Interruption of Inter-Library Loan Service Effective June 4th

Posted June 4th, 2024

Image Credit: Stacy Mazur at Prince Memorial Library

Statement from the Jesup Memorial Library, Southwest Harbor Public Library & Northeast Harbor Library

Due to interruptions to the Maine State Library’s van delivery service, statewide interlibrary loan requests have been temporarily suspended, effective immediately. Patrons will still be able to request and place holds on locally owned items, but will not be able to request materials from other libraries.

If you would like more details regarding this, please visit this message from Maine Infonet that further explains this situation:

This is a statewide issue that is beyond the control of any of our local libraries. In the meantime, the MDI libraries will work together the best way we can to help support our communities’ diverse library materials interests! Anyone with a Jesup Memorial Library, Northeast Harbor Library, and Southwest Harbor Public Library card can use their borrowing card at any of the three libraries and can return their books to those libraries as well.


Staff at Jesup Memorial Library, Northeast Harbor Library, and Southwest Harbor Public Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still request holds on NEHL items? YES! Placing holds on NEHL items is unaffected by this change.

Will I be able to request inter-library loans? Unfortunately, NO, however we are still able to participate in reciprocal borrowing with other MDI libraries in the Minerva consortium (Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor Public Library) Patrons at any of these three libraries can take their library card to either of the other two and borrow books; books from any of these three libraries can be returned to any of these libraries.

Will I be able to renew items currently checked out if they belong to another library? NO. We’re sorry, but we have to return items belonging to libraries as soon as possible – by the end of June, but the sooner the better – so we cannot renew these items. If it’s an item that NEHL has a copy of, we can place a hold to get our copy to you as soon as possible.

What if I am waiting for a request to be fulfilled?

  • Holds on NEHL items are not affected – as soon as this item is available, we will contact you.
  • Holds on items belonging to other libraries that were fulfilled (in-transit) before June 3rd will arrive as expected and can be checked out. They will not be able to be renewed and must be returned before the end of the month.
  • Holds on items belonging to other libraries that are not already in transit will remain in place until inter-library loaning resumes and then they will be filled as soon as possible. If you no longer want us to fill the hold for you, please cancel the hold or let us know.

How long will inter-library loan services be paused? Unfortunately, we do not know. Requesting was turned off on June 4th, delivery of materials to their home libraries will stop on June 30th, and we are anticipate at least another six weeks before contracts are settled and service resumes – hopefully in mid-August. We will post updates as we receive them.

In the meantime, check out out our wonderful digital resources for e-books and magazines, e-audiobooks, streaming movies, television and music. NEHL provides access to cloudLibrary, Libby, and Hoopla as well as Mango Languages, the New York Times and Digital Maine Library. More information about these resources can be found at

In addition to digital resources, NEHL has a diverse physical media and print collection. We also offer a book sale twice a week! Fear not, dear readers, there are still plenty of great books and movies to choose from!

More Information

A Statement from James Jackson Sanborn, Executive Director of Maine InfoNet

Sharing between libraries is one of the best and most valuable services that libraries provide to their members.

The ability to smoothly deliver materials between libraries is what makes this work.  The contract for the book delivery service is held by the Maine State Library and is subject to State Procurement Laws and procedures. This contract was required to go to through a competitive bidding process (Request for Proposal, or RFP) this year since all contracts that use public funds have to ensure competitive bidding at the state level.

Contracting as a result of this RFP for book delivery is currently working its way through a legal appeals process. Because of this transition to a new vendor who won the competitive bid, and an appeal to overturn that decision by an unsuccessful bidder, there will be an interruption to book delivery between libraries at the end of the current contract which expires on June 30th.

We do not currently have firm dates for the length of this interruption, but we expect that there will be no delivery for at least six weeks this summer, starting on July 1.

In anticipation of this interruption, the Maine InfoNet Board and the Minerva Executive Board have made the difficult decision to turn off all requesting between libraries within the MaineCat environment, including Minerva, MILS and URSUS, as of June 4th.

Patrons will still be able to request and place holds on locally owned items, but will not be able to request materials from other libraries. 

Turning off requesting between libraries will allow materials currently in transit to be delivered and will reduce the flow of new material entering delivery. This will help get as many items back to their owning libraries as possible and will help ensure materials are not stranded in the delivery system.

We know that this is a challenging situation that we are all facing. We recognize and feel the same frustration with this situation that you all are feeling. Your local library provides many other valuable services to your community, and we encourage everyone to explore those many services.

If you would like more details regarding this, please visit the Maine State Library Van Delivery FAQ page that further explains this situation: Van Delivery FAQ 

Posted in Announcements

Northeast Harbor Library
1 Joy Road, PO Box 279
Northeast Harbor, Maine 04662

(207) 276-3333