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Interlibrary Loan (MNLINK)


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

"Not available" means:

  • The title is not owned by Saint Paul Public Library.
  • 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 we do not own the item. 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.

If we do not own the item, use MNLINK to request an interlibrary loan from libraries throughout Minnesota.


You can have up to 10 active requests at a time. Requests are active from the time they are placed until the item has been returned to the owning library.

Frequently Asked Questions about Interlibrary Loan

  • Adding text to the "special instructions" field will delay your request.

    Do not include information already covered by the online form (such as pickup location), or "thank you" messages (as much as we appreciate it).

    DO include specifics such as "only volume 2 needed" or "large print only." 

  • 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.

    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.

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

    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 and click "Create Request" on the left-hand menu. Complete the fields, providing as much information as possible to identify the item, and click "Request".

  • Sometimes items arrive that don't match the request. Return the item you have received in error and re-submit your request.

    If necessary, when re-submitting the request, please amend the request data to include any relevant information that will help identify the right item or version at the end of the TITLE field (for example,  "4th Edition only, please").

  • If you lose an interlibrary loan item, or it is long enough overdue that you have received a bill, a default charge of $100 will be applied to your account. This is a placeholder amount and does not necessarily reflect the actual cost of the item.

    We won't know how much is actually owed until the library system that loaned the item to us sends us a bill. The amount of time before a bill is generated varies from library system to library system. Please do not pay for billed interlibrary loans until we have amended the $100 charge to reflect the actual price of the item.

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