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Interlibrary Loan (ILL): Home


Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a way for us to get books, articles, and media that aren’t owned by our library.

With interlibrary loan we borrow from other libraries to get the things you want and, in return, share our materials with those other libraries. This cooperative exchange allows us obtain just about any item in the world*, but does require that we return all items on time without damaging them.

It’s like borrowing your rich uncle’s Porsche—if you bring it back late and scratched, you can’t use his jacuzzi on the weekends either. Just like your uncle does, the other libraries also get to set due dates, decide renewals, and may place restrictions on how you can use what they send us, like having to stay in the library while you use it.

*Ok, so it’s still hard to borrow unpublished dissertations, but we try to obtain anything you request.

Make an interlibrary loan request.

If you find something you want in one of our library databases, check the library catalog to see if we already have it somewhere else!

You’ll save yourself lots of time if it turns out we own it already, especially if we have it online.

For instance, we have many nursing journals online for which CINAHL doesn’t have full text, and the catalog can take you right to them.

Renew an interlibrary loan item.

Please request a renewal three business days before your item is due, to give us time to talk to the lending library.

Even if the paper band on your item says ‘No renewals’, if you email us, we can try to request another copy. But in that case, you’d better ask us a week or so before the copy you have is due, so that we have time to get the new one.

Overdue and lost interlibrary loan materials

If you request a book or media item through interlibrary loan, there will be a paper band attached to it when you receive it. The band shows the date when the item is due. You’ll also be reminded by emails to your Goshen College account three days before the item is due and on the day the item is due.

If you requested an article and got an email with a copy of the article as a PDF attachment, you don’t need to worry about “returning” it. Keep it until you’re finished with your project and then delete it.

If you don’t return your interlibrary loan item on the day it is due, we’ll send you additional reminders by email. Once the item is two weeks overdue, we’ll charge you $15. It takes a lot of work for us to keep up with overdue items, and it damages our reputation and relationship with other libraries when we don’t return their times on time. If you still haven't returned the item when it is four weeks overdue, we’ll charge you the cost of the item, and we may ask you to get a faculty member to vouch for you when you want to borrow items through interlibrary loan in the future. Neither of these fees is refundable.

If you know that you won’t be able to return an interlibrary loan item on time, please let us know. That will give us an opportunity to work with the library who lent it to us, and we’ll work something out. “I still need this for class” is not a reason to keep an interlibrary loan item past its due date—return the item, and we’ll work to get you another copy.

If you lose or damage an interlibrary loan item, please let us know immediately. If the item needs to be replaced, we’ll ask you to help cover some of the cost.

Interlibrary loan for community patrons

We provide interlibrary loan for the students, faculty, and staff of Goshen College. If you’re one of our community patrons, we encourage you to use your local public library to request materials that we don’t have. If you need help making a request through your local public library, stop by our Ask! desk, and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.

Need more information about community patron privileges?

Articles arrive in about two days.

Most articles and short excerpts from books arrive within two business days. Articles will be delivered to your Goshen College email account.

Books arrive in about a week.

Books usually take at least five business days to arrive. You’ll get an email when the book is ready.

Interlibrary loan is free.

The library borrows for free whenever possible. In the rare case that an item will cost money to borrow, the library will contact you to discuss options.

Due dates vary.

If you’re borrowing a book or media item, you might get to keep it for a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Check the paper band that’s attached to the item to find out how long you get to keep it.

It takes time to get a renewal.

If you let us know early that you need a renewal, we’ll have time to ask for one—it usually takes two or three business days to find out. Even if the paper band on your item says 'No renewals', if you email us, we can try to request another copy. But in that case, you’d better ask us a week or so before the copy you have is due.

Talk to us!

If you have questions, problems, or know you need an item past the due date or can’t get it back in time for any reason, email us or come to the library and talk to Ruth or Esther. We’d rather know about a problem before it gets out of hand, and we might be able to help you fix it!

Ruth Hochstetler  Esther Guedea