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Interlibrary Loan - Frequently Asked Questions: Home

Requesting Items

What is interlibrary loan?

It's an ongoing cooperative resource-sharing project that allows all SUNY Empire students, staff and faculty to request digital materials from libraries within the IDS project (which includes all SUNY libraries, and others.)

How can I ensure that my request is processed as quickly as possible?

First confirm that the materials you are requesting are not already available to you through our Library's own collections. Give as much information as possible about the materials you are requesting, including:

  • Book chapters:
    • author's full name
    • full title
    • publication date
    • edition, if applicable
  • Articles:
    • author's full name
    • full title of journal
    • full title of article
    • publication date
    • volume and issue
    • page numbers 

Is there a charge or fee for interlibrary loan?

Borrowers are not charged for using Interlibrary Loan. The costs are covered by SUNY Shared Library Services.

Is there a limit or quota on how much I can use interlibrary loan?

Not anymore.

Can I request software using interlibrary loan?

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 SUNY Empire bookstoreAcademic Superstore also offers an often-substantial student/educator discount on software.

I used to be able to request books? Why can't I?

Under the current state, SUNY, and college budget situation, the ILL book delivery program was too expensive and we had to put it on hiatus. You can still request one chapter from a book, which will be delivered electronically.

You can also go to any SUNY or NY community college library and use your SUNY Empire photo ID to borrow books. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, SUNY libraries are closed to visitors. Please call the SUNY library near you to see if they are allowing patrons from other SUNY institutions to request books to be delivered to you at the curb/in the parking lot.

Technical and Access Issues

How do I register to use ILL/for an ILL account?

Click the Login link at the top of the Interlibrary Loan page. It will take you to the college login screen, where you will enter your college login and password. If it is your first time accessing Interlibrary Loan, you'll arrive at the New User Registration to fill out, and then you'll be able to make electronic requests right away.
Your account is directly tied to your college login - you cannot create a second or separate account.

Why do I need a username and password to use ILL?

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. 

What if I forget my password?

If you forget your password, please fill out the Ask a Librarian Form. We will reset your password so you can access ILLiad. Please change your password to something new once you log on to ILLiad. 

What Web browser should I use?

Safari, Firefox and Chrome are fine. 

Why does my browser say that you're sending a cookie? What does it do?

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.

How do I get Adobe Acrobat Reader?

Adobe Acrobat Reader is available without charge from Adobe Systems, Inc. You can get Adobe Reader at this link.



Getting Requested Items

How will I be notified?

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. 

Why was my request was cancelled?

Requests may be cancelled for a number of reasons:

  • The item may be available through our Library. 
  • The item may not be obtainable through any source available to our Library.
  • It may be a kind of material that is not provided through the interlibrary loan service, like physical materials.
  • It may be too expensive to obtain.

How will I receive my materials?

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.

How long can I keep the materials?

Download and save your files and you may keep them forever. 

May I renew materials?

You do not need to, because all materials are digital. You should download and save them within 30 days or they will be automatically deleted, but once you save them, you can keep them forever.

How do I get my articles and book chapters when they arrive?

  1. Log in to the library's ILL site.
  2. 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. 

How do I know which requests will be electronically delivered?

All items will be electronically delivered. You will receive an automated email notification for each item received. 

What is electronic delivery?

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. 

How do I know if my computer can receive electronic articles?

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. 

What if I have questions about electronic delivery?

Please fill out the Ask a Librarian Form

Why don't I see all my older requests when I look at my request history?

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. 

My materials haven't arrived. What do I do?

Has it been less than 48 hours? If so, then don't worry because they may have been hard to find, so they are still being processed.

You can fill out the Ask a Librarian Form about missing items.


Returning Requested Materials


How do I return my materials?

You do not need to return the digital materials that you receive.

Will I be fined for overdue materials?

There are no due dates, so you will not incur any fines.

Can materials that I have out be recalled?

No. Digital materials are yours to keep forever. Just remember to download and save them within 30 days of receiving them. 




How do I update my name, address, email address or phone number?

  1. Log in via Interlibrary Loan.
  2. In the left column under Tools, click Change Personal Information.
  3. 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.

Whom do I contact if I have problems with, or questions about, ILLiad?

Please fill out the Ask a Librarian Form.


Your Librarians

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Sarah Morehouse

Please note: If you need to request accommodations with content linked to on this guide, on the basis of a disability, please contact Accessibility Resources and Services by emailing them at  Requests for accommodations should be submitted as early as possible to allow for sufficient planning. If you have questions, please visit the Accessibility Resources and Services website

(800) 847-3000 x2222

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- Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
- Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Summer Hours
(Memorial Day - Labor Day)
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Winter Break Hours
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- Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(Christmas week 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

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