILL, although some exceptions do apply to new releases, reference items, museum passes, and special collections. So, if you’re looking for the next book in a series, or a special movie for date night, consider placing a hold and borrowing it through interlibrary loan… visit us online, or stop at a local library and check us out!