Interlibrary Loan Service - General Information
WHAT IS INTERLIBRARY LOAN SERVICE (ILL)?
- Interlibrary Loan Borrowing Service offers eligible users the opportunity to request and receive materials that are not available in the VCU Libraries collections. Materials are located and borrowed from other libraries and institutions in Virginia, other states, and other countries.
WHO MAY USE ILL SERVICE?
- Eligible users of Interlibrary Loan Service include currently enrolled or employed VCU faculty, staff, students, Health System Employees, and some affiliates, e.g., Loansome Doc Health Care providers.
- To use this service, you must be a registered user of ILLiad.
- See Fees Summary for schedules of charges associated with ILL.
WHEN SHOULD I USE ILL?
Use ILL to request materials that are "unavailable" in the VCU Libraries Collections.
Try to avoid borrowing books and other returnables for use outside the United States. The lending institution must agree to allowing their material leave the United States. Some libraries object to their materials leaving the state.
WHEN IS AN ITEM "UNAVAILABLE?"
Unavailable items include materials that are:
- not owned by VCU Libraries
- checked out
- at the bindery
- not on the shelf
Generally, unavailable items cannot be retrieved by the user within a reasonable amount of time.
WHEN WILL MY REQUEST TO REGISTER BE DENIED?
Your registration will be denied if you do not provide a valid:
- VCU eID username and password. The ILLiad system will deny you access. Should you have problems with logging in, Complete the Logon Problem Report Form.
- Status. Your status is used for determining the services to provide, whether to charge you for a service, and for statistical purposes.
- Mailing address. Your mailing address is needed to ship materials to you and helps us to identify the level of services to provide you. Updating your address with VCU Enrollment and Personnel Services does not automatically update your address in ILLiad.
- Email address. The ILLiad system uses this address to send you notices.
WHAT MATERIALS MAY BE REQUESTED?
Interlibrary Loan Service supports your clinical, educational, research, and adminstrative needs by providing you with materials that are not available in the VCU Libraries' collections. We will attempt to borrow:
- All types/formats of materials (videos, DVD, cassettes, etc.)
- Book chapters
- Computer files
- Journal articles
- Music scores
- Standard Reports
- Other non-print materials.
- Items that are owned by VCU Libraries with the status of: "lost," "missing," "not returned by patron," "at the bindery," or "damaged."
- Items owned by the VCU Libraries that are not in a user friendly format (e.g., incomplete text in the electronic version, difficulties reading large electronic documents).
WHAT MATERIALS ARE DIFFICULT TO BORROW?
- Rare or old items
- Newly published items
- Theses and Disserations
- Entire copies of journal issues
- Genealogical materials
- Audio Visual materials
- Popular books and videos
WHAT MATERIALS MAY NOT BE REQUESTED?
- Items that are listed in the library catalog as "on shelf " or "routed." If you are not able to locate an item on the shelf and wish to submit an ILL request for it, please add a note in the request that you were not able to locate this item.
- Materials that are owned by VCU Libraries that can be found in CHEC, Research & Instructional Services, Special Collections & Archives, or Reserves. We are able to make copies of table of contents, chapters and articles of these items.
- Textbooks. It is very difficult to borrow textbooks because so few libraries own them. Often libraries will not loan them because they are already in use. Users tend to want to keep them for the entire semester resulting in VCU Libraries being charged late and replacement fees as well as being blocked from borrowing additional items from the lending insitutions.
- Items available through the Richmond Area Film/Video Cooperative Resources (see Cabell Library Media & Reserve Services, 3rd floor).
IS THERE A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF ITEMS REQUESTED?
- VCU faculty, staff, and students may have up to fifty (50) active requests in ILLiad. The total includes requests for delivery of copies and media, as well as interlibrary loans.
- Requests are complete and cleared (inactive) when:
- copies are delivered to the Web, mailed to an address, or held for pick-up;
- items (books or media) are returned to the VCU Libraries after being checked out by the user; or
- a request is cancelled by the user or by library staff.
- As requests are cleared, library users can enter additional requests, up to 50. Users can check the number of their active requests by viewing the activity summary on their ILLiad account's initial page (Outstanding Requests) and adding the number of interlibrary loans items checked out to them (View- Checked Out Items) from their ILLiad account.
- Allow 1 to 7 business days for articles.
- Allow 1-4 weeks for books and other returnables.
- Some requests may take longer to fill depending upon the delivery method and location of the lending library.
- VCU Libraries cannot guarantee delivery by a specified date.
Most requests are processed within 24 hours of receipt. Delays in obtaining materials may occur while awaiting action from the library that is lending an item.
HOW CAN I SPEED UP THE PROCESS?
- Check the library catalog first. The number one reason for unnecessary delay is that the VCU Libraries owns the requested item.
- Provide accurate information on the request.
- Use official abbreviations for citations from standard bibliographic sources, e.g., catalogs, databases and indexes.
- Ask a library staff member to assist you with completing the form or identifying the citation information when you are uncertain how to do this.
- Make sure your ILLiad profile indicates your preferred delivery methods.
- Indicate whether the item is available in VCU Libraries.
- Include a reasonable date in the "Not Wanted After Date" field of your request.
WHAT ARE THE LOAN PERIODS FOR ILL MATERIALS?
- Loan periods and lending restrictions are determined by the lending library. Patron status does not influence the due date for ILL materials. The due date VCU Libraries gives is the maximum time allowed by the lender. Some items can be renewed and some cannot.
- Pay close attention to the due dates inscribed on each item. Not all items will be due on the same date even if your requests were submitted, picked up by you and delivered at the same times.
- Electronic copies remain accessible for 30 days from the date of posting. If, prior to this time, you no longer require the use of a copy, you may delete it. In the event you accidently delete a copy prior to the 30 days, you may undelete or email us to have the copy reset.
HOW CAN I DETERMINE IF AN ITEM CAN BE RENEWED?
- Check the information printed on the band that covers the item. This information is also found in your ILLiad record. Some libraries do not permit renewal of their materials. If the library does not permit renewals, please return the item and submit another request. We will attempt to borrow the item from another library.
- The length of the renewal period varies from library to library by format (book, AV, Dissertation, etc.) and is determined by the lending institution. When items are initially borrowed, the lending institution does not provide VCU Libraries with the renewal period. However, most renewal periods are two weeks.
- If the item is already due or overdue, ILLiad will not allow a renewal. Please return the item and submit another request. We will attempt to borrow the item from another library.
- If a renewal has already been granted, generally most libraries will not grant a second renewal. Check your ILLiad record or with Resource Delivery Services (804-828-1115) to determine if the item can be renewed again.
- Request renewals for books and other returnables via the ILLiad system three (3) days prior to the due date.
- To renew your materials:
- Log into your ILLiad account
- Select "View Checked Out Items"
- Click on the transaction number (TN) of the item to be renewed.
- ILL materials cannot be renewed through your "My Library Record" or one of the circulation desks in the VCU Libraries.
WHY DON'T I SEE MY OLDER REQUESTS WHEN LOOKING AT MY REQUEST HISTORY?
From time to time VCU Libraries purges older records from ILLiad for security, space, and record management purposes.
WHAT ARE THE DELIVERY OPTIONS
- Electronic Delivery for articles when feasible
- Hold for Pick Up at one of the VCU Libraries
- First class USPS
WHAT ARE THE FINES FOR OVERDUE, LOST OR DAMAGED MATERIAL
- Minimum damaged fee is $15.00 per item
- There is a non-refundable overdue processing fee of $25 per item
- Minimum lost fine for not returning an item is $110.00 per item