Skip to main content

Interlibrary Loan at UMass Lowell

Information about borrowing materials than UMass Lowell does not own

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) at UMass Lowell Libraries

Interlibrary Loan is a service provided by the Access Services Department of the UMass Lowell Libraries. When material is not available in the UMass Lowell Libraries or in our full text databases, our faculty, staff and students may request it from another library. To find books from other libraries, simply search the catalog. You will be simultaneously searching UMass Lowell material, the collections of our partner libraries in the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), and libraries across the country. Results are prioritized by availability so the items that can be in your hand most quickly are listed first. Material that you can borrow immediately from the UMass Lowell Libraries will appear at the top of the list. Items in BLC libraries will appear after our own material. Materials in other libraries in Massachusetts are listed next, followed by libraries across the country and beyond. You will be able to see which group holds an item in the first level of results. It will appear in green text as “Libraries that own this item.”

Requesting Material

If a book is owned by the UMass Lowell Libraries, click on the title to see if it’s available (not checked out), which library it's in and what its call number is.  If you would like to borrow the book, just come into the library retrieve it from the shelves and check it out at the circulation desk. If the book is held at Lydon Library but you want to pick it up at O’Leary Library, you can make that request in our online catalog.  Books will usually be delivered within 48 hours.

When you know the material you want

If you know the item you want to request, you may use the ILLiad request form. Simply log into your ILLiad account, select the type of item you are requesting (article, book, book chapter, media, conference paper, patent, or thesis) and fill in the appropriate information and click "submit request."

From the catalog

Use our catalog to discover books and media items in our libraries and beyond. When you find an item at another library that you would like to borrow, scroll down to find the blue "Request through Interlibrary Loan" button on the right. Click this to open ILLiad. You will be asked to log on (or register if you are a first time user). Once you have logged into your account, you will see the request form already filled out. Check it to be sure it is the item you want and click "submit request."

From the databases

Our databases will help you discover articles and books. Much of the material you will find is available in full text to you as a UMass Lowell student, staff or faculty member. For those items that are not available immediately, you can request we obtain a copy for you. When you find an item that is not available in that database, click on the "Full Text Finder" link. This will show you if we have the item in full text in another database. If the Full Text Finder reveals that is not available in full text or in print, click "Interlibrary Loan Article/Chapter Request" or "Interlibrary Loan Book Request" to open ILLiad. You will be asked to log on (or register if you are a first time user). Once you have logged into your account, you will see the request form already filled out. Check it to be sure it is the item you want and click "submit request."

Please note- if you are requesting an article or book chapter from a database, please check the year in the ILLiad form. If it is longer than 4 characters, please change it. This will speed the processing of your request.

 

The UMass Lowell Libraries have developed these policies to ensure excellent service and fairness to all patrons.

  • ILL services are available to current UMass Lowell faculty, staff and students. All others should inquire about ILL service through their public libraries.
  • ILL users must register for an ILLiad account to place requests. Each user may have one ILLiad account.
  • The UMass Lowell Libraries respect and uphold patron privacy. Interlibrary Loan requests are confidential.
  • Requests should be made for oneself and not for others. Assistance in placing requests is available from library staff.
  • Every effort is made to obtain requested materials in a timely manner. Electronic items are often delivered within a day or two. Hard copy items such as books are usually available within 3-14 days. We cannot guarantee delivery by a specified date or that a particularly rare item will be available, however. If an item is not available, our librarians are happy to help you find an appropriate substitute.
  • The UMass Lowell Libraries respect copyright law and follow accepted guidelines in practice.
  • The UMass Lowell Libraries adhere to the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States.
  • If we are not able to borrow an item without paying a fee, the UMass Lowell Libraries will subsidize up to $50 per request for graduate students and up to $35 for undergraduate students. Faculty members' requests are fully covered. When a requested item's cost exceeds this limit and before placing a request, Access Services Staff will inform the requester of the price. The requester will be asked to verify that they are willing to pay the cost (the amount over $35 or $50) before the request is placed. Faculty members will be informed of the cost and asked to confirm the request.
  • To ensure that all requesters have an equal opportunity to have their requests processed during periods of heavy request volume, we will process a user's first five requests and then move to the next user, returning to the remaining requests when the first five requests of all other users have been processed.
  • Any item not owned or not available due to loss or current borrowing at the UMass Lowell Libraries may be requested.
  • Items owned by the UMass Lowell Libraries may not be requested through Interlibrary Loan, including non-circulating materials or items on course reserve.
  • The UMass Lowell Libraries comply with the policies and restrictions of the lending library. Such policies and restrictions may include due dates, recalls, or restrictions for "in library use only."
  • Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library.
  • Users who damage or lose an ILL item will be required to pay the replacement cost and any processing fees charged by the lending institution and will be blocked from charging materials at the UMass Lowell Libraries.

