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Interlibrary Loan: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and how is it different from Transfer and Document Delivery Services?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service designed to supply researchers with items not owned by or for some reason not available at their institutions library. When a researcher identifies an item they need to consult, they can use Interlibrary Loan to have the item delivered to their home library. This differs from Transfers and Document Delivery Service. Transfers allow UC Irvine Library users to have items sent between the main campus and the UC Irvine Medical Center. At the Grunigen Medical Library, Document Delivery Service (DDS) is a fee service for faculty, in which the library delivers articles electronically and all non-electronic materials to their department.

Who may use Interlibrary Loan?

UC Irvine faculty, staff, and currently registered students may request items through Interlibrary Loan. A valid UC Irvine library card is required. Requests for instructional and research purposes only will be honored. Users from other UCs should contact their home campus library and all non-UC users should contact their local public library, workplace library, or the ILL unit of their college or university for interlibrary loan privileges.

Non-UC affiliates with a valid UC Irvine library card may request materials which UC Irvine has stored at the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF), a high-density library shelving facility on the UCLA campus. These materials will be listed in our catalog Antpac with a location of "SRLF". Please see the Service Desk staff for assistance.

What can I request through Interlibrary Loan and are there any restrictions?

Books, journal articles, and materials that are not available at UC Irvine or are missing/checked out can be requested through ILL.

Materials that may not be borrowed through ILL include:

  • Course reserve items
  • Textbooks  
  • Electronic books, etc.

Additionally, special conditions may apply to items requested:

  • Some materials may be restricted to “Library Use Only”
  • Microfilm or microfiche can be requested, however, the Gruingen Medical Library does not have the machines to read them. Microfilm and microfiche machines are available at the Ayala Science Library.
  • Items borrowed cannot be placed on Course Reserves for UC Irvine classes. An exception: Material stored at the UC SRLF (Southern Regional Library Facility) or NRLF (Northern Regional Library Facility) may be placed on Course Reserves.

How many ILL requests may I submit?

Faculty, students, and staff may use the Request service to submit:

  • 20 book requests per day through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
  • 20 article requests per day through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
  • Unlimited Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF) and Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) requests through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
  • Unlimited Transfers requests

How do I submit my Interlibrary Loan requests?

  • To request items not held or unavailable (missing or checked-out) at the UC Irvine libraries, use the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) form.
  • Use the Transfers forms to request an item from a different UC Irvine library, such as sending an item from the Grunigen Medical Library to the Langson/Ayala Science Libraries or vice versa.

How do I use UC-eLinks Request?

While searching in a database, the UC-eLinks button can be used to determine UC Irvine holdings or to place an interlibrary loan request if items are not available. 

To place an ILL Request through UC-eLinks:

  1. Select an item by clicking on the title of the material to access its record.
  2. Click on the Request button.
  3. Fill out the online form entering:
    1. your Library Card Number
    2. your Departmental affiliation or major
    3. your preferred UCI delivery location
    4. your e-mail address (required for Web delivery) and
    5. notes (if applicable).
  4. Click on the Continue button.
  5. Confirm your choice. Read and accept a very brief copyright statement. Click on the Process my Request now button.
  6. Review the Request confirmation message.
  7. Either print out or e-mail yourself the confirmation notice as a record of what you requested.

We strive to provide articles electronically.  We are unable to obtain books in an electronic format and will therefore automatically request the print format instead.

How long does it take to receive materials?

  • Libraries within the UC system take approximately 5 - 10 working days
  • Libraries outside of the UC system can take longer than 3 weeks

It’s very important to plan ahead when submitting your requests; the time it takes to receive your material depends on many factors. 

How will I know when my requests have arrived?

You will be notified by email when ILL materials are available for pickup at the Service Desk of the Langson, Ayala Science, or Grunigen Medical Library.  If your ILL item is not picked up within 14 days, it will be returned to the lending library.

Your account in My ILL Requests will display the status of the ILL request as RECEIVED after it has been processed.

How long can I use my ILL materials?

The lending library sets the loan period and may also set special conditions on the use of ILL materials. Because of this, items checked out on the same day may have different due dates, and due dates should be checked carefully.

