You are here

Interlibrary Loan FAQ

When the West Library does not own the book, article, or other item that you need for your academic career it can usually be retrieved through Interlibrary Loan ILL.  See below for information on our policies, including eligibility, status of requests, loan length, copyright limitations, and borrower expectations. 

Who can use ILL services?

  • Any Texas Wesleyan University faculty, staff, or currently enrolled student in good standing with the West Library is eligible for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services.  We are unable to offer ILL services to alumni or community members.  You must provide a valid Wesleyan ID number and Wesleyan email when requesting items.  Use the forms on our ILL webpage.
  • We reserve the right to restrict access to ILL services for library users who do not comply regularly with due date deadlines or who routinely lose/damage borrowed items.   
  • If your library account is “blocked” due to unpaid fines or other reasons, you will are not considered in good standing with the library and will not have access ILL services. 

When is the ILL department open?

  • The ILL department is open Monday-Friday; all requests will be processed during business hours on these days.  ILL service is not available when the university is closed for breaks, holidays, or other unexpected closures. 
  • View our library calendar here.

When should I use ILL services?

  • We recommend using ILL services anytime you need a resource that is not available in the West Library collections or through the academic databases which we subscribe to.   
  • Before submitting a request, please do a little digging to make sure we do not have the item that you need. 

When should I NOT use ILL services?

  • If the West Library owns or provides access to a requested resource, we will instruct you to use that resource instead of providing it through ILL. 
  • ILL services are not meant to help you find additional resources, only to acquire resources that you already know exist and cannot access on your own.  If you need assistance with searching for resources, please reach out to our Reference department at or 817-531-4802.
  • If you do not intend to use the item in your academic work, please do not use ILL services.  Each request that we fill (even if it was acquired at no direct cost) has a background cost associated with it, so only request items that you need. 

What kinds of items can I request?

  • You can request almost anything that is a part of another library’s collection.  This typically means books, print scholarly articles, music, microfilm, microfiche, magazines, etc.  You can also request electronic scholarly articles or other digital resources. 
  • Borrowing ebooks is typically not allowed by lending libraries because of copyright limitations.
  • Please note that the lending of rare items, reference books, dissertations, genealogical materials, theses, computer programs, and some AV items are frequently limited by lending libraries.
  • The West Library does not guarantee to have the necessary equipment to view some forms of media, such as microfilm or microfiche. 

How do I submit a request?

  • All requests must be made using the ILL request forms found on the ILL webpage.  Articles and books/other items have separate forms, so please use the correct one for your request. 
  • All fields in the forms must be filled out as completely as possible and with no abbreviations. 
  • Requests made by phone or by directly emailing the ILL department will not be accepted. 

How many requests can I submit?

  • A maximum seven (7) ILL requests per person per day will be processed by our ILL staff.  If you need to request more than seven (7) books or articles in a day, we require that you consult with our Reference department to determine if there are any online resources that can assist you.  If the reference staff determines that additional ILL resources should be requested, they will contact the ILL department and ask that your additional requests be allowed. 
  • Do not submit multiple requests for a single item.  To find the status of a request, contact the ILL department at or 817-531-4804. 
  • Requests are placed into a queue where they are processed in the order in which they were submitted.  If you have an urgent request, please submit it to the system and then contact the ILL department.

When will my requested item(s) arrive?

  • Articles and electronic resources are usually received anywhere from one day to one week from their processing date. 
  • Books and other physical items are usually received at the West Library anywhere from one week to three weeks from their processing date.
  • Arrival times for some books and articles can vary greatly and some take several weeks to arrive.  As soon as your resource arrives at the West Library we try to get it to you ASAP.  
  • The “need by” field in the ILL forms are considered when requests are submitted, however the actual delivery of the items cannot be guaranteed by that date.

How can I find out the status of my item(s)?

  • Contact the ILL department at or 817-531-4804 to ask about the status of an item. 
  • Please provide relevant information about your request, such as the title, and the ILL Request # if you know it.  Our staff will respond as soon as possible.

Where can I access or pickup my requested item(s)?

