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Search, renew, request (or inter-library loan), reserve

Request (or inter-library loan)

You can request (or inter-library loan);

How to request (or inter-library loan)

Request (or inter-library loan) online via the website

  • Go to the online form website
  • You will need your library card number (the 14-digit number on the back of your library card)
  • You will need to confirm security details (name, address, date of birth)
  • You must provide us with a valid email address
  • You will need item details, for e.g. title, author(s) etc

If the security details (name, address, date of birth) you provide online via the website do not match the security details held on your record, we are unable to proceed with this transaction as we cannot verify your identity.

Request (or inter-library loan) over the phone

  • Phone any library during opening hours. Don’t know a library phone number? Find a library.
  • You will need your library card number (the 14-digit number on the back of your library card)
  • You will need to confirm security details over the phone (name, address, date of birth)
  • You will need item details, for e.g. title, author(s) etc

If the security details (name, address, date of birth) you provide over the phone do match the security details held on your record, we are unable to proceed with this transaction as we cannot verify your identity.

Request (or inter-library loan) in person at the help desk

Please note: request (or inter-library loan) in person at the help desk is unavailable during express service. This applies to Central Library only (from 1 July 2019). Limited service is available during these opening hours.

  • Visit any library during opening hours. Don’t know where the library is? Find a library.
  • Go to the help desk
  • You will need your library card to request (or inter-library loan) item(s)
  • You will need item details, for e.g. title, author(s) etc

Help

If you need help, phone Central Library on 024 7683 2314.

Who can submit a request (or inter-library loan)?

  • You must be a library member to submit a request (or inter-library loan)
  • You should ensure your library card is valid and has not expired (library cards automatically expire every three years and your details are automatically deleted from our system one year after expiry)
  • You should ensure you do not have any items overdue on your ticket (your ticket will be blocked if you have any overdue items)
  • You should ensure you do not owe more than £10 on your account (your ticket will be blocked if you owe £10 or more)

What type of stock can I request (or inter-library loan)?

The item types available to request (or inter-library loan) are:

  • Books - any book published in the UK in paperback or hardback format, although books newer than six months old will be declined for an inter-library loan request
  • CDs - any CD released in the UK
  • DVDs - any DVD with a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rating (no pornographic)
  • E-audiobooks - any book released in e-audiobook format in the UK and available for the library service to purchase and add to Borrow Box. Inter-library loan unavailable.
  • E-books - any book released in e-book format in the UK and available for the library service to purchase and add to Borrow Box. Inter-library loan unavailable.
  • E-comics - any comic released in e-comic format in the UK and available for the library service to purchase and add to RBdigital. Inter-library loan unavailable.
  • E-magazines - any magazine released in e-magazine format in the UK and available for the library service to purchase and add to RBdigital. Inter-library loan unavailable.
  • Large print - any book released in large print format in the UK and available for the library service to purchase from our suppliers
  • Talking books (or audiobooks) - any book released in talking book (or audiobook) format in the UK

The item types available for inter-library loan only are:

  • Journal articles - must be requested in person at Central Library as you will be asked to sign a copyright declaration
  • Music/vocal scores - you must provide the dates you require the scores to and from

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.

Self-published titles

Whilst the library service takes requests for self-published titles (and will consider purchasing if you are a local author), we rarely purchase them as we cannot guarantee the quality of the publication and/or self-published titles are rarely available from library suppliers (and the library service does not purchase stock from retailers). For example, titles published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing or Kindle Direct Publishing.

How much does it cost?

If we buy the item you have requested, you will be charged the normal reservation fee for your ticket type.

If we decide, you have specifically requested, or you can only have an inter-library loan for the item type (for music/vocal scores), you will be charged the normal inter-library loan fee for your ticket type or the item type (for music/vocal scores).

How long will it take for my item to be in stock?

If we have agreed to buy the item, this can take four to six weeks but is dependent on suppliers and whether the item is currently in stock, in print and/or available. The item can take much longer but our Stock Development Manager(s) will usually advise if this is the case. If you haven't heard anything about your request, email us at libraries247@coventry.gov.uk and we can check on the status of your request with our Stock Development Manager(s).

If we decide, you have specifically requested, or you can only have an inter-library loan for the item type (for music/vocal scores), this can also take four to six weeks but is dependent on national availability of the item from local authorities or higher education libraries who take part in the inter-library loan scheme.

How long can I keep my inter-library loan for?

This differs depending on where the item has been loaned from. Some local authorities or higher education libraries will give us a similar loan period as you would get with any item of stock we hold (for e.g. four weeks loan period for a book) but other local authorities or higher education libraries may request the item back in as little as two weeks. We do not control this as the inter-library loan is subject to the lending restrictions of the local authority or higher education we have loaned the item from.

When will you contact me?

You should provide us with a valid email address when you make your request so we can email you to:

  • Notify you that we have received your request and it is being processed - we aim to send this notification within three business days (Monday to Friday, this may be longer during closure periods or bank holidays etc)
  • Notify you that you request has been unsuccessful (if you have not also requested an inter-library loan) - we aim to send this notification within ten business days (Monday to Friday, this may be longer during closure periods or bank holidays etc)
  • Notify you that your request has been unsuccessful (if you have requested an inter-library loan) and is now being processed as an inter-library loan instead - we aim to send this notification within ten business days (Monday to Friday, this may be longer during closure periods for bank holidays etc)

What is the difference between a request and a reservation?

A request is for any item we do not hold in stock (either because we haven't purchased it or the item is no longer available as it has been withdrawn from stock). A reservation is placed on a requested item once we have agreed to purchase it. A reservation can be placed on any item already in stock.

The library catalogue holds details of every item we have in stock. The stock is physically held at one of our 17 libraries, regardless of library type (be they Council run, or community-led). Some stock is held in the stack at Central Library. The stack is a non-public area at Central Library, used as additional storage space. The stock held here is only viewable by the public, on the library catalogue, but is available to reserve.

What will I be charged if I lose or damage an inter-library loan?

The library service will liaise with the local authority or higher education library the item was loaned from and decide an appropriate charge for the item(s). If the item is no longer in print, or rare, it can be quite expensive. If the item has been loaned from the British Library (the national library of the United Kingdom, based in London), this charge can be £150+. Try not to lose or damage stock that we don't own!

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