Purchase and inter library loan requests
Items listed on the State Library of WA catalogue may be able to be borrowed though inter library loan, though there are several restrictions on what items can be borrowed this way. If an item can not be obtained via inter library loan, it will be considered for purchase instead.
Both purchase and inter library loan requests can take a considerable amount of time to arrive due to availability and shipping. One month is the estimated time for most purchase requests.
You will be notified by a message on your account if we are unable to obtain your requested item.
FAQs about inter library loans & new restrictions.
New rules for inter library loans between Western Australian libraries came into effect on 1 September 2018.
You can no longer obtain the following items through inter library loan:
- New items (under 12 months old)
- Junior items
- Young adult items
- Audio books.
1. Why has the inter library loan system changed?
The changes to the inter library loan service intend to ensure that materials in public libraries are available for loan by members of the local community. A review of the Western Australian inter library loan service in 2016 found that purchasing materials costs less than 50% of the cost of an inter library loan, so it is preferable for libraries to purchase popular titles for their members. There are also a number of popular titles available in alternative formats such as ebooks and eAudiobooks.
2. Why are junior items excluded from the inter library loan system?
Based on the 2016 review, it was found that, in most cases, it is cheaper for libraries to purchase children’s books for their collections rather than get them on inter library for individual library members. Please submit a Request for items not held and in most cases the library will be able to purchase the item.
3. Why are audio books excluded from inter library loan and from purchase requests?
Audio books are available for inter library loan for people with vision disabilities or members of our Home Library Service. Audio books may be available as a downloadable eAudiobooks. The library has limited purchase requests for audio books as they are generally very expensive. You are welcome to visit any other WA public library that has a particular audio book in their collection and borrow it directly from them.
4. Can I borrow items from other libraries?
You can join and borrow directly from any public library in Western Australia subject to their membership conditions. You will need to return items to the library they borrowed them from.
5. How do I get these items if I cannot use inter library loan?
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, the library will consider purchasing it for the library’s collection. Please submit a Request for items not held and the item will be considered for purchase. Library staff are also able to suggest similar and alternative titles that may interest you if a particular item is not readily available.
6. I am a registered home educator and use inter library loans to obtain materials to support my children’s learning. How do I meet their needs without using inter library loans?
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 the library, library staff can recommend online collections of ebooks and audiobooks, suggest alternative titles or direct you to other nearby libraries.
7. I am very upset by these changes. Where should I direct my feedback?
Fill in the contact form on the library website or speak to library staff. The inter library loans service will be reviewed after 12 months and your feedback will be considered as part of this process.