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Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery: FAQ

Contact McFarlin ILL

ILL Email 

Amanda Ferguson

Tamra Stansfield

Terry Williams

General Information

ILLiad Interlibrary Loan General Information

What is ILL?

ILLiad is the system that allows members of TU's college community (excluding the law school) to borrow materials (that we do not own at any of the TU libraries) from other participating libraries. McFarlin Library cooperates with libraries nation wide to lend and borrow library materials to support research and education projects. It takes approximately 7 to 14 days to obtain a book and other printed materials through ILL. Articles are usually delivered electronically and they may take anywhere from a few hours to several days to obtain. Please allow sufficient time for items to arrive through ILL and request them as early as possible. Materials borrowed through ILL are fulfilled solely at the lender's discretion and not all materials can be borrowed through ILL.

Who can use ILL?

Interlibrary Loan services are available to all current full-time students, staff members and faculty members (including adjunct) at the University of Tulsa-excluding persons affiliated with the College of Law. All patrons associated with the College of Law must go through the Mabee Legal Information Center for ILL requests. Alumni, distance students, continuing education students, community students and visitors are not eligible for ILL privileges at McFarlin Library. If you are a member of any of those groups, then we recommend that you go through your local library for ILL services.

Is ILL a free service?

ILL is a free service for our patrons, but it is not a free service for the library. There are costs associated with both borrowing and lending books through ILL.

How do I get started with an ILL request?

You will need to create an ILLIAD account the first time that you use the system. You can use any username and password. After you have registered for an account, you can just go to the login page to request books and articles and other materials. Please use the appropriate form for the item that you need to borrow through ILL (ie. a book form for books, photocopy/article request for journal articles, conference form for conference articles, etc.)

Help! I've forgotten my username and/or password!

If you forget your username and/or password, then please contact us ASAP. We can provide you with your username and easily reset your password. Just drop us an e-mail message or call us (631-3480 or 631-3497). Each patron is allowed to have ONE active ILL account, so please do not register for a new ILL account.

I tried to log in, but it says I've been Disavowed!

Usually this message means that you have created more than one ILL account. Patrons are only allowed ONE account (accounts created by current faculty members for student assistants excluded) and any extra accounts will be closed. Please contact us if you are unsure about your account status. 

Borrowing Materials

Borrowing Materials

What can be borrowed through ILL?

Books, 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.

What CANNOT be borrowed through ILL?

Reference books, textbooks. rare books, books that are over 100 years old, popular mass market paperbacks, DVD’s, musical scores, standards, entire journal volumes and other materials are not available through ILL.

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 another device, such as a thumb drive, etc. upon receipt of the article. ILL articles are only available for approximately 7-30 days and once that time period has lapsed, the articles cannot be accessed again through the ILL system. In general, we will not request an article through ILL again once it disappears from the system. Also, if there are missing pages or other problems with the article, you must 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.

What if I need the book for longer than the due date allows?

Some lending libraries will allow renewals of the book for an additional week or so. All renewals are at the discretion of the lending library. You can request a renewal no sooner than 7 days from the due date. A guide on how to request renewals is published here. If an renewal is not allowed by the lending library, we might be able to request the book for you one more time. ILL is intended to be a short term (2-4 weeks) one time only loan. We will not continuously ILL books for patrons for an entire semester or academic year.  

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.  

Request Denied

Why was my request denied?

Have you received a notice that your request was denied?  We have listed some of the reasons for cancellation below:

 Do we own the item at McFarlin Library? 

Please check our catalog to see if we own the item in print, microform, electronically, etc. 

Why can’t I request a book that we own, but is checked out? 

ILL is for the purpose of borrowing items that we do not own from another library.  If we own the book, but it is checked out, then you will need to place either a hold or a recall on the book.

 Why can’t I borrow my textbooks through ILL?

We will not ILL textbooks or other required materials through ILL.  Most items borrowed through ILL can only be used for 2 to 4 weeks.  Textbooks and other required materials are generally needed for an entire semester. Also, universities often use the same textbooks for their courses and their students are given priority concerning materials at each university's library.

Why can’t I borrow books that are over 100 years old?

Many books that were printed over a century ago are shelved in the Special Collections department and they are in fragile condition and cannot be borrowed through ILL. 

I want to read the latest book by John Grisham, why can’t I borrow it through ILL?

We cannot borrow books and other materials that were published within the past year, in general. 

Also, we cannot borrow mass market popular books through ILL. 

Did you provide a full and accurate citation?

We must have a full and accurate citation for each item requested through ILL.  If we contact you regarding the citation, then we  might not have enough information or the information that you cited may be incorrect. 

Is your item a DVD/CD, standard or a musical score?

These items cannot be borrowed through ILL due to the fact that most libraries will not lend any of these items through ILL.  Tulsa City-County Library has a set of some standards that are available to be viewed in the library.

I need a thesis from XYZ University in England.  Why can’t I get it through ILL?

Theses and dissertations are generally only owned by the library at the university where the author earned their degree.  Some libraries will not lend theses or dissertations.  You should check the Proquest Dissertations database to see if it is available electronically. 

Also, we cannot borrow items through ILL that are held by libraries outside of the mainland U.S.

I want to borrow an electronic copy of “Gone with the Wind” through ILL and read it on my iPad.  Can I get e-books through ILL?

We cannot borrow electronic books through ILL.  They are licensed to a specific IP address and cannot be transferred electronically to a different library.


These are some of the most common reasons regarding why an ILL request was denied.  A list of other reasons can be found here.

Picking Up/Returning Materials

Picking Up/Returning Materials

How long does it take to obtain an item through ILL?

Books:  approximately 7 to 14 days

Articles:  approximately a few hours to several days.

Please allow sufficient time for items to arrive through ILL and request them as early as possible.  

How will I know when my item has arrived?

You will be notified by e-mail when an item has arrived through ILL.  

Where do i pick up items that I requested through ILL?

Articles will be posted in your ILLIAD account. Just log into the system and click on the link for “Electronically Delivered Items”.

Books can be picked up at the Library Service Desk next to the coffee shop.

Where do I go to return an ILL book? Can I drop it off in the Book Drop?

While it is preferred that ILL books be returned to the main desk inside of the library, there is an exterior book drop located on the south side of the library near the plaza. The interior book drop is located at the service desk in front of the coffee shop.

Library south side Library book drop

What are the hours for picking up or returning an ILL?

ILL books can be picked up at the Library Service Desk during regular library hours. Please return any ILL materials through the library book drop.

I can't make it to the library, will you bring my ILL books to me?

We are not currently offering book delivery services.

Borrower 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.