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Interlibrary Loan (or Resource Sharing): FAQ

Login to Interlibrary Loan or WorldCat. How to use these services. Policies.

Contact Us

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery:

Hours: 8:30am–4:30pm, M–F

Phone: 781-736-4676


Fax: 781-736-4724

Information and Borrowing Desk:

Phone: 781-736-5626 (or 781-736-LOAN)

Problems or emergencies:
Contact the Interlibrary Loan / Document Delivery department during business hours. If you need to report a problem after 4:30pm or during the weekend, please contact the Information and Borrowing Desk.

Mailing address:
Brandeis University
Library, Interlibrary Loan
415 South Street, MS 045
Waltham, MA  02453-2728


How long does it take?

Articles usually arrive in a day or two, sometimes on the same day.

Books take longer, those from nearby libraries (especially BLC libraries) usually come in a few days, but one week to ten days is not unusual for ILL. Rare and special materials often take longer, and sometimes no library is able to lend those.

How do you contact me?

Notifications of available items and other interlibrary loan correspondence are sent to your Brandeis email address.
If the item happens to be restricted to Library Use Only you will receive an additional email explaining that.

Where do I pick up my items?

Physical loans can be picked up at the Information and Borrowing Desk at the main library. You must present your Brandeis ID (WhoCard) before checkout.

Articles/book chapters can be viewed online via your interlibrary loan account. They are available for 30 days from the time that you are notified after which they are deleted automatically.

Where do I return my items?

Loans must be returned to the Information and Borrowing Desk at the main library.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible to use interlibrary loan if you are a currently enrolled student, a faculty member, or an employee at Brandeis. (However, if you have very overdue ILL materials you will be blocked from borrowing more until all overdue items are returned.)

Is there a charge?

There is no charge for using interlibrary loan. However, there are daily overdue fines for loans, and if you lose a physical item you will be charged for its replacement cost. The replacement fee is determined by the lending library, but $110 is typical.

What can I request?

You can request the following types of items through interlibrary loan.

  • Items that are not owned by Brandeis.
  • Items that are checked out or missing.

In addition, faculty and other researchers may request items that are on reserve at Brandeis.

If you request an item that is checked out, missing, or on reserve, please indicate this information in the notes field of the interlibrary loan request form.

What can't I request?

  • Print books, if Brandeis owns an e-book version.
  • Textbooks (other schools need these for their own students)
  • Books or media if we have a copy on reserve

How many items can I request?

There is no limit to the number of requests you can place, but due to the heavy volume of requests that interlibrary loan receives, please submit no more than 10 requests per day.

How long is the loan period?

The due date for a physical item is printed on the book band. This date is assigned by the lending library and varies depending on the lending library's loan policies, but one or two months is a typical interlibrary loan period. Some lending libraries allow renewals, others do not.

Why is my book recalled?

Sometimes a lending library will recall a book that it has lent out via ILL. This happens when the item is needed by one of their students or professors. This means that the borrowing period will be cut short and the book must be returned right away. We will send you an email message telling you that the book has been recalled and that the due date has changed.

Please return the item as quickly as you can, this helps us maintain a good relationship with the lending library so we can continue borrowing from them in the future. If you still need that item you might try ordering it again via ILL and we will do our best to get it from another library. However it can be difficult, or even impossible, to reorder rare materials.

How do I renew my book?

Renewals are possible for only some interlibrary loan materials. Sometimes lending libraries will not allow renewals for a particular item. This is usually printed on the paperwork that's on the front of your ILL book. Renewal instructions.

Can I cancel a request?

That depends. If we catch the request before a potential lending library receives it, we can cancel it. If the lending library has already shipped the item it is too late. Please let us know quickly if you wish to cancel a request, and we will try. It does help us save staff time and library costs.

Can I get dissertations and theses?

Brandeis Libraries has access to many dissertations and theses in electronic, print and microform formats. You may order others via ILL. For more information visit the Find Dissertations/Theses page.

I lost my book! What should I do?

Let us know and we will contact the lender. The lending library will send us an invoice for the replacement of the book.  Replacement costs vary a great deal, and each library has it's own policies. Replacement fees can be quite high, $100 or more is typical. We will have to pass this cost on to you by adding this fee to your Brandeis library account. If you are thinking about replacing the lost item DO NOT buy a replacement copy until we find out if the lender will accept it; some libraries will not accept replacement copies.

Meanwhile keep looking for the lost book!

How do I view my article or book chapter?

I just received an email notification that my article or book chapter has arrived, but I can't see the pdf file!

First you need to log into your ILL account (or follow the link we sent in the email notification). After you have logged in, go to the navigation links on the left, and click on Electronically Received Articles under View.

This opens the Electroncially Received Article page, now you can see the link to the pdf file as well as any other currently "active" article pdf files.

Can I submit requests for someone else?

Interlibrary loan requests can only be submitted from your own ILL account. Loans cannot be transferred from one person’s account to another. For example, if a student assistant orders materials on behalf of a faculty member, those items will remain on the student’s account and will be the responsibility of that student.

Can someone else collect my ILL items for me?

Current Brandeis faculty and administrators may authorize a proxy to collect ILL materials on their behalf. To apply the faculty member or administrator must complete the online Proxy Borrower Request Form.

Where can I monitor my requests?

You can monitor all your requests (books, articles/book chapters, and document delivery) in your ILL (ILLiad) account.

When a physical book or other item is received, you will be able to see the record in your OneSearch (Brandeis library) account as well as in your ILL account.


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