The mission of the Butte County Library is to serve the Learning, Cultural, and Community needs of the diverse populations of our County.
Interlibrary Loan and Zip Program

Can I borrow an item that is not owned by the Butte County Library?
Yes, there are two options for fulfilling your request.

(Note: If the item(s) are available at any of our branches, you can put it on hold from our online catalog and they will be sent to your branch. These two options are not available for items owned by Butte County Library)

  1. We can try to borrow these items for you from other libraries across the U.S. This service is called Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and is available to Butte County Library patrons with library cards in good standing. Each library patron is entitled to place requests for 12 items per year free of charge. Subsequent Interlibrary Loan requests will be processed for a non-refundable fee of $31 per requested item. 
  2. Butte County Libraries are also part of a project funded by LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) called Zip Books which allows the Library to purchase the item you request through Amazon and shipped directly to the patron's home. This project is an alternative to traditional Interlibrary Loan.

How do I make a request?
There are several ways to submit a request:

  • You may login to the library catalog with your library card number & PIN. Click on "Your purchase suggestions" and create a new purchase suggestion. If the librarian declines to purchase your request they will attempt to fill your request by Interlibrary Loan or ZipBooks program.
  • You can request items by telephone, email, or in-person at any Butte County Library branch. 
  • To request an e-book, you can send an email to

What kind of items can be requested?
You may request books, photocopies of periodicals, and census microfilm from Interlibrary Loan. You may request most regular print, large print or audiobooks from the Zip Books program. 

Is there a charge for Interlibrary Loan or Zip Books?
The first 12 requests placed per year are free; subsequent requests will be placed for a fee of $31 per item. Fees are due at the time the request is placed and are non refundable even if the requested item becomes unavailable. There are no fees for requesting or receiving a Zip Book.

How long will it take to receive my Interlibrary Loan or Zip Book?
Please allow a minimum of three weeks for an Interlibrary Loan. It may not take that long but faster service cannot be guaranteed. We need to find a library that owns the item, is willing to lend it, and where it is not checked out to another borrower. Zip Books generally arrive within one or two weeks of ordering.

What happens if my Interlibrary Loan or Zip Book request cannot be filled?
Every effort will be made to fill each request placed; however, circumstances change and occasionally items become unexpectedly unavailable. In this instance, the request placed will still be deducted from the 12 free allowed per year. Any associated fees that have been paid are nonrefundable. If your request is ineligible for Zip Books we will try to fill the request through Interlibrary Loan.

How do I get my Interlibrary Loan?
You will be notified by either our automated email notification or phone notification system. You will have 7 days to pick up your item(s) at the library. 

How long can I keep an Interlibrary Loan item?
The lending library determines the length of the loan. You will not be able to renew it, and it is important that the items are returned on time. Otherwise, we may lose borrowing privileges from the lending library. 

How long can I keep a Zip Book item?
There is no due date associated with the Zip Book but please try to return it within 4 weeks of receiving your shipment. Please return the book to a staff member at the desk with the Amazon packing slip if possible to the library where the request was made. Please, do not return Zip Books in the Book Returns -- because there is no library labeling, they look like donations.

Colored Book Bands:
Items from libraries outside the Butte County Library system wear an identifying paper band. The band helps us both - you and the Library - to keep track of these special items. To ensure safe return of the material, please do not remove the band.



The goal of the Zip Books Project is to expand the use of an alternative model for interlibrary loan service that, over time, has proved cost effective, easy to use, and extremely popular with the public. The project started in 2013 with 15 libraries; currently over 68 library jurisdictions across the state are participating, with more being added all the time.

The Zip Program is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library


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