Interlibrary Loan | Mechanics' Institute

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Interlibrary Loan

Mechanics' Institute offers interlibrary loan service in two ways - material not available in the Mechanics' Institute Library collection may be borrowed from another library and other libraries may request materials from Mechanics' Institute. Information on either service can be found below.


Interlibrary Loan for Nonmembers

How does another library request materials owned by the Mechanics Institute Library through interlibrary loan? Click here.


Interlibrary Loan for MI Members

Material that is not in the Mechanics’ Institute Library’s collection may be borrowed from another library via interlibrary loan. In addition, while lending libraries as a rule do not loan entire journals or newspaper issues, copies of magazine or newspaper articles can also be requested. It takes between two to six weeks to fill an interlibrary loan request. The average loan period for materials is three weeks.

How to Request

To submit a request you may use any of the following options:

The Mechanics’ Institute Library does not borrow from institutions located within San Francisco that are freely accessible to the public.

A maximum of five requests will be processed per member per month.

All materials obtained through interlibrary loan are subject to the policies of the lending library and to international copyright laws.


Members are responsible for paying any borrowing or copy fees set by the lending library plus shipping costs as needed. Members must indicate in the ILL request how much they are willing to pay for this service. Overdue fines for interlibrary loan materials are $.50/day.


Interlibrary Loan for Nonmembers

The Mechanics Institute Library participates in the OCLC WorldShare interlibrary loan service (institutional symbol M$I). If you are a librarian from another library or institution, please use the WorldCat database to request materials from our Library. If you have any questions, please contact Mechanics' Institute at 415-393-0101 (ask for the ILL specialist) or send an email to [email protected].

Articles: The Library provides photocopied material from its collection to nonmembers via ILL at a charge of $.25/page up to 30 pages.

Books: The Library lends books from its circulating collection to nonmembers via ILL at a charge of $15 per item.

Archival material: The library does not lend archival materials through ILL. Scholars and researchers can request access to our archival materials: send requests by email to [email protected]

Interlibrary loan is transacted only from library to library. Individual patrons from other libraries should request this service from their own library.



Member request form:

(including shipping fees)
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Your first name.

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