Statewide Borrowing: Indiana Libraries Working Together for Indiana Readers
What Is It?
Statewide borrowing in Indiana is a reciprocal borrowing program that covers the entire state. What's reciprocal borrowing, you ask? It's an arrangement between libraries to allow patrons from one library system to check out materials from another library system.
That's right: now with your LCPL card, you can visit libraries outside of Lake County and check out books - no additional cost, no waiting for us to transport the book to you.
Which materials reciprocal borrowers are allowed to check out differs at each library. Some allow DVDs and other AV items in addition to books. If you've found an Indiana library that has the item you need, call first to make sure you can borrow it under the statewide borrowing program!
When you do borrow an item from a different library, you're responsible for the item just as you are when you borrow from us. That means you have to pay any late fees - so make sure you check how long you get to keep an item. It might be different from our loan period! You also must return the item to the library system from which you borrowed it - please don't return items from Porter County Public Library to us!
How Do I Get Started?
When you find a participating library that has an item you want to borrow, all you have to do is bring your Lake County Public Library card to that library (to prove you're a member in good standing) and they will issue you a reciprocal card. Reciprocal borrowers are usually given a different card than resident borrowers. Here at Lake County Public Library, reciprocal borrowers get a green card, while resident borrowers get a red one.
Once you have your card, you can check out whatever items that library includes under their reciprocal borrowing agreement.
Isn't This Just ILL?
ILL (or Inter-Library Loan) is a time-honored tradition amongst libraries. Through ILL, libraries are often able to acquire out-of-print or less-popular books from other libraries for a one-time loan. In order to do this, libraries literally box up the items and ship them to each other. If you've ever paid shipping on a lot of books, you know that this can be costly and that the shipping isn't the fastest!
With reciprocal borrowing you can go and pick up the book yourself, exactly when you want it. You don't have to wait for us to process the order or for the book to ship. It's faster for you and cheaper for the library.
Of course, Lake County Public Library will still offer ILL services! Learn more about ILL and purchase requests.
What about Reciprocal Borrowing at LCPL?
Opening statewide reciprocal borrowing to our patrons means that Lake County Public Library is now also open to patrons of other Indiana libraries. But don't worry - this won't impact availability of materials.
First, reciprocal borrowers at our library are limited to 50 physical items. They don't have access to our electronic resources, like ebooks and downloadable audiobooks. See the full list of reciprocal borrowing privileges.
In addition, we've hosted reciprocal borrowers from other library systems in Lake County for years. Patrons from Hammond, East Chicago, Whiting, Lowell, Gary and Crown Point libraries can all borrow materials from us. While we are opening reciprocal borrowing to the entire state through this agreement, it actually won't expand our area of service that much since we already serve most of the people closest to us. The further away a person lives, the less likely they are to drive out to borrow books: they are more likely to be served by other, closer libraries that are also participating in this program.