Interlibrary Loan Policy and Procedures

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a service that allows patrons of Fort Bend County Libraries to borrow from other public, academic, or special libraries throughout Texas and the United States, library materials that are not owned or circulated by our system. Fort Bend County Libraries also serves as a lender to other institutions in the United States.

Patrons using this service must have a valid unexpired Fort Bend County Libraries card that does not have fines or fees exceeding $5. The interlibrary-loan borrowing privileges of patrons with fines/fees over $5 will be suspended until sufficient payments are made to reduce the overdue balance to $5 or less. Failure to return interlibrary loan items on time or pick up items requested may result in the suspension of interlibrary-loan services for the patron.

Materials Available Through Interlibrary Loan
Fort Bend County Libraries will attempt to borrow print books, journal articles, musical scores, and microfilm not owned or circulated by our library system. Note however, that some libraries will not lend specific materials, and access to certain collections may be limited.

Each patron will be permitted to maintain a maximum of 10 active ILL requests on their library card. If a patron submits more than that number, the requests will be held until a sufficient number of items have been returned to reduce the items out to 10 or under. Electronic books, serials, and all formats of audio/visual materials are not available for borrowing through ILL. Materials restricted by the lending library as “For In-Library-Use Only” are not available through ILL. Because of copyright restrictions, Fort Bend County Libraries is limited to borrowing five (5) copies of articles from the current five (5) years of a periodical title during a calendar year. Beginning January 1 of the New Year, up to five (5) more requests can be ordered from the same title.

Submitting Requests
Interlibrary loan requests may be submitted at any Fort Bend County library in person, online, by telephone, or by email. Materials may take up to three (3) weeks to arrive after the request is made. Patrons will be notified by telephone, email, or text message when materials have arrived.

Loan Period and Renewals
The loan period and any renewals are set by the lending library and will vary by institution. To request a renewal, patrons must call Interlibrary Loan at 281-341-2675 or email

Charges and Fees
There is no charge for requesting an ILL at Fort Bend County Libraries. However, some lending libraries may have additional charges for borrowing or photocopying materials, and that cost is the responsibility of the patron. Patrons may choose not to pay the additional charges, but must say so when making the ILL request; under this circumstance, FBCL may not be able to fill the request. Patrons will be charged $1.00 per day for overdue items and are responsible for all costs for lost or damaged materials.

As a Lender
Fort Bend County Libraries, as a lender to other institutions, will not lend any non-circulating materials or any audio/visual materials, nor will it lend popular, high-demand materials that have been published or purchased in the last six (6) months.