Interlibrary Loan - Frequently Asked Questions
- What is interlibrary loan?
- How can I ensure that my request is processed as quickly as possible?
- Is there a charge or fee for interlibrary loan?
- Is there a limit or quota on how much I can use interlibrary loan?
- Can I request software using interlibrary loan?
- Why do I need a username and password to use ILL?
- What if I forget my password?
- What Web browser should I use?
- Why does my browser say that you're sending a cookie? What's in it?
- How do I get Adobe Acrobat Reader?
- How will I be notified?
- Why was my request cancelled?
- How will I receive my materials?
- How long can I keep the materials?
- May I renew materials?
- How do I get my articles when they arrive?
- How do I know which requests will be electronically delivered and which ones will not?
- What is electronic delivery?
- How do I know if my computer can receive electronic articles?
- What if I have questions about electronic delivery?
- Why don't I see all my older requests when I look at my request history?
- My item hasn't arrived. What do I do?
- How will I return my materials?
- I need a new return mailer. How do I get one?
- How can I tell if the materials I returned arrived at the University at Buffalo libraries?
- Will I be fined for overdue materials?
- Can materials that I have out be recalled?
- I returned my materials, but my account says they're still out. What's going on?
It's an ongoing cooperative resource-sharing project that allows Empire State College graduate students, staff and faculty members with appointments of 50 percent or greater to request materials from the University at Buffalo's libraries. UB has the largest research library in the SUNY system, with more than 3.6 million volumes. Collectively, the arts and sciences, health sciences, law and music libraries are ranked among the top 60 research libraries in North America.
Books not available through the University at Buffalo may be purchased for their collection from Amazon.com and shipped to you. Articles not available through the University at Buffalo may be borrowed from another institution and delivered electronically.
First confirm that the materials you are requesting are not already available to you through the Empire State College library's online collections. You should check our Books page for books and the Journals page for articles before submitting any interlibrary loan request. Give as much information as possible about the materials you are requesting, including:
- author's full name
- full title
- publication date
- edition, if applicable
- author's full name
- full title of journal
- full title of article
- publication date
- volume and issue
- page numbers
Borrowers are not charged for using interlibrary loan. The costs are covered by the Empire State College online library.
Users are limited to a maximum of 15 items at a given time. This includes requests in process and items checked out (in your hands or in transit). We cannot raise your quota.
No. The reason is that most software comes with a specific number of licenses. The library that lends the software wouldn't be able to regulate who had it installed at any one time, so it would be in danger of copyright infringement. You can purchase software that is required for your courses from the Empire State College bookstore. Academic Superstore also offers an often-substantial student/educator discount on software.
Technical and Access Issues
Your username and password allow us to give you secure access to information about your interlibrary loan requests. You also can edit your contact and shipping information.
If you forget your password, contact the library at email@example.com or call 800-847-3000, ext. 2222. The college can reset your password so you can access ILLiad. Please change your password once you log on to ILLiad.
Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome are all fine.
The technology that the library uses sends a session ID to be stored on your machine so the system will recognize your computer. You can refuse this cookie and still be able to use ILLiad without any problems.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is available without charge from Adobe Systems, Inc. You can get Adobe Reader at this link.
Getting Requested Items
You must submit a valid email address to receive notification of the status of your request. You also will receive notifications of cancellations, due dates, recalls and overdue notices.
Requests may be cancelled for a number of reasons:
- The item may be available through the Empire State College library. The only times that you can use ILL to get an item that is also available in our library are: if the content is different (such as an edition with an additional chapter, or a foreign work in a different translation) if you have a documented disability that makes it difficult or impossible to use the version we have.
- The book, journal title or that particular issue of the journal may not be obtainable through any source available to the college library.
- The book may be out of the library at the time you requested it it may be a noncirculating item like a reference book or part of special collections.
- It may be a kind of material that is not provided through the interlibrary loan service, like a thesis or dissertation
- It may be too expensive to obtain; we can't purchase items that cost more than $150.
Journal articles and some book chapters will be made available to you to read and download through the ILL system. You will need the free, downloadable software application Adobe Reader to open these PDF documents. For more information, refer to the detailed information below on electronic delivery.
Books and most audio, visual and multimedia materials will be delivered by parcel post to your home or office address. University at Buffalo cannot ship to P.O. boxes. Please submit an address where someone will be present to sign for a package. UPS will attempt to deliver your package three times before returning it to the sender.
These materials will be shipped with a return mailer that is already addressed and postage-paid. Put the mailer in a safe place, because you will need it to return the books to the University at Buffalo. If the University at Buffalo has to purchase the book you requested, the book will be shipped to you from Amazon.com. A pre-addressed, postage-paid mailer will be shipped separately from the University at Buffalo. You must use this mailer to return the book to the University at Buffalo by its due date.
