Interlibrary Loan FAQ

1. I found a book at an academic library. How do I get it?

Most Academic Libraries are available through Alberta Wide Borrowing, however you need to switch the search from ‘Public Libraries – Alberta’ to ‘Academic Libraries – ALAP’. If you still can’t find the book, fill out the Patron Request for Items form.

2. I can't find my item at all. What can I do?

Use Parkland's request form to request items that aren't available in Alberta. Parkland staff will search other libraries in Canada and try to get them for you.

3. The system won't let me place a request but there's a long holds queue for Parkland's copy. How do I get it now?

If an item is in high demand at Parkland, it's likely in high demand everywhere! Placing a request through the system would not be faster, because other libraries will lend it to their own patrons first.

4. How do I check the status of a request?

When logged-in to the Alberta Relais, go to "my account" in the top left corner to see your open requests. If you requested an item through Parkland's online form, it will appear in your library account within the week.

5. The status of my request shows as 'Unfilled- cancelled by Staff- Lenders Exhausted'. What does this mean?

This means that the item you requested was not available at the time of your request and the request could not be filled. This could mean all copies were in use or that there were no copies in the province. You can try to re-request the title again at a later date.

6. The item I requested was not available. How long should I wait before re-requesting the title?

As an item may be popular, please wait for approximately 3 months before re-requesting the title.

7. How do I renew an item?

Contact your local library to request a renewal for your item. You can also request a renewal in your Alberta Relais account; however, renewals are not guaranteed as they are at the discretion of the lender.

8. I returned an interlibrary loan item, but it is still showing on my account, what should I do?

There are a few possible reasons for this. The item may be in transit between libraries, and not all systems are linked, so the item will remain on your account until checked in at its destination. Any fines accrued will be waived upon return. If a reasonable time has passed (up to a month), contact your local library regarding the late title and they will make further enquiries.

9. I accidentally lost or damaged an interlibrary loan item. What will happen now?

Inform your local library. They will request an invoice for the item from the lender, and a fee will be added to your account. Some lenders want to see the damaged item, so you may need to return the item to your local library.

10. I was asked to return an interlibrary loan item early, why?

Lending libraries have the ability to recall items if there is local demand for them. This happens rarely, and tends to be either when academic libraries need it for a student or as a reminder that the item is late.

11. I have a question about an interlibrary loan, who do I contact?

Talk to your local library staff if you have questions or trouble using the system.