Interlibrary Loan (ILL) FAQ

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service for SCU students, faculty, and staff provided by the Library to obtain books, magazine or journal articles, conference proceedings, dissertations, and other research materials not available on-campus.

How do I make an ILL request?

Login to your interlibrary loan account and select the New Request type from the Main Menu. Complete the online form. Be especially thoughtful about the date you fill in under Not Wanted After Date. Be sure to click on the Submit button.

The same day or soon after you have made your request, you will receive an e-mail message estimating when you can expect your request to arrive.

How long do I have to wait?
  • Electronic Delivery - 1 to 3 days
    If you are lucky, we can get an article electronically. Many recently published articles can be supplied within 1-48 hours.
  • Mail Delivery - 7 to 15 days
    Books, proceedings, dissertations and some articles not available electronically will come through the mail.
  • Difficult Item Delivery - Every effort will be made to obtain resources needed in 3 to 15 days.
    However, certain types of items may take longer:
    • very recently published items
    • items owned by few libraries
    • foreign language items
    • rare or very old items
How can I get items faster?
  • Try requesting a book using the LINK+ option in OSCAR
  • Many conference proceedings, government documents, some dissertations and technical reports also may be from LINK+
  • Look up the journal title in the Electronic Journals List
  • Provide accurate and complete information
    • do not guess at abbreviations - just give us the abbreviation as you got it
    • include volume and page numbers when requesting copies
    • include ISSN/ISBN number if available. Write this number after the title
    • indicate where you learned about this item in the "cited in" line on the interlibrary loan form
  • If you cannot find a periodical that the Library owns, see staff at the Circulation Desk to start the search process
  • Provide any other helpful information in the Where did you find this item cited field
How do I check the status of an ILL request?
How do I know when my item has arrived?
Where can I pick up my ILL materials?
  • If the item is a book, you can pick it up at the Circulation Desk.
  • If the item is an article and it cannot be delivered directly to your interlibrary loan account, it will be sent to your SCU e-mail. If it cannot be delivered electronically, you can pick it up at the Circulation Desk.

NOTE: We will hold printed articles for 2 months and books for 10 days.

How long can I keep ILL materials?

Copies or faxes are yours to keep.

For other items, loan periods are set by the lending library and generally vary from two to four weeks. All material is subject to immediate recall if requested by the lending library. Failure to return or renew items on time can jeopardize Santa Clara's borrowing privileges with other libraries. Please be considerate of other users. Borrowers who consistently disregard due dates may be refused future service.

The availability of renewals is governed by the lending library and are rare. Request for a renewal must be made before the due date. On rare occasions, renewals may be requested once for one week only. To request a renewal call the Circulation Desk at 408-554-5020.

What types of material can't be borrowed through ILL?

Items generally not available are rare books, manuscripts, reference books, text books, genealogical materials, some dissertations and theses (especially foreign), videos, films, slides, whole issues of periodicals, and bulky or fragile materials which are difficult and expensive to mail. The University Librarian's office can provide letters of introduction for faculty requesting on-site use of these types of materials. Library materials on reserve or in non-circulating collections will not be requested through Interlibrary Loan. However, items whose OSCAR status is missing or on hold may be requested. Items will not be requested for use in Course Reserves.

Are there any restrictions on the use of ILL materials?

The lending library may place restrictions on the use of an item. For example, an item may be restricted to the library (building use only), photocopying may be prohibited, or the item may be non-renewable.

Do I have to pay a fee?

SCU students, faculty, and staff are not charged for ILL services. The Library pays all fees associated with borrowing items or acquiring copies.

What happens if I lose or damage an ILL item?

The borrower is financially responsible for any damage or loss of materials from the time an item is picked up until it is returned. Please remember that photocopying may cause damage. If any damage occurs, do not attempt to repair the item. Report the problem to the Interlibrary Loan & LINK+ staff.