Interlibrary Loans

Looking for something but can't find it in our library? We may be able to borrow the item from another library.

Before you make a request to borrow from another library, make sure you’ve checked to see if we have it in our catalogue.  We cannot borrow an item from another library if we own it ourselves or if it is published within the last year. For a new title published within the last year, you can request that we purchase the title for our own collection through our Ask a Librarian form.

How can I make a request?

To make a request, you need a valid library card. Call us at 705-728-1010 or email us at bplaskalibrarian@barrie.ca and provide your full name, address, home phone number, pickup location (Downtown or Painswick), and library card number.

If you prefer to input your own interlibrary loan requests rather than contact staff, you can request a Self-Serve Interlibrary Loan Account.  Once you’ve been registered in the system, you can use the Self-Serve Interlibrary Loan system to place requests yourself at your convenience.  Read the User Guide for more information and contact us if you’d like to set up a self-serve account.

How Much Does it Cost?

We offer basic service free of charge; however, some specialized libraries and many university libraries charge a lending fee that will be passed on to the borrower. Photocopied articles can also involve charges. When you make your request you can indicate how much you’d be willing to pay if the lending library is charging.  If there is a charge and you have not indicated how much you are willing to pay, we will contact you to verify that you accept the charge before we request the item from the other library.  That charge will be added to your library account.

How long will it take to get my item?

Waiting times vary depending on the lending library and the materials requested - two weeks is the average but it can take up to six weeks or longer.  You will be notified based on the preferred method specified in your library account (automated phone message, text, or email).  Prompt pick-up ensures that you will have the maximum borrowing time set by the lending library.

How can I monitor my request?

Self-serve patrons can view the status of requests by looking at "My Requests" on the right-hand sidebar of the Self-Serve system to see when it has been processed, shipped, and received. You can also see if the request has been cancelled because the item is already available in the Barrie Public Library, it is a recent publication within the previous year, or we were unable to locate a library that will lend the item. If there are any issues with your request, you will receive an email or a note will be placed on your account and you will be notified at your next visit.

Can I renew an item?

To renew an item, send an email to bplaskalibrarian@barrie.ca several days before the due date of the item to request a renewal. The request will be forwarded to the lending library and they will determine whether or not they will permit the renewal – this is not a decision made by the Barrie Public Library.

You cannot renew an item through the Self-Serve Interlibrary Loan system.

What can’t I borrow through Interlibrary Loans?

Libraries will not normally lend the following:

  • old, rare, or valuable material
  • reference and genealogical material
  • material in high demand at the lending library (i.e. current bestsellers), materials published within the last year
  • curriculum material, including textbooks
  • scripts, screenplays, libretti, and scores
  • multi-volume sets

In addition, some libraries will not lend:

  • sound recordings and DVDs
  • entire issues of magazines or journals