 

  • How do I check on my ILL requests?

    Log into your ILLiad account to check the status of your requests.

  • How will I know when my ILL request is in?
    You will be notified by e-mail when material is ready for pick up at your home library. Most articles will be delivered electronically, but occasionally some may require pick up. Physical materials such as books, CDs or DVDs require in person pick up at your home library.

  • Can I get my textbooks through Interlibrary Loan?

    It is not recommended that students request textbooks through Interlibrary Loan. Current textbooks are usually not available and the loan period is significantly shorter than a semester.

  • Do I have to specify which non-UMass Lowell Library owns the item I want?
    No, the library ILL staff will find which libraries own the item.
  • How will I get my ILL material?
    You will be notified by e-mail when material is ready for pick up at the home library. Most articles will be delivered electronically, but occasionally will require pick up.
  • What does Interlibrary loan cost?
    The libraries currently subsidize almost all costs incurred for borrowing materials. We will cover up to $35.00 per request for undergraduate students and up to $50.00 for graduate students. We make every effort to obtain requested material through trading partners with whom we have reciprocal agreements. This allows us to keep costs down. Occasionally, material may be requested that has significant copyright fees or is very rare. When a patron requests material that incurs a higher cost, the library staff will contact the patron to see if he is willing to pay the amount over the libraries' limits. Payment by cash or check must be made at the O'Leary Library before the request is placed. If the patron does not wish to pay, we will cancel the request. Patrons are responsible for any costs incurred if interlibrary loan items are overdue, lost or damaged.
  • How long does Interlibrary loan take?
    Most requests are filled in 2-14 days. Depending on the availability of the material requested, more time may be necessary. Every effort is made to fulfill all ILL requests, but occasionally some items are too rare or too new to be obtained. Patrons are notified via e-mail if their requests cannot be fulfilled.
  • How long can I keep an Interlibrary loan item?
    Each institution that we borrow from determines its own policy. Most loans are for about 3-4 weeks.
  • Why can't I keep items longer?
    The items obtained through Interlibrary Loan don't belong to the University Libraries. Interlibrary loan items belong to other institutions that set the policies for their material. Interlibrary loan service depends on cooperation. The University Libraries observe other libraries' borrowing policies so that they will continue to share their materials with us.
  • Besides the length of loan, are there any other restrictions?
    Lending institutions may set special conditions such as "No Photocopying," or "IN LIBRARY USE ONLY." They may also recall an item if it is needed by one of their own users.
  • What should I do when I am done with the item?
    On or before the due date, return the item to the library from which it was picked up. Photocopies of journal articles need not be returned.
  • What if I return my ILL item after the due date? What if I lose an item?
    Patrons who damage or lose an ILL item will be required to pay the replacement cost and any processing fees charged by the lending institution and will be blocked from charging materials at the UMass Lowell Libraries. If the fees are not paid immediately, the charges will be billed as official university debt, following University Libraries' procedures. Patrons who abuse ILL privileges will be denied them in the future.
Loading