All Library locations will be closed on Mon Jan 15 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day. We will re-open for regular hours on Tues Jan 16, 2018. Looking for something to read or download? Explore our CloudLibrary or check out our resources under the eLibrary tab.

Guide to SMLD Interlibrary Loan

Searching & Requesting Subject Requests Shipping Lost or Damaged Items

Any library in the Southern Maine Library District may request books, movies, music and photocopies from the Portland Public Library through ILL.  If we don’t have what you need, we’ll search libraries nationwide using WorldCat, OCLC’s vast worldwide catalog of library holdings.

Things to keep in mind when making SMLD ILL requests:

  • Request directly from the PPL catalog for the fastest service.
  • Please inform your patrons that new titles and AV materials are often difficult to procure when requested close to the release date.  You can request the item again later on if your request goes unfilled.  Each potential WorldCat lender gets 4 business days to respond to our request, so a search might take several weeks.
  • Most libraries are not lending electronic resources (e-books, e-serials, or other digital content) via interlibrary loan because of licensing restrictions.
  • Keep a close eye on your PPL and WorldShare ILL accounts, and notify the ILL office at 871-1735 if anything seems odd.
  • To keep up with news about SMLD ILL and WorldShare ILL, consider subscribing to SMLD-L, an informative, low-traffic discussion list specifically for SMLD libraries.
  • Mamie Ney, the former SMLD District Consultant, has created a request form template that you can use for gathering information from your patrons about their ILL requests. Download the SMLD.Patron ILL Request Form Template


Searching & Requesting

Start with the PPL Catalog

If you have several searches to do, you can save time by logging into your PPL account before you start searching.  You may request PPL materials directly from our catalog.

  1. Log in to My PPL.
  2. Search the PPL catalog using the search field at the top of the screen.
  3. If item is not located in our catalog, you may request it via WorldShare  ILL(see instructions below).
  4. If title is found, select the desired item by clicking on the Request button. If you do not see a Request button (either at the top of the page or just below the title field), look closely at the item record. Can you see which branch of the library owns this work? If no branches are listed, our copy is most likely long overdue or missing, and thus should be ordered via WorldShare ILL instead. Contact the ILL office if you are not sure. Upcoming release titles on order can be reserved from the PPL catalog.
  5. Choose “SMLD ILL – Library Use Only” as your pickup location. This will help us route your materials through the ILL office for proper handling.

The request will now be visible on your PPL patron account for online monitoring and renewals.  To see all of your holds, click on the button labeled “View My Holds.” We will pull the item and send it to you.

If you do not find what you need in our catalog, please fill out a request form in WorldShare ILL so that we can ask WorldCat (OCLC) lenders on your behalf. We always ask Maine OCLC lenders first when possible. If you do not wish for us to search outside of Maine, please note that in the comment field of the form.

***CLIO will be disabled on July 1, 2017.  Member libraries will begin using WorldShare ILL at that point.


Requesting Books, AV and Photocopies via WorldShare ILL:

SMLD ILL uses a web-based tool for managing WorldCat (OCLC) ILL transactions. WorldShare ILL gives SMLD libraries 24/7 access to your WorldCat ILL requests and allows you to receive, renew and return ILL materials online.

As a member library you will be provided with a URL unique to your individual library to place your requests. Please, bookmark this URL.

OCLC’s Customer Support team is available to help you get started with WorldShare Interlibrary Loan.  Please contact them with questions at or by phone at 1-800-848-5800 or 614-793-8682.

Call the ILL office at 871-1735 if questions arise or you wish to become a member library.

Browser compatibility chart

The initial step to logging on to WorldShare ILL is to create a new password for your library’s account. Please access the URL provided to you in your welcome letter.  Your username is your Portland Public library card # .

Step Action
1 Click on the Set/reset password hotlink.


