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If we do not hold an item in our stock, you can request an item, either for the library service to buy or obtain from another local authority as an inter-library loan.
We will agree to buy the item you have requested subject to the discretion of our Stock Development Manager(s) who work in line with the stock policy of the library service.
If we buy the item you have requested you will be charged the normal reservation fee for your ticket. If we decide, or you have specifically requested an inter-library loan you will be charged the normal inter-library loan fee for your ticket and are subject to the lending restrictions of the local authority or higher education library we have loaned the item from. For more information about fees or fines for your ticket type, please visit the pay fees or fines section of our website.
If we have agreed to buy the item, this can take four to six weeks but is dependent on our suppliers and whether the item is currently in print. The item can take longer but our Stock Development Manager(s) will usually advise if this is the case. If we have passed your stock request over for an inter-library loan or you have specifically requested an inter-library loan, this can take the same amount of time and is dependent on national availability of the item from the local authorities or higher education libraries who take part in the inter-library loan scheme.
This differs depending on where the item has been loaned from. Some local authorities or higher education libraries will give us a similar loan time as you would get with any item of stock we hold (i.e. four weeks) but other local authorities or higher education libraries may request the item back in as little as 14 days. We do not control this as the inter-library loan is subject to the lending restrictions of the local authority or higher education library we have loaned the item from.
You should provide us with a valid email address when you make your request so we can email you to:
If you do not supply us with an email address, we will only contact to notify you that your request has been unsuccessful or being processed as an inter-library loan instead. This ensures you are aware of the increased fee you will need to pay on collection of the item. If we have bought the item, you will receive a phone call from the library when your item is ready for collection, as per the normal reservation procedure.
A reservation is for any item we already hold in stock on our catalogue. A request is for any item we do not already hold in our catalogue and you are requesting us to either buy for the library service (with a reservation placed on the item on your behalf) or inter-library loan from another library service on your behalf. The catalogue covers the stock held city-wide at each of our 17 branches and includes stock held in the stack at Central Library. You can search the catalogue yourself using the online catalogue. You will need your library card number and PIN to log in and make a reservation for any item we have in stock.
The library service will liaise with the local authority or higher education library the item has been loaned from to decide on an appropriate charge for the item. If the item has been loaned from the British Library this charge can be £150+.