3.12 Interlibrary Loan

What happens when your research identifies a book or article not owned by your local library? Should you give up or change your topic?

No, don’t give up! As mentioned in earlier chapters, research libraries today are comprised of vast networks linking resources from around the world. Most research libraries provide a service called Interlibrary Loan (ILL). ILL is your key to go beyond the physical walls of your local library, so we encourage you to try it out. No matter how you use our Interlibrary Loan service, it is totally free for you. Below are two simple ways to use ILL.

Partner libraries

If the ISU Library doesn’t have the book you need, one easy way to get books from other libraries is to check our Partner libraries through Quick Search. Once you’ve done a search and are on the results page, notice that an ISU Library drop-down menu appears in the search box itself. Click the drop-down to see Partner libraries, a collaborative group of academic libraries in Iowa. You can choose to search one of our Partner libraries or all of them. When you find a book you need, click Check holdings to see if the item is available for loan. If so, just follow the steps online to borrow the book. Once you’ve submitted your request, you should get an email within 2-3 business days that the book is ready for you to pick up at the Parks Library Circulation desk.

Interlibrary Loan Request

In some cases, you may find that neither our library nor our partner libraries have the book you want, or perhaps you need an article from a journal we don’t have. In these cases, use our standard Interlibrary Loan request service. Just fill out the ILL request form on the library website. In most cases, you’ll get books you requested within 5-7 days, and articles often much quicker than that. In fact, articles may even arrive within 24 hours. Here at ISU, our ILL service has its own name: it’s called ILLiad. We point this out because it is sometimes referred to by this name.

We’ll look now at two different online tools — WorldCat and Google Books — that can help you locate scholarly books. Both of these tools are connected with Interlibrary Loan to help you access the materials you need.


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