In general, we try to secure loan periods of at least two weeks. Some items may come with due dates as short as a week. Please check the due date on your item carefully. The longest loan period is a month.

How do I renew ILL items?

Please use My ILL Requests to ask for renewals.

If the items are not listed in My ILL Requests, Grunigen Medical Library patrons may email mclill@uci.edu or call (714) 456-5581. Provide your name and the “ILL#” from the book band to request your renewal.

The lending library decides if items can be renewed and for how long. Because of this, renewals must be requested at least a week before their due date, as it can take several days to verify renewals with the lending libraries. Some libraries may not permit renewals.

You will be notified via email if your renewal request was approved or denied. If your renewal request was denied, please return your item as soon as possible, so as not to jeopardize our relationship with the other library.

How do I return an ILL?

Borrowed materials should be returned on or before the due date to the UC Irvine library branch from which it was received. Please leave the bookbands on the items so they are clearly marked as ILL materials.  Please remove any and all post-its, bookmarks, or other notes from the book before returning the item.

What happens if my ILL materials are overdue?

You are responsible for returning your ILL materials and any fines which may be charged.

  • If you realize an item is overdue, contact the Grunigen Medical Library as soon as possible — it may be possible to renew the items.
  • When items are overdue, library privileges may be blocked until you return the items and pay any fines charged by the lending library.
  • You will be charged for seriously overdue or lost items.

Failure to return materials on time jeopardizes our borrowing privileges with other libraries.

Why was my ILL request cancelled or not processed?

We will notify you by email if your ILL request was cancelled or cannot be processed. While there are many reasons why this might happen to an ILL request, the most common are:

  • The item requested is available at the UC Irvine Libraries. If the item is missing, contact the Service Desk to find out how to request a search for a missing item and then resubmit your request with a note to us. Please click on the Process button to complete the request if the material is unavailable at the UC Irvine Libraries. If you would like to transfer this material between the Langson/Ayala Science and Grunigen Medical libraries, please use the Transfers form.
  • The materials have been placed on Course Reserves.
  • The item is a textbook and is available for sale at the UCI Bookstore.
  • The item is non-circulating (cannot be checked out) and is unavailable for loan from the owning libraries.
  • The item is a material that cannot be obtained, which often include:
    • Periodical volumes, particularly those less than five years old
    • Reference books
    • Non-print material such as videotapes, CD’s, sound recordings
    • Extremely old books
    • Rare or valuable material housed in Special Collections
    • Genealogical material
    • New books, especially “popular reading”
  • The item has been recently published or acquired by the lending library. We suggest you resubmit your request at a later date (1-2 months is recommended).
  • ILL was unable to find the item as cited in the original request. We suggest that you verify the citation, confer with the ILL staff, and initiate a new request if the item is still needed.
  • If you specified a “need-by” date and the deadline cannot be met, ILL will notify you and cancel the request. We suggest you initiate a new request if the item is still needed.

How much will this cost me?

Free loans and copies are available from other UC’s, Stanford (excluding Lane Medical Library), Center for Research Libraries, and some reciprocal academic loan partners.

Fees for book loans and copies from schools that charge UC Irvine are subsidized up to $50 per transaction for faculty, staff, graduate students, honors undergraduates and materials for senior theses. 

Book loans and copy fees from institutions that charge UC Irvine are billed to undergraduate and extension students. If there is a fee, requests will not be placed without your approval.

All users, however, are responsible for any charges for overdue and billed books, which, if charged by the lending library, may include a non-refundable billing fee for books that are returned late. For more information, see Fines and Fees.

What is Document Delivery Service, who can use it, and how does it work?

Document Delivery Service will deliver UC Irvine library materials and ILL materials to the department offices of eligible UC Irvine faculty, unless the material is restricted to use in the library.  Please verify that you have the correct item when your books are picked up or delivered.

To return materials through Document Delivery Service, Grunigen Medical Library users may schedule a pickup by calling (714) 456-5581 or emailing mclill@uci.edu.

Contact Us

E-mail:  mclill@uci.edu

Phone:  (714) 456-5581