Inter-Library Loans FAQ

Yes, there are no plans to cease the service. Inter-library loans are a valued service in WA but should not be used in place of other methods of supply of library materials.

The restrictions to the service intend to ensure that materials in public libraries are available for loan by members of the local community.

It is preferable for public libraries to purchase popular titles for their members as it is around 50% less the average cost of processing an inter-library loan.

There are also a number of popular titles available in alternative formats such as eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Any new items (under 12 months old) - especially new releases and best sellers but includes Junior, Young Adult, and audio too.

DVDs are also not able to be borrowed through inter-library loan.

Exceptions are made for library members with special needs, such as people with a disability who require material in a particular format; people who are housebound; members from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds requiring material in languages other than English; or members from communities where their library services a population under 1,500 people.

Please speak to staff at your library about these exceptions. If you are using the State Library’s online inter-library loans service, please add a note in the ‘Special instructions’ text field in the online portal.

If the item you are looking for is not in your library’s collection; is older than 12 months old, and is not a DVD, you can speak to staff at your library about requesting an inter-library loan.

For State Library members, you can search for material and place your request online.

If the item you request online does not match the inter-library loan criteria, you will be contacted by State Library staff regarding other options to access the material.

Please speak to the staff at your library. The item you are looking for may be available in an alternative format, such as an eBook, or it may be held in a nearby library.

If it is a title that may be of interest to others in the community, your library may consider purchasing it for the library’s collection.

Your library can also help to suggest similar and alternative titles that may interest you if a particular item is not readily available.

The State Government provides registered home educators with access to educational materials on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website, and on Scootle which is an online resource bank published by Education Services Australia.

There a number of services that home educators can access – more information is provided on the Department of Education website.

If you are looking to obtain supplementary materials through your library, library staff can recommend online collections of eBooks and eAudiobooks; suggest alternative titles; direct you to other nearby libraries or consider purchasing material if it will appeal to other members of the community.

Yes. You can join and borrow directly from any public library in Western Australia subject to their membership conditions.

You will need to return any items loaned directly to the library you have borrowed from.

Yes. There are commercial providers of book club sets such as Serendipity Farm who have very reasonable prices.

There are a selection of public libraries including Wanneroo, Swan and Mandurah who have book club sets available. Please contact these libraries for further information.

Please speak to staff at your local library. The inter-library loans service will be reviewed again after 12 months and your feedback will be considered as part of this process.

Information is available on the State Library website and Public Libraries WA.

Further queries can be directed to your local library. State Library members can email library@slwa.wa.gov.au.

Last updated on: 13 December 2019