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Interlibrary loan brings other libraries to you

When it just isn’t in the EPL collection, there are thousands of other collections to be tapped.

Interlibrary loan, the process in which books, CDs and other items can be borrowed from a network of libraries nationwide, is available to any EPL cardholder.

According to reference librarian Erin Van Gelder, interlibrary loan is used to get older items that may not be in the EPL collection.

“We don’t use it for new books, we’ll buy one if that’s what someone is looking for. But maybe our collection doesn’t have the paperback of a book or maybe it was taken out of circulation because it hadn’t been checked out in a long time. Those are the cases for interlibrary loan,” says Van Gelder.

Large print books are a popular item for ILL, Van Gelder says, because those are not often released in that easier-to-read style right away.

Patron Michael Garreffa visits the Pierre Moran branch a couple of times a week and uses ILL to get large print materials.

“I need large print, my first choice is if the library has it (is to) to get it through them,” he said.

When the book he is looking for isn’t available in the EPL catalog, he has a librarian get it from another participating library.

“It is really unbelievable, you can get them from all over the United States,” says Garreffa.

The service is free for all EPL cardholders.

Other patrons use the ILL program to listen to music and audiobooks.

Matt Miller, of Elkhart, said that he comes into the downtown branch weekly to get audiobooks and music.

“I can get music that the library doesn’t have,” he says of his use of ILL.

Miller says that he likes to try out bands and albums by getting them through the library. If he likes it, he might then buy it.

“I’ve been going to the music CDs in the library and see if I like it, sometimes I find bands I like and I buy them,” he said.

Miller, who is legally blind, said that the library’s audio collection and ILL resources help him to find the entertainment he needs.

“I listen to a lot of glam rock from the 1980s; Motley Crue, Poison,” he says.

Patrons are eligible to check out up to three items at a time through ILL and must be in good standing on their library account. To request a book through ILL, fill out the form at this link.