Interlibrary Loan (ILL) provides free access to materials needed for coursework and scholarly research not available in the UA Libraries.

Go directly to ILL here

ILL Borrowing Services

Please check the UA Libraries catalog before placing your Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request.

Requests will not be processed for:

  • Materials in the UA Libraries catalog
  • Textbooks
  • Materials to be placed on Reserve

If an item is missing or unavailable, please state this in the note field of the ILL request form. If you need assistance searching the catalog, please come to any service desk.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service is free, except for rush and expedited delivery.

  • Rush requests are processed at the discretion of the ILL Supervisor.
  • If special circumstances exist where charges may be incurred, you will be contacted to confirm you are willing to pay any special costs before placing your order.
  • Copyright restrictions may apply for borrowing materials.
  • The University Library reserves the right to seek alternative formats if necessary.

Delivery time depends upon the availability of the item.

  • When requested material is received, the borrower will be notified via UA e-mail.
  • Requested material is the responsibility of the borrower.
  • Materials must be picked up and returned at the Gorgas Library Circulation Desk and signed in upon return.

Articles requested through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) will be delivered electronically.

  • Patrons will receive an e-mail to their official UA account that notifies them that the article is available.
  • The e-mail will contain a link to the ILL home page. The patron will need to log in to their account, scroll down to the “Review Requests” area, and choose “View/Download Electronically Received Articles.”

The lending institution determines the loan period, which ranges from 1-4 weeks.

  • It is important to return items on time.
  • Failure to return ILL materials on time may result in suspension of all circulation privileges.
  • Service to all University of Alabama borrowers may suffer if the Interlibrary Loan Office is habitually late in returning borrowed materials to lending libraries.

ILL materials are subject to recalls by the lending library at any time.

Renewals are not automatic and, like the loan period, are at the discretion of the lending institution. If an extended loan period is needed, the borrower must contact the ILL Department one week before the due date to request a renewal.

Copyright and Fair Use

Fair use, as determined by U.S. Copyright law, Title 17, Copyrights, United States Code section 107, allows for the reproduction of copyrighted material for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.

The categories used in determining fair use are:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

U.S. copyright law, Title 17, Copyrights, United States Code, strictly limits the ability of the Interlibrary Loan staff to obtain journal articles. Under section 108(d), “Limitation on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives,” libraries are authorized to furnish a photocopy. 108(d) reads:

“The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section apply to a copy, made from the collection of a library or archives where the user makes his or her request or from that of another library or archives, of no more than one article or other contribution to a copyrighted collection or periodical issue, or to a copy or phonorecord of a small part of any other copyrighted work, if-

  1. the copy or phonorecord becomes the property of the user, and the library or archives has had no notice that the copy or phonorecord would be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research; and
  2. the library or archives displays prominently, at the place where orders are accepted, and includes on its order form, a warning of copyright in accordance with requirements that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation.”

If a user requests more than one article from one issue of a journal, the Interlibrary Loan Department staff must pay a copyright fee through the Copyright Clearance Center or must purchase the article from a commercial vendor. If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The Interlibrary Loan Department staff reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in our judgment, fulfillment of that order would involve violation of the copyright law.

The National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) has developed a set of guidelines to assist libraries in fulfilling their duties while adhering to copyright law. CONTU guidelines (or the “suggestion of five”) permits the copying during a calendar year of no more than five articles from a single journal title, not owned by the library, dated within the past five years. This means that the Interlibrary Loan Department staff can order a total of only 5 articles from a single journal title dated within the past 5 years regardless of how many users request articles from the same journal title. For articles obtained in excess of this number, the Library must pay a fee to the Copyright Clearance Center or must purchase the articles from a commercial vendor. The Interlibrary Loan Department staff reserves the right to restrict such purchases.

ILL Fines

UA patrons who do not return ILL material within the timeframe allotted by the lending institution are automatically blocked by the ILL system until the material is returned or the fine is paid.

If the lending institution issues an invoice the borrowing patron is responsible for all charges. Fees from other institutions are non-refundable. Removal of the ILL label, band or slips from any ILL materials may result in a fine.

Abuse of the ILL system may result in the suspension of ILL privileges for up to a full academic year. Borrowers may also be blocked from using other UA Library services. Penalties are dependent upon the severity of the infraction and whether restitution is made for any lost material.

UA Libraries ILL Lending Policies

UA Libraries lends materials and provides electronic and photo copies from the collections to individuals who request them through other institution. Other institutions may submit their requests via OCLC or the web (contact ILL staff for information.)

Circulating/Non-Circulating Materials

Most materials in the UA Libraries collections may be loaned. Reference and microfilm materials may be loaned at the discretion of the UA Libraries. UA Libraries does not lend audio/visual materials, special collection items, or periodicals less than 10 years old.

Loan Period

Materials may be loaned for four weeks and are subject to recall at any time. Renewals are at the discretion of UA Libraries. Some materials may be restricted to “In-Library Use Only.” To protect special materials from possible damage or loss, special packaging and commercial shipment services may be required.


Borrowing libraries (except those participating in reciprocal and consortial agreements, government libraries, and public libraries) will be charged a flat fee of $15.00 for interlibrary loan services. International borrowing libraries will be charged a flat fee of $25.00 for interlibrary loan services. Invoices are mailed after the requested material has been received. Material that has been damaged lost, or reported missing will be billed at the discretion of the ILL Supervisor.

Contact us

LocationGorgas Library, Floor 2
Telephone(205) 348-4018
Fax(205) 348-9564
HoursILL material can be picked up all hours that the Gorgas Library is open.


Members of ILL staff are available Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm.

Mailing addressUniversity of Alabama Libraries
Gorgas Library/ ILL RM #2007
P.O. Box 870266
711 Capstone Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0266

Contact an individual

ILL Supervisor


Billing/ILL Information Desk

Lending to Other Libraries/Distance Ed

Document Delivery


Miscellaneous info

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