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Interlibrary Loan Guide: FAQs

An online guide designed to inform students about Interlibrary Loan services, to assist patrons in submitting ILL requests, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a service by which you can borrow books, or obtain copies of journal or magazine articles, from other libraries if they’re not available in our library.


Who can use interlibrary loan?

Only currently-enrolled LaGrange College students, faculty, and staff are eligible to use Lewis Library’s ILL services.  Alumni and others should go to their local public library to make ILL requests.


How can I request ILL?

You can request ILL books and articles:

  • In person (visit the Reference desk or see a librarian to get the forms)
  • Through GALILEO (if you’re using the Discovery Service, you’ll see a “Request this item through interlibrary loan” link).
  • By EMAIL (send the request from your lagrange.edu e-mail; be sure to give full citations for articles--if possible, paste the citation from a database).   You can e-mail the reference librarian at arobinson@lagrange.edu or refdesk@lagrange.edu; during the summer, the latter may be better, since it goes to all the librarians.


Is there a charge for ILL?

Normally, ILL is free; Lewis Library will pay the first $10 per request for undergraduates, and $15 for faculty, staff, and graduate students.  If the only libraries that have an item charge more than this, we’ll contact you to ask whether you’re willing to pay the difference.  You will never have to pay unless you've agreed to do so.


How long does ILL take?

That depends on the lending library (and the mail).  We usually transmit requests the day we receive them.  Last year, the average speed was 7.2 days for obtaining books and 1.3 days for articles.  But the actual time varied:  some articles arrived electronically within an hour, one took 12 days; book requests took anywhere from 2 to 46 days.  You should try to allow two weeks; if you need something sooner, talk with the ILL librarian, who will check whether the item is at a library that normally supplies materials quickly.  (Most libraries now send articles electronically, but a few still use snail mail.)


How will I know when my book or article is available?

We’ll e-mail you as soon as each ILL item arrives, or if we're unable to obtain it.  If you prefer us to phone, please let us know.  If you want to check on the status of your request, e-mail us.  You can pick up ILL books and articles at the circulation desk of Lewis Library.


How long can I keep ILL books?  Can I renew them?

Again, this depends on the lending library.  Most libraries lend books for three or four weeks; some have shorter or longer loan periods.  You can request renewal once (unless the book band says “No renewal”).   Most libraries will renew books once, but some won’t.  You can request renewal by EMAIL.  You cannot request a second renewal.


Is there a fine for overdue ILL books?

Yes, there's a fine of $2 per day per book for students, so please note the due date on the book band, and request renewal on or before the due date. 


Do I have to return ILL articles?

No, you can keep articles (or photocopies of book chapters etc.). 


Is there a limit to the number of requests I can make?

We’ll transmit a maximum of ten requests per week.  If you request more than ten items, please prioritize them; we’ll request the first ten immediately, the next ten at the beginning of the following week (usually Monday morning).


 Can I request a book on interlibrary loan if the LaGrange College library owns it?

Yes, if our copy has been checked out or we can't find it on the shelf, we'll be happy to order a copy for you from another library.


Are there things I can’t request on ILL?

The following can’t be requested on ILL:

·       DVDs, CDs, or other audio-visual or electronic materials (such as e-books and books on tape)

  •  Textbooks required for a current class

·       Books published before 1800 (unless reprinted or available on microfilm).  Some books published before 1800 may be available on the web from Google Books.

·       Items not available from any library in the USA

·       Entire issues of periodicals (or bound volumes)

·       Unpublished works, such as conference papers (unless available as ERIC documents)

·       We can’t request more than one article on ILL from any given issue of a periodical.  If you need multiple articles from the same issue, see the ILL librarian, who will discuss the options.

·       We normally can’t borrow reference books or genealogy books on ILL, but we can request photocopies of the part you need (e.g., an encyclopedia entry, information on a specific person in a genealogy book).  See the ILL librarian for details.

Some items, such as dissertations, microfilm, and books that have just been published, are not always obtainable; but you can request them, and we’ll borrow them if we can.  (But as of August 2019, our microfilm machine can't print.)

If you have questions that aren't answered here, please e-mail us!


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