2 Type your username (PPL Card #) in the box, as prompted.


3 Create your new password and confirm it, as prompted.


More detailed information regarding setting/resetting passwords can be found in the Creating an account section of this document:


User Guides:

Placing requests

Reviewing requests

Receiving requests


Returning items

Book Club Requests

Best practices for using WorldShare ILL:

  • Provide accurate, verified citations, preferably with the OCLC record number from WorldCat. If you can not provide an OCLC record number, please provide an ISBN.
  • Copy and paste OCLC record numbers and ISBN numbers instead of typing them.
  • Use the right request form (print, AV, or photocopy).
  • One title/volume per request.
  • If you specify “This edition only,” please be sure that you have filled in the Edition field.
  •  Update your transactions promptly.
  • Always update to received, even if you are receiving a photocopy.
  •  It is the responsibility of the requesting library to be aware of, and to abide by, the copyright laws. You must indicate your level of copyright compliance when you place a photocopy request or we will be unable to process it.

Additional training  is available under the “Training for Group Member Libraries” section here:

Training Webinars

Note: You will need your unique URL provided above, user name, and password to attend training webinars.

Placing Subject Requests


As your ARRC, Portland Public Library provides backup reference service to all of our member libraries. Our reference librarians are pleased to locate resources on a particular topic for you and your patrons. Please be as specific as possible when making a subject request.


Mailing Costs

Mailing costs are shared by the borrower and the lender. The lender will pay for shipping to the borrowing library. The borrowing library pays for return postage and, when necessary, insurance. All Maine OCLC lenders use the statewide delivery system.

Mailing Labels

If your library does not participate in the statewide delivery service, please send us a supply of 3×5 mailing labels with your library’s name and address in the “ship to” section, or a stamp imprinted with that information.

If your library participates in the statewide delivery service, please use the labels provided on the Maine State Library’s web site.

Mis-Directed Shipments

Because we have an unusual arrangement as an ARRC, many lending libraries are easily confused by our shipping instructions. For this reason, our member libraries frequently find that they have received materials intended for another library. This can be an expensive inconvenience, especially for libraries that are not on the delivery circuit. Your colleagues appreciate your willingness to forward the errant item to the correct destination, or to send it back to PPL for re-routing. Please call our office if the correct mailing address is not evident.

Managing Your Transactions

Materials from the Portland Public library collection are checked out for a 3 week loan period. You may renew for another 3 week term unless other reserves exist for that title. In that case, you may call our office and ask us to put you back on the waiting list for it.

It is the responsibility of each SMLD library to monitor your PPL account and make sure that you are returning materials promptly. We will send courtesy notices before the item is due and overdue notices and bills at set intervals after the due date. If you do not renew or return an item and your account is billed, you will no longer be able to request items from the PPL catalog until it the fine is resolved. It pays to pay attention to your due dates, especially if you only get delivery once a week or certain patrons are habitually lax about returning things on time.

To manage your renewals, please log in to your PPL account online. Enter your library name and 14-digit bar code to access your account.

If your library incurs a replacement fine for a long overdue book, you will be unable to reserve or renew PPL materials until the matter is resolved. Please read more about our policies regarding lost and damaged materials below.

Materials borrowed from OCLC lenders may be renewed at the discretion of the lending institution. Please use WorldShare ILL to receive, renew and return materials.

Lost or Damaged Materials

By making an interlibrary loan request, the borrowing library agrees to act in good faith to return loans in a timely manner in good condition, and to accept financial responsibility for the materials that are lost or damaged on your watch. Lending libraries (including Portland Public Library) reserve the right to bill your institution for materials that are damaged, lost in the mail, or never returned.

If your patron loses or damages a Portland Public Library book, your library will be charged a replacement fee that includes a $10 processing fee. You may pay online with a credit card or send us a check. If your patron wishes to provide a replacement copy of the lost book, the replacement must meet the following criteria:

  1. The replacement must have the same ISBN as the lost/damaged item.
  2. The replacement item must be brand new.
  3. The $10 processing fee must be paid.

If you pay the replacement fee for a lost book that is eventually found and returned, we will refund your money less the $10 processing fee.

In all cases, please send all questions, payments, replacements, and found materials to the attention of Beth Wulleman in the ILL office.

Items borrowed via OCLC that are lost or damaged by your patrons are subject to the billing policies of the lending library. Not all lenders will accept replacement copies, so please call our office before you or your patron purchases a replacement.

Contact Us

Eileen and Beth are available to answer questions and solve mysteries from 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday, at (207) 871-1700, ext. 735.