Frequently Asked Questions about Interlibrary Loan

What is Interlibrary Loan?

The Interlibrary Loan Department borrows books and obtains copies of articles from other libraries for eligible patrons in order to support the educational and research needs of the University of Georgia. We also lend materials and send copies of articles to other Libraries.

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Who is eligible?

University of Georgia faculty, students, staff, and specific UGA affiliates are eligible for interlibrary loan. The Access Services Department determines eligibility. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact the Access Services Department.

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What can be borrowed?

We can attempt to borrow most anything you need. Please submit a request form with as complete information as possible, and we will try. If we cannot obtain the material, we will contact you. Remember to check the UGA Libraries' online catalog, GIL@UGA, to make sure that the UGA Libraries do not own what you need. If an item is listed as "missing" in GIL@UGA we can try to obtain elsewhere.

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What cannot be borrowed?

Journals are rarely lent; we obtain copies of articles instead. We do not borrow textbooks for classes or obtain copies of chapters from textbooks. We generally cannot obtain genealogical research material.

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Why can't Interlibrary Loan borrow required textbooks for my classes or obtain copies of chapters from required textbooks?

  • Most libraries have a policy not to buy textbooks for the general collection; therefore it could take weeks or months to locate an available copy.
  • Books from other libraries usually have a short loan period; they may or may not be renewable.
  • Holding books past the due date may affect our borrowing privileges and may incur costs for you.
  • When ILL borrows a book or obtains a copy of a chapter from another institution, there are charges that the library covers. Acquiring material such as databases for everyone to use is a wiser allocation of our resources than borrowing textbooks or getting copies of multiple chapters for individuals. With over 30,000 students, it is not economically feasible for the library to borrow textbooks for everyone.

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Can I obtain UGA materials that are not on the shelf?

If you need something that the UGA Libraries own, but it is not on the shelf:
  • If it is a book, check the GIL Universal Catalog to see if you can request from another USG Library via GIL Express.
  • If it is a journal, check Electronic Journals to see if the article you need is available fulltext online.
  • Request a search at the Circulation desk.
If the material is not available via GIL Express or fulltext online and you were notified by the Access Services department that the material could not be located:
  • Submit an interlibrary loan request form.
  • IMPORTANT: please include a note saying that the material could not be located by Access Services; otherwise, we will notify you that we own it, and your request will be delayed.
If an item is listed as missing in GIL@UGA, you can request it from interlibrary loan without requesting a search. For any unusual circumstances, please contact us.

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What is the procedure?

You can request online using our online interlibrary loan request form (ILLiad) . Enter your UGACard barcode to logon; first time users will need to register. A separate form must be filled out for each request. If you do not have a complete citation, please ask for assistance at the Main or Science Library Reference Desk. For more information about ILLiad, the automated interlibrary loan system, please go to our ILLiad FAQ page.

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How long does it take?

Average time is 8 days. Copies of articles and materials available in Georgia may arrive faster. If the material is not widely held, it could take longer. If you are working against a deadline please let us know, and we will try to obtain the needed material in time.

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Where do I pick up material?

When material arrives you will be notified by email. Second notices are also sent by email. Places of pickup are the Main Library Interlibrary Loan Office (when we are closed all material can be picked up at the Reserve Desk) and the Science Library Circulation Desk. You can choose the pickup location when you register to use the online form. The notification email will give you information on where to pick up the material.

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How long can I keep loans? Renewals?

The lending library determines the loan period, and it may vary anywhere from one to eight weeks. It may be possible to renew loans; renewals should be requested a few days before the due date. Please see the bookband on the material for instructions on how to request a renewal. Second renewals are unusual; however, if the material was borrowed from a library in Georgia, a second renewal may be possible. As always, please contact us for any unusual circumstances.

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Where do I return loans?

Materials picked up at the Main Library must be returned to the Main Library Interlibrary Loan Office (after hours please use the slot in our door). Materials picked up at the Science Circulation Desk must be returned there. Please do not use campus mail, U.S. mail, or Circulation book drops to return materials.

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How do I obtain dissertations written at other institutions?

If you would like to borrow a dissertation, please fill out an interlibrary loan request form. If we cannot borrow it, or if there is a problem, we will send you an email citing your options.

If you would like to purchase a dissertation, there are two options:

  • We can try to obtain an unbound paper copy from Proquest (Formerly Bell & Howell, formerly UMI) for $33.00. Prepayment is required. You can request the dissertation online, but before we can order, you will need to bring cash or a check for $33.00 made out to UGA Libraries to the Interlibrary Loan Office, Main Library. Please also include a note in the "notes" field clearly indicating that you would like to purchase (otherwise, we will try to borrow). The material typically arrives at the Interlibrary Loan Office in 3-5 working days; we will notify you by email when it arrives.
  • You may purchase dissertations directly from Proquest. The service is called Dissertation Express (for individuals) and you can use a credit card. Check their web page for pricing. They will mail the material directly to you, typically within 3-5 working days. Some dissertations are also available for purchase from Proquest by downloading.
If you would like to borrow a dissertation written at a university in another country, please fill out an interlibrary loan request form. We will check to see if it is owned by a library in the U.S. or if the library at the granting university is willing to lend. The Center for Research Libraries can also attempt to purchase dissertations for our use. This process can be lengthy (sometimes 6 months or more), and we would contact you before beginning this process. Canadian dissertations can usually be borrowed from the National Library of Canada (microfiche only) at no cost to you.

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How do I obtain copies of patents?

Many U.S. and foreign patents are available on the web. Go to the UGA Libraries' patent resources web page to see if the patent you need is available. If you need assistance in printing the patent, ask at the Reference Desk. If the patent you need is not available on the web, you can fill out an interlibrary loan request form and we will try to obtain it for you. Please include the patent number, country, author and title. Copies of U.S. patents can usually be obtained from Georgia Tech. Foreign patents and applications are usually available from the Chemical Abstracts Services.

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Are there alternatives to Interlibrary Loan?

There are document delivery services that will supply articles directly to individuals. The fees vary from supplier to supplier and may be expensive. However, the material is sent directly to you within hours, a few days, or immediately. See our LINKS page for some of these suppliers. GIL Express may be an option for books owned by other University System Libraries.

As long as you have no fines or blocks with Circulation, UGA affiliates are also eligible to check out materials while at any University System of Georgia library and also Emory University.

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What if I am not a UGA faculty, student or staff, but I want to borrow material at the UGA Libraries?

The Interlibrary Loan Lending Unit supplies books and articles to other libraries. It does not send material directly to individuals. Please contact the library you are affiliated with in order to obtain material belonging to the UGA Libraries.

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