Interlibrary Loan FAQ


ALERT: Interlibrary Loan Articles and Book Chapter Requests Accepted

Interlibrary Loan requests for articles and book chapters are being accepted, but there may be delays and/or limitations on what is available. Content published electronically is more likely to be obtained than scans from physical materials.

We are not currently able to borrow physical materials or complete ebooks.


ALERT: Electronic Access and Suggest a Purchase

It is possible that the Library has access to an electronic version of the material you need.

The Library has created an online guide to expanded and upgraded online content. The HathiTrust collaborative collection of digitized books has also released additional online book content to UChicago users through the Emergency Temporary Access Program.

If you cannot locate an electronic version and urgently need the full text, please submit a purchase request and write “needed during closure” in the Additional Comments section.

Faculty members, if this purchase is needed for teaching during Summer 2020, please follow the instructions at Course Reserve Setup and submit your requests via Canvas.


Who can use Interlibrary loan?

Current University of Chicago faculty, students, and staff, including staff at the Medical Center who have established library privileges can request material through Interlibrary loan.

What can be requested?

Books, media, journal articles, and book chapters not available at the University of Chicago can be requested through Interlibrary loan. This includes material not part of our collection at all, but also material that is loaned to another borrower.

How quickly do requests arrive?

Most articles and chapters are available to download in 1-3 days. Most books and other media are available to borrow in 4-5 days. Some requests will take longer to obtain, not usually more than 2 weeks.

How long can I keep the material?

Most items can be borrowed for 12 weeks or longer. Books and material from libraries outside of our borrowing partners may have shorter loan periods or other restrictions. Some Interlibrary loan items are renewable; consult the paper slip on the cover of the book or log into My Library Account for all due dates and to request renewals.

  • If you're approaching a non-renewable due date and still need the book, you can request another copy ahead of the due date, assuming there is still not an available copy in the University of Chicago Library.

Can an Interlibrary loan be recalled from me?

Items will only be recalled under unusual circumstances, such as an item being needed by the owning library for course reserve. Borrowers will be notified by email if an item is recalled.

What are the fines for overdue Interlibrary loans?

Overdue Interlibrary loan books will incur fines of $5/day as outlined on Due Dates and Loan Periods. For the full library policy regarding fines, see Fines and Lost Items

What is this paper band wrapped around the cover of my Interlibrary loan book? Can I take it off?

In order to track Interlibrary loan material in our system, we attach a paper band or wrapper with pertinent information on it. We recommend not removing the slip if possible, and require it to be included when you return the items. Returning an Interlibrary loan without the slip can delay or even prevent us from checking it in and removing it from your account.