Interlibrary Loan – Frequently Asked Questions

What is WISCAT?
WISCAT is a Wisconsin Resource Sharing Catalog or a way to both find what’s owned in the libraries of Wisconsin (and much of the upper Midwest) and request those items to be delivered to a Brown County Library location.


Can I use WISCAT to request articles and newspaper microfilm?
There is currently no option in WISCAT for requesting parts (articles) of a magazine/journal or a specific microfilm reel of a newspaper title. WISCAT, Worldcat (and/or Google and Maxon, etc.) can be used to identify and describe the magazine, journal or newspaper your article or microfilm reel is from, but to request it, please use our online request form.


Are there items that cannot be borrowed through ILL?
Yes. For A full list click here.


What if the item is owned by Brown County Library?
The WISCAT software will not process a request if the item is owned by the Brown County Library. Before filling out a “Request This Item” form in WISCAT, make sure that the Brown County Library is not listed under the location information. Speak with a staff member at any of our 9 locations if any issues arise.


What if an item is new?
If an item is within 6 months of the publication date, we will not be able to request the item through Interlibrary loan. Instead, make a suggestion for purchase.


How do I know when the item is available for me to pick up?
Interlibrary loan items won’t show up on your Brown County Library account until they have been received at the pickup library. Once items are processed and available for pickup, you will be notified through the preferred method on your account. Since these items do not belong to Brown County Library, you will have to bring your Brown County Library card to the customer service desk at the pick up library to check out the item.


Why is it taking so long?
Interlibrary loans can take from 2 – 8 weeks. Because the process is dependent upon responses from other institutions and delivery systems, delivery time may vary greatly.


Can items be renewed?
Renewal requests are sometimes possible, but not encouraged. Some lending libraries never allow renewals on their items. For those that do, we must send a request for renewal, to which the lending library has four days to reply. Most libraries already give extended loan periods for outerlibrary loan materials to allow for delivery time, so they may be reluctant to give renewals. If a renewal is needed, please contact your local library at least 7 days prior to the due date.


Tips for Using WISCAT:

The issues addressed below are minor and shouldn’t prevent anyone from using WISCAT. The vendor of WISCAT is aware of these issues and working on fixing them, when possible. WISCAT users will want to be aware of the following:


When I try to access WISCAT it displays a message that says “Outdated Browser Detected…”
When you access WISCAT, a pop-up message might display with a message that says something like “Outdated Browser Detected…” you can follow the instructions it points to OR click on the “Close” button in that message. You can update your web browser BUT you should be able to use WISCAT whether you have the most updated version of your web browser or not (although Wiscat does work best with the more recent web browser versions). If you do want to update your browser, it will require installing the latest version of your browser on your computer or device and might require closing out of all programs you have open and restarting either your browser or computer.


When I search for an item in WISCAT, do I have to wait for the gray “Searching…” bar to finish?
When you search for an item, a striped gray bar in the upper middle of the screen displays and reads “Searching…” and “Stop the Search”.

1.) You can wait for WISCAT to finish searching

2.) If you already see the item you want (with the item format you want – ie: dvd vs. vhs, etc.), you can click on that title and/or the item’s “Request This Item” button if it’s already displaying

3.) Click “Stop the Search” and click on the title or the item’s “Request This Item” button if it displays.


After I submitted my request in WISCAT, I only saw a screen with a green bar. What does that mean?
When you fill out the request form in WISCAT and click the submit button for the request, WISCAT takes a few moments to display a confirmation message. During that time, nothing indicates that this step is in process. It’s only natural to click a submit button more than once when you don’t see anything happening. When you submit a request in WISCAT, click the submit button only once and wait. If you do this, after a moment or two, a screen will appear and confirmation message will display with the full request. This screen includes a button you can click to print a copy of the request.


When I try to use WISCAT, an “Error” message displays. How do I prevent that and/or get rid of it?
Clearing your web browser’s cache, cookies and recent browsing history will solve this problem 99.99% of the time. To do this, press the the CTRL Shift and Delete keys on your keyboard simultaneously (Ctrl+Shift+Delete). (Or the Command Shift Delete keys if you’re using an Apple computer). This should bring up a pop-up window that will clear your browser’s recent history, cache and cookies. Make sure the options in the pop-up window that display for temporary internet files, cookies, and history are checked/selected and click Delete, Apply or Okay.