Interlibrary Loans

About interlibrary loans
Interlibrary loans are the way library materials are made available from one library system to another. If the Whitby Public Library does not own an item that you need, our Interlibrary Loans department will try to get a copy sent from another library. The Whitby Public Library will search for the item you need at other libraries in Ontario, and throughout Canada.  You can search the INFO database (Information Network for Ontario) as a guest.  The INFO database is a virtual bibliographic catalogue of Ontario libraries.


How do I get an interlibrary loan?
To request an interlibrary loan, you must have a WPL card that is in good standing. A borrower who has fines of $10.00 or more, or owes more than $10.00 in lost or damaged material, will not be able to request an interlibrary loan until the account has been paid off in full.
You can submit a request in-person at any information desk, or by phoning or emailing any WPL branch. Please try to provide as much information about the item as you can so we can process your request as quickly as possible.
When your interlibrary loan arrives, you will be notified by phone unless you have requested email notification on your library account.


How long does an interlibrary loan take to arrive?
The length of time it takes for an interlibrary loan item to arrive varies. The time depends upon several factors such as the availability of the item, shipping and transit time. Materials sent from other provinces will take longer. On average it takes about 2 weeks for your interlibrary loan request to arrive, however it can take up to 8 weeks or more to complete your request.


Do I have to pay for an interlibrary loan?
While there are costs associated with interlibrary loan requests (costs that are higher when involving academic libraries), these are covered for you by the Whitby Public Library.
Fines for overdue interlibrary loan items are $1.00 per day to a maximum of $20.00 per item. You are responsible for the replacement cost of lost or damaged items.


What is available through interlibrary loan?

  • Books and audiobooks (except those published or copyrighted in the current year)
  • DVDs and Blu-rays (except those published or copyrighted in the current year)
  • Music CDs (except those published or copyrighted in the current year)
  • Photocopies of newspaper, magazine and journal articles (that are not available in our databases)
  • Microfilms/microfiche
  • Government documents
  • Language kits

However, each lending library has its own set of policies regarding what it will loan, so we may not be able to obtain certain items. If we cannot obtain an item, a staff member from the Interlibrary Loan department will contact you to let you know.


What is not available through interlibrary loan

  • Books published and/or copyrighted in the current year
  • Best-sellers, popular paperbacks, and other high-demand titles
  • CD-ROMs
  • Computer games
  • E-books
  • Reference materials


What materials may not be available through Interlibrary Loan?
 Owning libraries may choose not to send us the following materials:

  • Non-circulating/reference materials
  • Books published and/or copyrighted in the current year
  • Magazines, except photocopies of specific articles
  • Textbooks for academic courses
  • Genealogical material
  • Rare books
  • Oversized materials
  • Unpublished dissertations and theses
  • Books with an audiovisual component


Requests for Textbooks
If you are a student, we highly suggest that you contact your college or university library to place an interlibrary loan request for a textbook. If you are not able to access your academic institution’s library, you can request material through the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Library by presenting your valid student card to a UOIT Library staff member. Contact the UOIT Library for more details.


Is there a limit on interlibrary loan requests?
You can have 5 active interlibrary loan requests at one time. Note that other institutional microfilm lending limits may also apply.


How can I check the status of my interlibrary loan request?
You can check the status of your interlibrary loan request by contacting the second floor information desk at the Central Library.  This can be done in-person, by phone (905-668-6531 extension 2009) or by email ( ). Your request will remain pending until the requested item is available for pickup at your preferred library branch.


How long may I keep the interlibrary loan item?
The loan period is usually 5 weeks, although this period may be shortened by the owning library. Depending on the item, the owning library may restrict the material to in-library use only (the item must be used within the WPL and cannot be taken home). Interlibrary loans cannot be renewed.


How do I cancel my interlibrary loan requests?
To cancel your interlibrary loan request, please contact the second floor information desk at the Central Library either in-person, by phone (905-668-6531 extension 2009)   or by email


If you have any additional questions about interlibrary loans, please phone 905-668-6531 extension  2009 or email