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Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Changes to Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan is the library service that allows you to access books, articles and more beyond what is immediately available through the Goshen College library resources. Many students, faculty and staff use this service to help expand their research.

Interlibrary loan requests are now more automated which improves the time it takes for you to get your materials AND makes more efficient use of library staff time.

Many interlibrary loan requests to be automatically created AND sent out to lenders without library staff needing to directly interact with the request.* This means that if you request an article on Friday night at 8pm, if it meets the correct criteria it could be sent out to lenders immediately as opposed to waiting until library staff return on Monday morning. 

How the interlibrary loan form works

  1. If you are on campus, you will not need to log in with your Goshen College username and password in order to access the ILL request form. This means that you will need to fill in your name, Goshen College email address, status and GC ID barcode. 

  2. However if you are off campus, you will need to log in and that information will be pre-filled for you.

  3. The form will no longer send you an email receipt about your request, however it will generate a Request ID, which you can save for your records and use when checking with library staff about your request.

  4. The information about the record you request will still be pulled directly into the ILL form, so you won’t need to type that in directly.

If you have any questions about this new process or interlibrary in general, please contact Abby Nafziger, Head of Technical Services.

*Requests that don’t meet particular criteria will still be reviewed by library staff before being sent out to lending libraries. 

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. 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. These fees are not 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 and a half.

Books usually take at least seven 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.

How you’ll hear from us

We’ll send you a copy of the article you requested or let you know that your book or media item has arrived by emailing your Goshen College email account.

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 Esther. We’d rather know about a problem before it gets out of hand, and we might be able to help you fix it!

  Esther Guedea