Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loans. If we don’t have the book you are looking for, we’ll do our best to borrow it for you from another library.

Due to COVID-19 not all libraries are participating in Interlibrary Loan service. This includes academic and out-of-province libraries. We thank you for your patience.

What is an Interlibrary Loan?

If you are looking for a book, journal article or microfilm that our library does not own, we will do our best to borrow it for you from another library.

Can anyone use this service?

All Waterloo Library customers with a valid library card may use this special service.

Are there restrictions on what items can be borrowed?

The following items cannot be borrowed:

  • Items owned by Kitchener Public Library, IDEA Exchange (Cambridge) or the Region of Waterloo Library system (instead, residents of the Region of Waterloo can obtain a free membership at these libraries and borrow from them directly)
  • Audio-visual materials such as DVDs, CDs and recorded books
  • Books published within the last 12 months

How long will it take to receive an Interlibrary Loan?

Waiting time varies from 2 to 6 weeks depending on the availability of the material at the lending library.  Microfilm material generally takes longer.

Is there a charge to interlibrary loan an item?

In general, Interlibrary Loan is a free service, however, some non-public and many academic libraries charge a lending fee.  Charges may range from $8.00 to $25.00.  We will not borrow material from these libraries without your authorization.  If we are unable to locate the item at a “non-charging” location and you are not willing to pay a lending fee, your request will be cancelled and you will be notified.

If you are willing to pay a lending fee, you must indicate the maximum amount you are willing to pay.  We will always attempt to borrow the item from a non-charging location first.

The overdue fine for interlibrary loan items is $1.50 per day per item.

How do I submit my Interlibrary Loan requests?

You may submit your requests in the following ways:

  • Online request form
  • In person at any Waterloo Public Library location
  • Telephone 519-886-1310.  Information Desk ext. 124, McCormick Branch ext. 213, John M. Harper Branch ext. 310

Where do I pick up my Interlibrary Loan?

Once you have been notified that your Interlibrary Loan is available, you may pick it up at the branch location you have specified.

Can I renew an Interlibrary Loan?

In many cases, a 2-week extension is available.  You may do this in person, by phone (519) 886-1310 or online through your account.

If you have further questions, please contact us at or (519) 886-1310 ext. 156.

Helpful Links

Other Libraries’ Catalogues

Here are some links to collections in other libraries, plus some databases that will help you to identify books you may want to read.

Questions? Ask our staff at Information Desk (Adult Department) (519) 886-1310 ext. 124

Idea Exchange
Find books held by the Idea Exchange (Cambridge Public Library).

Kitchener Public Library (KPL)
Find books held by the Kitchener Public Library.

Region of Waterloo Library
Find books held by the branches of the Region of Waterloo Library.

County of Brant Public Library
Find books held by the County of Brant Public Libraries.

Hamilton Public Library
Find books held by the Hamilton Public Library.

Memberships at University Libraries

You don’t have to be a student, faculty member or alumni to obtain a library card and borrow from the U of W, WLU or U of G libraries.

University of Waterloo

Adults residing within Ontario (“Community Borrowers”) may register for a free membership. Proof of residency showing name and current address must be presented to obtain a membership card. Registration is valid for 2 years.

Wilfrid Laurier University

Community borrowers may obtain a free library card from the Service Desk at the WLU Library. Registration is valid for one year.

University of Guelph

Customers can obtain a Community Borrower Card application form at the Ask Us desk in the U of G library. Registration is valid for 2 years. For more details on guidelines for Community Borrowers at the U of G, please click here.