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Interlibrary Loan

The BMPL ILLO Suspended through April 17, 2020. 

Due to the closures of libraries across the province due to COVID-19, we are unable to process ILLO requests. We apologize for this inconvenience and will reinstate the program after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and Ontario services are reinstated.

The interlibrary loan service offers patrons the opportunity to request materials from other libraries.

There are three ways to order items through interlibrary loan:

  1. Visit or call (519-599-3681) the library to make your request.
  2. Search and order materials through INFOntario, a patron-initiated interlibrary loan service.To use this service you must first get a user id and password. Contact us to get set up. Learn more about Do-It-Yourself Interlibrary loan.
  3. Use our online form to make your requests.

Materials retrieved from another library usually have a loan period of five weeks. Items may not be renewed.

Now that the program is dependent on the reduced fee mailing of the Canadian Book Rate, the delivery may take 4 weeks or longer to obtain some materials, depending on the availability or type of material requested. Patrons will be notified by phone or email when the requested item arrives.

Patrons have 1 week from the time of notice of the item having arrived to retrieve their materials. Any books not picked up by one week will be assessed a $5 restocking fee. If you are out of town or are unable to pick up with item, please let us know so we may assist with delivery and retrieval times. 

Items that may be borrowed from other libraries include fiction and non-fiction books and audio books. All materials must be more than one year from the date of publication.

Items that cannot be borrowed from other libraries include books that have been published within the last year, current bestsellers, movies, compact discs, reference materials, entire issues of magazines and periodicals, textbooks, and school course material. The library can borrow only what other institutions are willing to lend.

The Library Board received a report at the June 20, 2019 Board Meeting which updated the Board and community on the ILLO situation and options for reinstatement. The administrative changes to the program are required in order to rejoin the ILLO program and to meet the BMPL Budget following the de-funding of the program by the province.

  1. A limit to materials is now 3 items in a month.

  2. A limit on materials types will mean BMPL will not be bringing in any DVD or fragile materials which can not be shipped well via Canada Post as BMPL is responsible for the replacement costs of any damages occurring during shipping.

  3. Book Clubs will no longer be able to request book club sets for their readers.  Instead, each user interested in receiving a copy of the book for a book club will be required to request these materials on their own account.  This change is again to offset the need for materials which are not used.  

  4. While we may not charge fees for ILLO according to the PLA, we can charge fines for those who do not follow the policies and procedures of BMPL.  Part of the 2019 Fees and Fine Structure which began on June 1 is a $5 fee for any ILLO materials which are requested, but not retrieved within one week.  This fine will assist in offsetting the costs of materials shipping, but more importantly, will limit the number of unnecessary ILLO requests. The fine for late ILLOs has also increased to $1.00 per day.  This is the same rate we have in place for other special materials such as DVDs.

  5. Given the need to ship through Canada Post we will not be able to inform a requester of a tentative date for arrival. We do anticipate this method of delivery being slower than the previous delivery service as it is a discounted rate of postage.

  6. As a result of the slower Canada Book Rate delivery, we will be monitoring the length of loans and may need to shorten them down from 5 weeks without renewal.  This decision will be made at the end of summer once we have had the system running for al least 2 months and established a baseline.

There is a chance this pilot will not make the full 2019, based on cost. We have identified a set amount of funds and will do all we can to bring in all the items requested without going over budget. Donations are welcome. Any donation over $25 qualifies for an Official Tax Receipt.

On June 26th The Sun published an article, Libraries forced to ration access to books after reckless Ontario funding cuts, describing the new reality of ILLO for other libraries, who have also places caps and other limitations on the service in order to keep the program in budget.

Please visit our 2019 Provincial Cuts for information on how the provincial Interlibrary Loan program and BMPL was impacted.

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