Interlibrary Loan Requests (ILL)

Interlibrary loan is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library. This means that Bangor Public Library can request materials for patrons from other libraries. In turn, other libraries can request items from the Bangor Public Library.

Interruption in ILL Service

Important Patron News: As of 6/4/24 there will be an interruption in the interlibrary loan service (ILL). This service helps us request and receive books from other libraries using van delivery. This situation is outside of our control and it may last through the summer. (More details below.)

What does this mean for you?

  1. If you have books from another library that you have requested through us, keep them until they are due and drop them off with us then (or sooner).
  2. If you need a book, call us and we will figure out how to get it for you. 

Thank you for your patience and we will update everyone as we get more information!


Sharing between libraries is one of the best and most valuable services that libraries provide to their members.

The ability to smoothly deliver materials between libraries is what makes this work.  The contract for the book delivery service is held by the Maine State Library and is subject to State Procurement Laws and procedures. This contract was required to go to through a competitive bidding process (Request for Proposal, or RFP) this year since all contracts that use public funds have to ensure competitive bidding at the state level.

Contracting as a result of this RFP for book delivery is currently working its way through a legal appeals process. Because of this transition to a new vendor who won the competitive bid, and an appeal to overturn that decision by an unsuccessful bidder, there will be an interruption to book delivery between libraries at the end of the current contract which expires on June 30th.

We do not currently have firm dates for the length of this interruption, but we expect that there will be no delivery for at least six weeks this summer, starting on July 1.

In anticipation of this interruption, the Maine InfoNet Board and the Minerva Executive Board have made the difficult decision to turn off all requesting between libraries within the MaineCat environment, including Minerva, MILS and URSUS, as of June 4th.

Patrons will still be able to request and place holds on locally owned items, but will not be able to request materials from other libraries.

Turning off requesting between libraries will allow materials currently in transit to be delivered and will reduce the flow of new material entering delivery. This will help get as many items back to their owning libraries as possible and will help ensure materials are not stranded in the delivery system.

We know that this is a challenging situation that we are all facing. We recognize and feel the same frustration with this situation that you all are feeling. Your local library provides many other valuable services to your community, and we encourage everyone to explore those many services.

If you would like more details regarding this, please visit the FAQ that further explains this situation: Van Delivery FAQ (https://maine-msl.libguides.com/c.php?g=1393867&p=10309221)