Interlibrary Loan FAQ
The E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center provides a free of charge Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service to BHSU students, faculty, staff, and public patrons to obtain materials from other libraries throughout the United States which are not owned by the BHSU library.
What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?
"Interlibrary loan is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library." (Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States. ALA, 2001)
Who is eligible for interlibrary borrowing?
Any BHSU student, faculty, staff member, or public patron with a valid Buzz card in good standing may request materials through ILL.
How many Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests can be submitted?
Students are permitted to have 10 requests in the system at a time, while faculty and staff patrons are permitted 50 requests.
What types of materials are available through interlibrary loan?
Books and periodical articles are the most common items requested, although requests can be submitted for any type of material. Because of high demand, textbooks, new books, best-sellers and audio-visual material are not often available for loan. Patrons are notified by email if an item is not available or has no lending libraries. We will attempt to borrow from other library systems (locally, regionally and nationally) titles that we do not own, do not plan to purchase, or have only non-circulating copies.
What is not available through interlibrary loan?
Lending policies vary from library to library. Many libraries will not lend audiovisual materials of any kind, local history or genealogy materials, reference materials, current year publications, textbooks, or bestsellers, and materials from special collections. While every effort will be made to locate the desired material, finding a library willing to lend is not guaranteed.
Are there any charges for this service?
The BHSU library does not assess a charge for Interlibrary Loan, with the exception of late fees when material is kept beyond its due date. While most libraries do not charge a fee, some libraries do assess charges, which are then passed on to the borrower. These charges may include loan fees, royalty fees, postage or copying charges. The library requests materials first from free lending libraries, and then from other libraries. Patrons are notified by email about any charges that may be incurred, and must give their approval before items will be ordered.
How is an interlibrary loan request placed?
After searching the E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center online catalog for print materials and/or the online databases for journal articles and determining that the Library does not own the desired material, requests can be submitted in several ways:
- Through our catalog if the item is located in-state
- Through Paper ILL Request form located at the Library Information Desk
How long does it take to receive an interlibrary loan request?
The average turnaround time for an ILL request is about one week from the date of submission to the date of arrival. Some ILL requests can take much longer, as materials may not be readily available from regional lenders, or require 2-3 submissions of a request before a lender is found. Materials sent electronically will take less time and will be sent directly to patrons via their BHSU email account.
Are patrons notified when interlibrary loan materials are available?
Yes. Patrons are notified of available ILL holds by their BHSU email. It is the responsibility of the patron to check his/her BHSU email account frequently for notification.
Is the checkout period for interlibrary loan materials the same as that for most E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center materials? (21 days)
No. The lending library determines the due date. Most ILL materials have a 3-week loan period, but that varies from lending library to lending library.
May the loan period on interlibrary loan materials be extended or renewed?
Yes, in most cases the lending library will grant one renewal on an item. But this is not guaranteed. Contact the Interlibrary Loan Librarian to request renewal of ILL materials. Requests for renewal should be made before the due date if possible.
Where do patrons return interlibrary loan materials?
ILL materials may be returned at BHSU Library circulation desk. ILL materials should not be returned in a book drop.
What if an interlibrary loan request is no longer needed?
Patrons can contact the Interlibrary Loan Librarian to cancel an ILL request.
Why do some interlibrary loan requests go unfilled?
In most cases, lenders cannot be found for an item because the item is either: on loan; missing; non-circulating; on hold; or involves a fee. E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center only sends borrowing requests to libraries which do not charge fees. However, if a patron is willing to pay the borrowing fee, an attempt will be made to acquire the item. In the event that a request goes unfilled, a notice will be sent directly to the patron through their BHSU email address. Patrons who wish to resubmit a request for an out-of-system item that has been cancelled are instructed to retain the notice and resubmit the request through the online Interlibrary Loan form in about 4 to 6 weeks.
Requests through Paper Form
Lastly, paper request forms are available at the Information Desk located at the front of the library. Remember that the more information provided about the item, the better the probability of receiving the requested material. This includes your Library Card number and email address.
Please allow at least one week for materials to arrive. If the owning library is out-of-state, the process can take up to three weeks. Materials received electronically are sent to the requesting patron using his/her BHSU email account.
Patrons are notified of available ILL holds by their BHSU email. It is the responsibility of the patron to check his/her BHSU email account frequently for notification.