Interlibrary Loan Program

Save money with our Interlibrary Loan Program

Recent scholarly research shows that it is often less expensive and faster for a library to buy a book outright, based on a patron's ILL request, rather than to borrow it once (sometimes more than once) and then return it.

Using WorldCat Resource Sharing (WRS) and Fee Management (IFM), you can easily buy a book from our database of more than 100 million new, used, and hard-to-find books. ILL-initiated acquisitions make sense from a collection-development perspective, too. These books tend to circulate at least as much as firm-order purchases, are consistently relevant to the collection, and fill gaps in interdisciplinary areas.

Initiating purchase requests through WRS is easy

  1. Search WRS for the bib record to see whether Alibris holds the title.
  2. Create a WRS workform.
  3. Add the Alibris OCLC symbol "ALBRS" in your lending string or place us in your Custom Holdings.
  4. Set your IFM maxcost. (Alibris only accepts IFM payment for these ILL orders.)

Note: Alibris has millions of other titles not shown in WRS that may still be ordered by placing us in your lending string.

Alibris will fill the order with the lowest-priced copy available in the best condition. We will make a conditional reply for items that exceed your maxcost. Items are usually shipped within two business days (via our expedited shipping methods) and delivered in seven to ten business days to the ILL office, or other address as stipulated. The packing slip will include the ILL number.

Once your patron is done with the book, you can add it to your collection. You save money by not returning the book to Alibris. If the book is not suitable for your library's collection, you can add it to your book sale, donate it to the patron, or otherwise appropriately discard it—but please do not return the item to Alibris.

For more information

E-mail: or
Toll-free phone: 1-877-ALIBRIS (1-877-254-2747), option 1