The loan period is 30 days.
You may renew most materials up to the date they are due. Renewed items may be kept for an additional 30 days after their original due date. You may renew only once.
If you need to renew an item after the due date, you may Renew Pending Approval, which means that your request will be considered by the University at Buffalo library and either accepted or cancelled.
If you missed the date to renew your materials, but need to keep them a little longer (a week or two) just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know, and return them as soon as possible. You will continue to receive overdue notices.
We charge to replace lost or destroyed materials, but we do not fine for overdues.
Recalled items can't be renewed, and must be returned by the date specified in the recall email, because someone is waiting for them.
To renew materials:
- Go to Interlibrary Loan, click Log In and log in with your ILLiad username and password.
- In the left column, click Checked Out Items.
- Select the item you wish to renew by clicking the appropriate transaction number to the left of the item's title; you will see detailed information about this item.
- Check at the bottom of the page to see if renewals are allowed.
- If renewals are allowed, click "Request Renewal" at the top-right corner of the screen.
- Renewals are not allowed after the initial due date or for recalled items, and for some items, they are not allowed at all; if renewals are not allowed, please return the item as soon as possible.
- If you need a new return envelope, contact email@example.com with the transaction number of the item.
- Log in to the library's ILL site.
- From the main menu, click Electronically Received Articles under View Requests. A list will be displayed containing all of the items that you have waiting to be viewed or downloaded.
You will receive an automated email notification for each item received. That email will include information about the delivery method.
Some libraries ship photocopies of articles to the college in electronic format. In the past you would have had to pick them up or have them mailed to you. Now, through ILLiad, the college can offer you the option of electronic delivery of these articles in PDF format (Adobe's Portable Document Format). You can read more about electronic delivery on the electronic delivery information page.
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed and configured to work with your Web browser in order to view, download and print these articles. If you can read the sample page, then your computer has the necessary software installed to work with your Web browser. However, if your computer tells you the file type is unknown and asks if you want to save the file to disk, then you need to install the Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-847-3000, ext. 2222.
From time to time the librarians purge older records from ILLiad. The college policy is to keep requests online for several years in order to comply with record-keeping requirements of the copyright law.
Has it been less than a week? If so, then don't worry because they are most likely in transit.
Have you moved? You must change your address in the system so that your items will be shipped to you. Check with someone at your old address to see if anyone picked up the packages for you.
You can contact email@example.com about missing items.
Returning Requested Materials
Materials that you receive in electronic format (journal articles, book chapters, etc.) do not need to be returned.
Books and multimedia will come with a pre-addressed, prepaid mailer, which you must use to send them back to University at Buffalo. Books that the University at Buffalo purchased from Amazon.com were shipped to you from Amazon.com, but must be returned to the University at Buffalo in the pre-addressed, postage-paid mailer that was shipped to you separately. That mailer has a unique barcode which must be scanned to check that particular item back in.
If you need a new mailer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the item's transaction number. Remember to request your new mailer in plenty of time to return your materials before their due date (at least a week).
Every UPS package has a tracking number. Before you send your materials back in their designated mailer, note the tracking number (located beneath the barcode). You can use that tracking number to find out the current status of the package at the UPS website.
Once a book has become very overdue (three or four weeks) three things happen:
- The University at Buffalo will bill you for the cost of the item plus a replacement fee.
- We will put a block on your ILL account so that you can't request any new materials.
- If you are a student, we will put a hold on your student account that will prevent you from registering for classes, graduating, or obtaining a transcript. If you are faculty or staff, we may contact your supervisor.
We will send you a notification by email. Here is the important thing: If you return the items, you will not owe anything. Only if the items are lost or destroyed do you have to pay any money.
You can enclose a note with the item asking UB to notify us that the items are checked back in. As soon as we know they are checked in, we will remove the block on your ILL account and the hold on your student account. If more than a week has passed since you returned all your items, and you are still blocked, please contact us at email@example.com.
Yes. If the material you have is recalled, that means that someone else needs it. You will receive a notice by email and have 14 days to return the materials to the University at Buffalo library. It is extremely important that you return recalled items immediately. Recalled items cannot be renewed.
Sometimes shipping takes longer than expected. If you returned your books more than a week ago, but they still are listed as overdue, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. It's a good idea to keep your UPS tracking number handy.
- Log in via Interlibrary Loan.
- In the left column under Tools, click Change Personal Information.
- Modify your information as needed and click Submit Information. The changes will take effect immediately.
If you have moved, you must change your address in the system or you will not receive materials that are shipped to you.
Email questions to email@example.com or call 800-847-3000, ext. 2222.
-Sun: 1-9 pm
800-847-3000, ext. 2222
or Send Email