Interlibrary Loan

Borrow books and other items from other library systems.

Use interlibrary loan to request items that are not available at the Saint Paul Public Library.

Please check the SPPL catalog first.

"Not available" means:

The title is not owned by Saint Paul Public Library.

OR

The library owns the title, but all copies are long overdue or missing.

Please check the Saint Paul Public Library catalog first to make sure the library does not already own the item to be requested.

Interlibrary loan requests that are placed for items owned by the Saint Paul Public Library will be canceled.

New Items:  If the item you are looking for has been published in the last 6 months, please make a suggestion for purchase instead of using interlibrary loan services.

MNLINK

Use MNLINK to request an interlibrary loan from libraries throughout Minnesota.

Limits

You can have up to 10 active interlibrary loan requests in MNLINK at a time.

Requests are active from the time they are placed until the item has been returned to the owning library.

National Searches

If an item is not available through MNLINK, you may request that we try to obtain the item from libraries elsewhere in the United States. See more information about submitting a national request for details.

Status of Interlibrary Loan Items May Be Incorrect in Account View

You will be notified when interlibrary loan items are ready to be picked up. However, the status of some in-transit and ready-for-pickup items may display incorrectly.

Items that are ready for pickup may show as "not ready". You will receive notification when an item is ready to pick up. You can also check your account in the classic catalog, opens a new window or the SPPL app (use your library card number and password to log in). If you have any questions, please contact your library to confirm an interlibrary loan item's status.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Interlibrary Loan

  • Use MNLINK, opens a new window to request items from other libraries and have them sent to the Saint Paul Public Library for you to borrow.

    You can also use your library card at most public libraries in Minnesota. Ask the library you would like to use about their registration procedures and policies for patrons of other libraries.

  • You are limited to 10 requests at any one time. Requests count toward your limit from the time they are placed until the time they are returned to the owning library. When this limit is reached, you will not be able to place new requests until items are returned to and checked in by the lender. 

  • Try entering your library card number and password again in case they were mistyped, but usually this means there is a problem with your card.

    If your card has expired, or if your card has fees in excess of $10, or if you are otherwise prevented from checking out materials from the Saint Paul Public Library, you will be unable to place requests in MNLINK.

    If it is a Saint Paul Public Library card, contact your local branch to see that you are in good standing. If your card was issued by a different library system, you will need to be in good standing with both the Saint Paul Public Library and with your home library system. 

    NOTE: At present if you are at your hold limit for SPPL items it will prevent you from logging in to MNLINK. We are investigating whether this can be fixed.

  • If your search fails to find a record for the item you want, please check your search criteria. If you are still unable to find what you are searching for, it may be possible that the item you are trying to request is not owned at any library within the MNLINK network.

    Search WorldCat, opens a new window to find items held by libraries in Wisconsin, North Dakota, or South Dakota.

    If it is an item that you have reason to think is available through MNLINK, but is not showing up in your search results, you can try creating a blank request. To create a request, log in to MNLINK, opens a new window and click "Title Not Found? Request here" on the left-hand menu. Complete the fields, providing as much information as possible to identify the item, and click "Request item".

    If you wish to further pursue obtaining the item, you can place a National Request.

  • If an item is not available through MNLINK, you may request that we try to obtain the item from libraries elsewhere in the United States. This request may be submitted by e-mail to interlibraryloan@ci.stpaul.mn.us or by telephone at 651-501-6306. You may also make the request in person at any Saint Paul Public Library location.

    There is a $5.00 fee per national search request. The $5.00 fee will be added to your patron account and is not refundable if we are unable to obtain the item. Please note that borrowing privileges are suspended for accounts owing more than $10 in fees. You may pay the fee in advance if making the request in person.

  • You may include specifics such as "12th edition only," "just volume 2 needed" or "large print only". These messages will be sent along to the lending library.

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