Interlibrary Loans - FAQs

Q: What is InterLibrary Loan (ILL)?

A: Interlibrary loan is a service through which a user can obtain materials which are not owned by our library. They are borrowed for you from another library.

Q: Am I eligible for interlibrary loan service?

A: If you are currently enrolled at or employed by Auburn University, you are eligible to use interlibrary loan. Otherwise, contact your local public library for interlibrary loan service.

Q: What kind of materials can I request through interlibrary loan?

A: Books, articles, conference papers, proceedings, musical scores, newspapers, dissertations, theses, and other media as available can be requested, as well as materials in foreign languages.

Q: What kind of materials can I not request through interlibrary loan?

A: Periodical volumes less than five years old, reference books, video tapes, bulky or fragile items, extremely old books, rare or valuable material such as manuscripts generally cannot be supplied.

Q: Is it possible to get doctoral dissertations which have been written by students at other universities?

A: Most of the time we can borrow copies of doctoral dissertations from other universities at no cost to you; and such items will be returned to the library from which we obtained them.

However, there are occasions when it may not be possible to get the item on the first attempt, or the library which owns the item does not loan dissertations. In such cases, you can purchase the dissertation from University Microfilms' Dissertation Express service at a cost of $28.00 and the material will be received in three working days. Just fill out the ILL request form, indicate "$28.00.

Q: How do I request materials through interlibrary loan?

A: You fill out the electronic ILL forms located on the delivery services web page. There is a request form for books and a request form for journal articles. You must fill out one form apiece for each item you want (i.e., seven items = seven forms). You fill in the information about the item you want along with information about yourself, then submit the request. Processing time is quicker when you supply complete citation information and do not abbreviate journal titles.

Q: How much does it cost to get material through interlibrary loan?

A: There is currently no cost to patrons for normal Interlibrary Loan services, the library absorbs most of the cost for ILL. If special circumstances exist, we will contact you to confirm that you are willing to pay any special costs before placing an order for your requested item You can indicate how much you are willing to pay on your request form, and we will work within your limitations. If it turns out the item will cost more than what you indicated, we will contact you and ask if you still want it before proceeding further with the request. Items which are most likely to incur charges are doctoral dissertations, medical, nursing, legal, and scientific journals, as well as British, Canadian, Australian or any other journals published outside the U.S.

Q: How long does it take to get my request?

A: Normally, you should allow two weeks for interlibrary loan materials to arrive, but the amount of time can often be more or less depending upon the type of materials you want and what sort of library is able to supply them. In each case, however, we try to select those libraries which we know are the best ones for supplying materials on a timely basis.

Q: How do I know when my material has arrived?

A: You will receive an email when your requested material has arrived. You then come to the Circulation Desk to pick up your material. You must have your Auburn University ID card with you.

Q: How long can I keep interlibrary loan materials?

A: Photocopies are yours to keep. The loan period for books is set by the library which loaned the book, and this can range from two weeks to a month. Renewals can sometimes be arranged, but you should contact us before the book is due so we can ask the library for a renewal. Patrons will be charged for damaged or lost books.

Q: Where do I return interlibrary loan material?

A: You should always return it to the Circulation Desk where you originally picked it up.

Q: What happens if the interlibrary loan material is lost or damaged?

A: You are financially responsible for all ILL materials from the time you pick them up until the time they are returned. If the material is lost or damaged while in your possession, you must pay any repair, replacement, or processing fees which the lending library charges. If the materials are not returned within one week of the date of those notices, your ILL privileges will be suspended.

Q: What if I have a question you haven't answered here?

A: Call the Interlibrary Loan staff at (334) 844-1728 or (334) 844-1735 or you can contact us at: illhelp@auburn.edu

Last Updated: May 11, 2012