Interlibrary Loan

When Brown County Library doesn’t own an item, we can check if another library in Wisconsin owns the item through a shared library catalog called WISCAT. The process of borrowing items from non-Brown County Libraries is called interlibrary loan.

Before proceeding, search the Brown County Library catalog to make sure you need to proceed with an interlibrary loan request. As an important note, not everything can be requested through interlibrary loan and not all requests can be filled.

In order to place an interlibrary loan request, your library account needs to be active and in good standing.

Items 6 months old and newer are unable to be requested through interlibrary loan. If an item you are interested in is within 6 months of its publication date, make a suggestion for purchase instead of an interlibrary loan request. Not sure if an item is too new for an interlibrary loan request? Try checking for the publication information.


Do you have questions about interlibrary loan? Consult the topics below:

Borrowing Restrictions

There are restrictions on what materials can be borrowed using interlibrary loan services. The following items cannot be borrowed via ILL:

  • • Items that the Brown County Library already owns
  • • Items that have been published within the last six months
  • • Video games
  • • Magazines
  • • Entire volumes or issues of journals
  • • Items that are in high demand
  • • Digital resources, such as ebooks or movies available in streaming formats


Placing a request for an item via Interlibrary Loan does not guarantee it will be available. If you place an ILL request for an item that we can’t get for you, a BCL staff member will follow up with you within a week of the request date to let you know why the item is not available.

Checking Out ILL Items

If the item you requested is available, it usually takes 1-3 weeks for the item to be sent from the owning library to BCL. Since these items are not in our catalog, you won’t see them on your list of holds until they arrive at BCL for you to pick up. When your hold arrives at the BCL location you selected for pickup, you will receive a notification letting you know your items are available. You have seven days from the time the hold becomes available to check out the item.  If your hold is not checked out within seven days, it will be sent back to the library that owns it.

Interlibrary loans check out for 21 days.

Each ILL item has a red tag that is used to check out the item. This red tag contains the title of the item, the item’s due date, and additional information about ILL services. You must return this red tag with your ILL item in order for it to be checked in properly and to avoid fees.

Renewing ILL Items

If you need more time with an ILL item, the library that sent us the item decides whether or not they will extend the due date. If you need to renew an ILL item, please contact BCL staff before your item is due to request a renewal. BCL staff will work with the lending library to see if an extension is possible and follow up with you to give you the final due date.

We cannot request extensions for ILL items if they are already overdue.

Fines and Fees for ILL Items

Overdue fees are charged for ILL items that are not returned by the due date. The following fees are charged for ILL items:

• ILL DVDs: $1.50/day
• All other ILL materials: $0.50/day
• ILL items returned without the red tag: $2.00/item

If an ILL item you borrow is lost or damaged, the library that owns that item determines the amount you will be charged to replace it. Library users who check out ILL items are responsible for returning the items in good condition.