Monday, October 8, 2018

Interlibrary Loan: Lending books at the State Library

The State Library has a vast collection of books that cover a wide variety of subjects,  especially on Massachusetts and New England politics; such topics include politics, history, notable people, the molasses flood, capital punishment, and woman’s right to vote.

Only Massachusetts employees may check books out of the library; however, non-state employees can request to borrow our materials either through their public or academic library. We lend to libraries across the United States, with an average of 550 per year. We do not loan out items that fall into the following categories:
  • local history
  • microfilm or fiche
  • newspapers
  • books before 1930
  • reference materials
  • CDs and most videos
  • genealogical items
  • items from Special Collections 
  • and items from our Mass Room which includes annual reports from state agencies
  • anything that is in too bad of a condition to be shipped

Some books that are requested on interlibrary loan include: Nudge improving decisions about health, wealth, and happinessA short history of BostonGive me liberty! an American historyThe quest for environmental justice human rights and the politics of pollutionNew directions in special education: eliminating ableism in policy and practice.

We also scan articles from books and periodicals as long as the request does not violate copyright law (e.g. copying only one chapter or up to ten percent of a book.)

If you are a state employee and want to learn more about requesting books or articles check out this blog on borrowing materials.  If you would like to submit a request (and are a state employee) you can email our ILL department directly at or fill out a request form on our website.

Naomi Allen
Reference Department