The University of Alabama
Frequently Asked Questions About Interlibrary Loan
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Who may use interlibrary loan?

University of Alabama faculty, staff, students, and retired faculty are eligible to use interlibrary loan under the Libraries' policies. All individuals not eligible for ILL services should contact their public library for interlibrary loan service. If you have questions about your eligibility, please inquire at the circulation desk in Gorgas Library.

Can I borrow textbooks to be used during a semester from ILL?

No. Textbooks for classes should be purchased through normal venues. Textbooks cannot be ordered for class use for full terms.

How do I request materials from interlibrary loan?

Electronic interlibrary loan request forms are available on the ILL Web page. Complete a form for each request. Provide all patron information and one form per request. The forms are menu driven and contain all required fields for each type of request.

How long does it take to receive interlibrary loan materials?

Delivery time depends upon the difficulty of the request and the situation at the lending library, so plan ahead when requesting materials. The average time for a request to arrive is two weeks from the date of request. If the material is readily available, it may be delivered sooner. Articles/photocopies, on average, arrive sooner than book/microfilm requests because they can be faxed or sent via Ariel over the Internet. If we have to contact more than one location for the material, delivery will take longer.

How much will the loan or copy cost?

Interlibrary loan service is free, except for rush and expedited delivery charges. Rush orders are processed at the discretion of the head of the department. If special circumstances exist where charges may be incurred, we will contact you to confirm that you are willing to pay any special costs before placing your order.

How will I find out when the material has arrived?

When requested material is received, the borrower will be notified via e-mail or phone. Requested materials may be picked up at the circulation desk in Gorgas Library. Requested photocopies for faculty will be delivered via intra-campus mail to the faculty member's department office. Books and materials for in-library use only must be picked up. Leave the interlibrary loan bands on items so they are clearly marked as ILL materials.

Can I have another person pick up my ILL materials for me?

No. Each patron must pick up their own ILL material. Another person cannot pick up your ILL material for you. Only Faculty can fill out a proxy form to have another person pick up their ILL material. The proxy form is available at the Circulation Desk in Gorgas Library on the 2nd floor.

How long may I keep loans?

The lending library determines the loan period, which ranges from two to four weeks. The due date will be clearly marked on the interlibrary loan band. Interlibrary loan materials are subject to recall by the lending library at any time. In the event this should happen, please return recalled items immediately. It is important to return items on time. Failure to return ILL materials on time may result in suspension of interlibrary loan service and circulation blocks. Service to all University of Alabama borrowers may suffer if the Interlibrary Loan Office is habitually late in returning borrowed materials to lending libraries.

May interlibrary loan material be renewed?

The lending library sets the loan period and the renewal policy. Renewals may be requested. Such a request must be made through the Interlibrary Loan Office at least one week in advance of the due date by telephone, e-mail, or in person. We will contact the lending library to see if a renewal is possible; if so, you will be contacted by phone or e-mail and informed of the new due date. If the ILL band is marked "Not Renewable," the lending library has already indicated a renewal is not possible.

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

You, the borrower, are financially responsible for damage to or loss of interlibrary loan materials from the time you pick them up until you return them to the Gorgas Library circulation desk. You are responsible for damage caused by photocopying, even if no specific photocopy restrictions are noted on the material. Should any damage occur, report it to the Interlibrary Loan Office. Do not attempt to make repairs yourself.

Where do I return interlibrary loan materials?

All materials borrowed through interlibrary loan must be returned to the Gorgas Library circulation desk. Please leave the interlibrary loan bands on items so they are clearly marked as ILL materials. Materials should not be returned through campus mail or in library drop boxes. If material is not returned to the Gorgas Library circulation desk, the borrower will be held responsible for any late return fines or lost book fees. Late return of materials jeopardizes the University of Alabama's ability to borrow from other libraries in the future.