Borrowing from Other Libraries

If Surrey Libraries does not own a book you want, we might be able to borrow it from another library for you (Interlibrary Loan).

You can request an Interlibrary Loan with staff over the phone, by email, or in person at any location. You can also make a request yourself through the Outlook Online catalogue. There is no charge unless the lending library charges fees.

Please read this page before placing a request.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Need something in a hurry? Interlibrary loans take 4-6 weeks to arrive. Note: If the book is in stock at another lower mainland area library, you can visit the library directly to borrow. Find out more.
  • Looking for new books? Interlibrary loan is only for books more than 2 years old (2015 or older). For new books, you can suggest a purchase.
  • Looking for music or movies? We’re sorry, but only books and articles can be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.
  • Looking for textbooks? Books from academic libraries are short loans (2 weeks maximum).
  • Looking for a newspaper, journal, or magazine article? Try our magazines and news online first.

How to Request an Interlibrary Loan

  1. Search the library catalogue to make sure we don't already own the book.
  2. If we don’t own the book, go to Outlook Online and search to see if it’s available at another library.
  3. From the search results, choose the book you want (if you want Large Print, choose the Large Print copy).
  4. Click on "Request this Item" and fill in the form with your information.
  5. If you have any special preferences or notes you'd like to fill in for library staff, write it in the "Special Instructions" box (such as, "I prefer large print but regular print is OK" or "any edition is acceptable")
  6. Click "Submit" to send your request to us.
  • If Outlook Online is not displaying properly, it may be necessary to clear your web browser’s cache. Outlook Online works best in Firefox or Chrome.

If you don't find the book you're looking for, please contact us for help.

Tracking Your Interlibrary Loan

After you submit your Interlibrary Loan request, if you are curious about its progress, you can ask library staff or you can log in to Outlook Online and track it yourself. You can only track your request once it has been approved by library staff (you will receive an email notification when your request has been approved).

Here are the most common statuses and what they mean:

  • Pending — your request is awaiting a response from an outside library
  • Will Supply/In Process — the lender has approved the request but is locating the item
  • Cancelled or Unfilled — your request could not be filled by any library in British Columbia. Interlibrary Loan staff are searching out of Province libraries for you
  • Shipped — the lending library has shipped the item to Surrey Libraries and is in transit
  • Received — the item has been received by the Surrey Libraries Interlibrary Loan department but is not yet ready for you to pickup. When it is, you will be notified.
  • Returned — the item has been sent back to the lending library but they have not received it yet. Your request is still considered active (once the lending library receives it in good condition it will be set to Complete)
  • Complete — your request has been returned to the lending library and is closed