What is Interlibrary Loan?

spooky books

A selection of books you may want to check out.

What happens if you find a citation for the PERFECT book, but when you search our catalog, you come up empty? Or what if you find the perfect article, but when you click on “Check for Full Text”, there is no full text to be found? You don’t have to give up hope! Here at the Leatherby Libraries, we offer Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services free of charge.

An interlibrary loan is the process by which we request an item from another library for our patron. Although we strive to have an extensive collection for our patrons, we work with a system of participating libraries throughout the country that allow us to search through their catalogs and borrow items from them. There are some restrictions and stipulations for requesting an item via interlibrary loan.

For starters, the item may become available from any library throughout the entire country. The borrow system allows the first available library to fulfill the request, so for example, you may order a book and a library in San Diego fulfills the request, but next time your place a request, it may be fulfilled by a library in New York. This is why we say it may take 2-3 weeks for you to receive the item because we cannot predict how far the book will have to travel. However, most journal articles are received within 3-4 days, and you can access them electronically.

The other restriction is that we must abide by the loan and renewal guidelines set forth by the loaning library. Our typical checkout period is 6 weeks, and we allow at least one renewal. Other libraries may have shorter or longer check out periods, and some do not allow any renewals. We cannot alter borrowing policies for items that we do not own. If you have an ILL item that you wish to keep longer, please contact us a week before the due date so we can submit a renewal request to the lending library for you.

Requesting an Interlibrary Loan is easy! You are going to use the same account you use to request items that we own here in the library, your ILLiad account.

When you create your request, be sure to include as much information as possible. For example, if you are requesting a book, please include the complete title and the author’s full name. If you are requesting an article, we will need the journal title, the article title, the year, and the volume and issue number. If we don’t have all the relevant information, it will delay your request processing.

If you have any further questions about the interlibrary loan process, don’t hesitate to contact the Brandman University Library Assistant at 1-800-344-5756 or ill@chapman.edu


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