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Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery: Borrowing Policy

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Amanda Ferguson

Terry Williams

Kathryn Thomas

Borrowing Policy

We will try our best to get you the materials that you need, but there are a few exceptions to what we can borrow from other libraries.

Please don't hesitate to ask us if you have a question about borrowing something.

What we are able to borrow?

  • Books, book chapters, journal articles and other materials (such as government documents) that are owned by participating lending libraries in the contiguous U.S. are eligible for ILL.

Things we may not be able to borrow through ILL, though we will definitely try:

  • Theses and dissertations.
    • There are usually only few print copies of these and they are owned by the library of the university where they were published.
  • Recently published items (less than a year).
    • If it just came out, then other libraries likely won't have copies for us to borrow yet.

Items that CANNOT be borrowed through ILL:

  • Things we already own at any of the TU libraries. (Either in print or electronically)
  • Current textbooks.
    • This includes test preparation or review materials and required reading for classes.
  • Bestsellers and mass market paperbacks.
    • If it's really popular here, then it's probably popular there too.
    • If you think it would be a good addition to our collection, then you can suggest we order it.
  • Books that are really old, rare or fragile.
  • E-books.
  • DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs or other media.
  • Entire issues/volumes of periodicals or conference proceedings.
  • Musical scores.
  • Non-circulating materials (reference books, dictionaries, archival materials, special collections, etc.).
  • Patents, standards, specifications, technical papers.

    How long can I keep the books that are borrowed through ILL?

  • Articles:  An electronic version of your article will be delivered to your ILLIAD account. You will be notified via e-mail that your article has arrived. You will need to log into your ILLIAD account and then click on the link for “Electronically Received Items”. It is highly recommended that you either print the article or save it to your device. ILL articles are only available for approximately 7-30 days. If there are missing pages or other problems with the article, please notify us within 7 days after the article is posted to your account.
  • Books and other printed materials:  The lending library determines the length of the borrowing period—so it will vary from one library to another. When we receive an item through ILL, the due date is already assigned. The due date is included on the slip that is attached to the front cover of the book. 
    • IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU RETURN THE BOOK ON OR BEFORE ITS DUE DATE. Failure to return ILL books by their due date may result in a NON-REFUNDABLE fine that is equal to two times the replacement cost of the book. In addition, your ILL privileges can be suspended, temporarily or permanently.

​​​​​​​How many items can I borrow through ILL?

  • There is no set limit on the number of items that can be borrowed through ILL, however, we can choose to only process 10 items per patron per day. Also, we can choose to limit how many articles can be borrowed once a journal reaches the copyright limit.

Borrower's Responsibilities

Borrower Responsibilities

Borrowers are responsible for returning their ILL books on or before the due date. We are very strict with the due dates because the books are not our property—they belong to the lending library. We must return those books promptly to the lending library or we risk losing the ability to continue to borrow books from them—which affects everyone affiliated with the university. 

Borrowers are responsible for any ILL items that are lost or damaged and are liable for any fees. If an ILL item is lost or damaged, you are responsible for paying any replacement fees, processing fees, etc. as determined by the lending library—plus any fees assessed by McFarlin Library. All replacement fees, processing fees, etc. are non-refundable.