Interlibrary Loan Frequently Asked Questions

Rensselaer Libraries' Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Service allows you to borrow physical materials or digital scans of materials from other libraries that are not readily available in the Rensselaer Libraries catalog. 

Rensselaer faculty, staff, registered students, and affiliated partners may use this service.

We will try to obtain almost any type of library material. However, A/V materials, whole journal volumes, genealogical sources, unpublished manuscripts, and rare, fragile, or in-high-demand materials are often difficult to obtain. Please include as many details as possible in your ILL request to improve our chances of borrowing them.

The lending library sets loan periods, which can vary from four weeks to several months. ILL items include a paper slip containing due dates and information about whether or not they can be renewed.

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

First, check the library catalog to see if we own a copy. If you need help with your search, the library offers several ways for you to get in touch with us.

If the library does not have the material you need, log in to ILLiad to place a request. 

If you do not need an item you requested, you can cancel requests within ILLiad. Locate your "outstanding requests" and look for a red "action" button. Then select "cancel request" from the drop-down menu to cancel any requests you no longer need. 

Alternatively, you may email the library staff to ask that your request be canceled. 

Either way, your request will be canceled. In cases where the item has been shipped, your request will be returned to the lending library.

Article and book chapter requests are delivered as PDFs to your email and take approximately one business day. 

Interlibrary loan requests can take five to ten working days, depending on their difficulty and the lending library's location. Therefore, it is advisable to plan ahead when requesting materials.

We always fill requests as quickly as possible, but we can work with you to find an alternate format, edition, or resource more quickly if needed.

If you have an urgent ILL need you can contact us after you complete your request in ILLiad. Please include the request's transaction number (found in ILLiad) in your message.

Books are available for pickup at the Folsom Library service desk (located just inside the main entrance). Microform materials (microfilm, microfiche, and microprints) are for library use only, and will be held for you at the Folsom Library service desk. Please bring your ID card to check out the materials. Articles and most other photocopied materials will be delivered electronically to your email. 

The Rensselaer Libraries attempt to obtain materials without cost to researchers, either by seeking free use from other libraries or subsidizing most of the associated costs for current Rensselaer faculty, staff, and students.  However, late fees, recall fees, and replacement costs for lost books may be charged to the patron.  

Due dates vary, as they are set by the lending libraries. Check your library account for specific due dates.  While daily overdue fines are not accrued, if the item is more than 30 days overdue, it may be considered lost, and you could be charged $125.00 for the lost item.

Return materials to either the Folsom Library or the Architecture Library. 

Please do not return ILL items directly to the lending institution. If you do, you may be responsible for replacing the item at the lending library.

Email the library staff with any questions. Questions might include trouble using ILLiad, or specific issues with your requests. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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