Interlibrary Loan

Borrow from another library

Our library is connected to other libraries throughout the state and nation. If you can't find an item in this library, ask library staff to help you get it from another library.

To request an item for intercampus loan, simply find the intercampus loan forms alongside the public access catalog computers at the library.  Please fill out this form to request the item(s) you would like to be sent to you from one of the other campuses and submit it to a librarian.  If you are searching the catalog from home, simply call the library at 712-852-4009 to request the material over the telephone or email to request it by email. Be prepared to give the item's title, author, call number and location code.  Also, you will be asked for your name and city.  The library will call you when your item(s) have arrived.   Intercampus loan requests are usually processed  in one business day and there is no charge.

If you would like an item that is not held in the Emmetsburg Public Library or Iowa Lakes Community College collections, then obtaining the item through interlibrary loan is another option.  The Emmetsburg Public Library participates in both statewide and national cooperatives for resource sharing.  A librarian can help you find the item you are looking for by using these cooperatives.

To request an item for interlibrary loan, have as much information about the item you are seeking available and present it to a librarian.  Title, author, ISBN number and subject are all helpful pieces of information to aid the librarian in finding the item you are seeking.

Alternately, a service computer near the new book shelf has been dedicated to Iowa's statewide interlibrary loan database, the SILO Locator.  You can search and browse the SILO Locator on this computer, or search the same database from home by going to Once you have brought the record up for the item you wish to borrow, print it, and submit it to a librarian.  You cannot actually request books from this website.  Only participating libraries have access to the password-protected site where the actual requests are made.

The library charges $1.50 per transaction received to help defray the cost of returning the book in the mail.  If your item is not sent, then you will not be charged for the request.  The vast majority of the requests the library submits are fulfilled, but a library may decline to send an item for a number of reasons: the item is too new, is non-circulating, cannot be located, etc.  In the case of items not sent for the reason of being too new, they can be re-requested with better chance of fulfillment in a few months.  Generally, libraries do not send items for interlibrary loan requests untill they have been offered to their own patrons for four months.  This will vary from library to library, so you are encouraged to request anything you are interested in at any time.

When requests are fulfilled using our statewide system, SILO, the items usually arrive between three days and a week.  For less commonly held items, the library may need to go through a nationwide cooperative.  There is no additional charge for this service; however, it may take extra time to receive the item.

How long interlibrary loan items can be kept out is up to the lending library.  A month loan period is typical, but many are shorter.  If you need to have your interlibrary loan items renewed, you must contact the Emmetsburg Public Library, and the library staff will contact the lending library.  They will find out if the item can be renewed and if so, for how long.  It is best to only request for interlibrary  loan what you can finish using in a month.

Interlibrary loan is a wonderful service provided by Emmetsburg Public Library and is very popular.  If you have an item that you would like that you cannot find in our catalog, then you are encouraged to try it.  For the cost of purchasing your average hardcover book you could interlibrary loan 25 items that could each individually exceed that cost.  Interlibrary loan is truly a cost-effective way of providing a vast collection to everyone.


Borrow from Iowa Lakes Community College

We are fortunate enough to share space with Iowa Lakes Community College. That means we have access to their books too!


Link to the College Catalogue: