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Interlibrary Loan Requests

If you need a book, audiobook, movie, or musical recording that PPL doesn’t own, the fastest way to get it is to request it in MaineCat, Maine’s statewide library catalog. If the item you want isn’t available in MaineCat, you may make an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request and we will do our best to borrow it for you from an out of state library.

How do I make an ILL request?

  1. Search our catalog and use the Place a Hold feature to reserve a copy.
  2. If PPL does not own it, search MaineCat  and use the Request button to reserve a copy.
  3. If the item is unavailable in MaineCat, fill out an ILL Borrowing Request form.

The Reference Desk staff can help you with ILL requests as well as photocopy requests. If you have questions about getting started, ask a librarian or call the Reference Desk at 871-1700, ext. 725.

ILL services can help you borrow items not owned by PPL or other Maine libraries. We have a high rate of success in tracking down books and photocopies from out-of-state lenders. It’s worth noting, however, that many libraries do not lend e-books, movies, music, textbooks, genealogy or titles published in the past year.

If all of the copies in MaineCat are checked out or on hold, the title is probably too new and/or too popular for us to borrow. You may have better luck checking MaineCat every few weeks and requesting a copy when demand slows down.

If there are titles that you would like PPL to add to our own collection, tell us!

You may also use your Portland Public Library card in person at the following libraries to borrow their materials:  Bangor Public Library, Maine State Library, University of Maine-Orono, University of Southern Maine, Southern Maine Community College, York County Community College, Kennebec Valley Community College, and Eastern Maine Community College.



How do I make an ILL photocopy request?

If you need a copy of an article from a newspaper, magazine, or journal that PPL does not own, fill out an ILL Photocopy Request form.  The citation you provide is our only guide, so please be sure it is accurate, complete, and free of abbreviations.  Ask a librarian for help.

How much will it cost me to make an ILL request?

Most book and photocopy requests from reciprocating libraries are free.  Sometimes, however, we must request from a library that charges to lend or photocopy.  Please indicate on your request the maximum amount, if any, you would be willing to pay for your ILL.

How long will it take?

It can take a few weeks for an ILL request to be filled, based on the availability of the item.  You will be notified by email when the item is ready to pick up at the PPL branch of your choice.

How long can I keep the ILL item?

The due date of your ILL is set by the lending library and may differ from the standard PPL loan period.  Overdue fines will accrue at the standard PPL rate per day.

Can ILLs be renewed?

MaineCat items can be renewed via your PPL account according to MaineCat loan rules (one 3-week renewal for books, one 1-week renewal for movies and music unless they are from Colby, Bates, or Bowdoin Colleges).

Out of state ILL items may only be renewed by contacting the PPL ILL office; they are not renewable online. Renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending library. It can take a few days for lenders to respond to renewal requests, and some never respond at all.  Please contact the ILL office at 871-1735 at least 3 days before the due date if you need more time.