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Guide to Maine Region 1 Interlibrary Loan

Searching & Requesting Subject Requests Shipping Lost or Damaged Items

Maine Region 1 libraries may request books, movies, music and photocopies from the Portland Public Library through interlibrary loan.  If we don’t have the item, we’ll search libraries nationwide using WorldCat, OCLC’s vast worldwide catalog of library holdings.

Things to keep in mind when making Region 1 ILL requests:

  • Request directly from the PPL catalog for the fastest service.
  • New titles and new AV materials are often difficult to borrow when requested close to the release date.  Please request the item again later on if the request goes unfilled.
  • Each potential WorldCat lender sets their own timeline to respond to requests, ranging between 2 and 20 days.  A search could 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.
  • Watch both PPL and WorldShare ILL accounts, and notify the ILL office at 871-1735 if anything seems odd.
  • Mamie Ney, the former District Consultant, has created a request form template that can be used for gathering information from patrons about interlibrary loan requests.
  •  Download the Region1.Patron ILL Request Form Template


Searching & Requesting

Start with the PPL Catalog

Save time by logging into your PPL account before you start searching.   PPL materials may be requested directly from our catalog during the search.

  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, please request it via WorldShare  ILL (see instructions below).
  4. When a title is found, click on the Request button. If no Request button is seen (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  should be ordered via WorldShare ILL instead. Contact the interlibrary loan office with questions. Upcoming release titles on order can be reserved from the PPL catalog.
  5. Choose “ ILL – Library Use Only” as the pickup location. We will pull the item and ship it via van delivery or USPS.

The request will  be visible on your PPL patron account for online monitoring and renewals.  To see all of your requests, click on the button labeled “View My Holds.”

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. Use the comments field to to note other information.  (ex.  Maine lenders only)

Requesting Books, AV and Photocopies via WorldShare ILL:

Region 1 ILL uses a web-based tool for managing WorldCat (OCLC) ILL transactions. WorldShare ILL gives Region 1 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 the library’s account. Please access the URL provided in the welcome letter provided.  The username is the 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

Copyright Compliance

Reviewing requests


Article Exchange

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. Indicate your 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.

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.  We will notify you when we need more of your labels.

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

As 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. Renewals are given 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.

Each Region 1 library is responsible for monitoring their PPL account and 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 renewals, please log in to your PPL account online. Enter your library name and 14-digit bar code to access your account.

Libraries with replacement fines for a long overdue items 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.  Lending libraries (including Portland Public Library) reserve the right to bill borrowing libraries for materials that are damaged, lost in the mail, or never returned.

If a patron loses or damages a Portland Public Library book, we will  charge a replacement fee that includes a $10 processing fee. Please pay us online with a credit card or send a check.  Replacement copies must meet the following criteria:

  1.  ISBN must match the lost/damaged item.
  2. Replacement items must be brand new.
  3. A $10 processing fee must be paid.

Refunds will be processed less the $10 processing fee for items that are found and returned.

In all cases, please send all questions, payments, replacements, and found materials to the attention of Allie Pottenger. or (207)771-2737

Items borrowed via OCLC that are lost or damaged by patrons are subject to the billing policies of the lending library. Not all lenders will accept replacement copies, so please call our office before accepting or purchasing replacements. (207) 871-1735

Contact Us

Allie and Eileen are available to answer questions and solve mysteries from 7am to 3pm, Monday through Friday, at (207) 871-1735.