Interlibrary Loan FAQ


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 10-12 days. Some requests will take longer to obtain. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, physical loans will take longer to arrive than they might have in the past due to the need to quarantine and potential shipping delays.

How long can I keep the material?

Most items can be borrowed for 16 weeks. Books and material from libraries outside of our borrowing partners may have shorter loan periods or other restrictions. Consult the paper slip on the cover of the book or log into My Library Account for due dates.

  • Interlibrary loan items are always given the maximum possible loan period, based on the lending institution‘s criteria, and are not eligible for renewal.
  • If you're approaching a 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?

Interlibrary loan materials do not accrue daily overdue fines. See Due Dates and Loan Periods for more information. 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 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.