  • Articles
    • Most articles arrive via our ILL sharing system called OCLC.  You will receive an email with directions on how to access the article from OCLC, as well as a confirmation email from the ILL department. 
    • Some articles arrive directly to the ILL department email and will be forwarded to your Wesleyan email as an attachment. 
    • Some articles are acquired using the Get It Now (GIN) article service.  These will be emailed directly to your Wesleyan email account. 
    • In rare cases, some acquired articles cannot be digitized due to copyright restrictions; in that case, the West Library will print the article for you and have it ready for pickup at the circulation desk. 
  • Books/other items
    • Books can be picked up at the West Library’s circulation desk.  You will receive an email to confirm the arrival of your item at the library.  You must have a current Texas Wesleyan ID card to check out ILL items.   

How do due dates and renewals work with ILL items?

  • The West Library will follow the loan conditions set by the lending library without exception.
  • The lending library will determine the conditions of each loan, such as the due date or restricting the use of the item to the library.  
  • Due date renewal requests can be submitted on your behalf; contact the ILL staff at or 817-531-4804.  Mention the item’s ILL Request # in your communication.
  • Renewal requests should be made at least four (4) days before the item’s due date and renewals are not guaranteed to be granted; if the lending library denies the renewal then you must return the item to the West library by the previously determined due date – no exceptions.
  • Some items may be “recalled” by the lending library before the given due date.  Any recalled items must be returned to the West Library as soon as possible. 
  • Returning items on time and in good condition helps the West Library stay in good standing with our lending partners so they will continue to help us serve the TWU community.  Please be responsible with your ILL items.

What happens if my request comes back “unfilled?”

  • When a requested item cannot be acquired, you will receive an email informing you that the request has returned to us “unfilled.”  This simply means that no libraries were both willing and able to lend us the item.   
  • We send requests to as many potential lenders as possible the first time it is requested, so when a request is unfilled it means we have exhausted our current ability to acquire the item.
  • Reasons why lending libraries do not fill requests can vary.  If you have questions or concerns about an unfilled request, please contact the ILL department at or 817-531-4804. 
  • If you would like to attempt another request for an unfilled item, please contact the ILL department first.  Some requests can be successfully acquired later on as resources become available.  Some requests simply cannot be filled.  The ILL staff will be able to help you determine if you should request the item again.

What if I have to pay a fee to get an item?

  • Some lending libraries will only lend items for a fee; each lender has the right to charge whatever they deem necessary for access to their resources via ILL.   
  • All attempts at acquiring the item for free will be attempted by our staff before looking into options with a cost.  When no free option can be found, the ILL staff will contact you at your Wesleyan email account to provide you with options and coordinate your request from there. 
  • If you choose to pay to access the item, the West Library can only accept checks and money orders for payment. 

What if I damage or lose an item?

  • The West Library will not pay for any lost or damaged items after they have been checked out to the requestor. 
  • Since ILL items are checked out using your library account, any damage or lost fees billed to the West Library by the lender will be placed onto your library account. 
  • To pay a fine on your account, please visit the circulation desk at the West Library.  You can also email or call at 817-531-4800 with questions or concerns.
  • Returning items on time and in good condition helps the West Library stay in good standing with our lending partners so they will continue to help us serve the TWU community.  Please be responsible with your ILL items.

What if I keep the ILL item past it’s due date?

  • The West Library will not pay for late fines accrued by the requestor. 
  • Fines are determined by the lender, not by the West library.  Any fees billed to the West library will be transferred to the requestor’s library account.
  • To pay a fine on your account, please visit the circulation desk at the West Library.  You can also email or call at 817-531-4800.
  • Returning items on time and in good condition helps the West Library stay in good standing with our lending partners so they will continue to help us serve the TWU community.  Please be responsible with your ILL items.

What should I do if my account is “blocked” but it shouldn’t be?

  • If you believe that your library account has been mistakenly blocked, you will need to contact the Circulation department to clear your account. 
  • You can visit the circulation desk at the West Library, email them at or call at 817-531-4800.

What do I need to know about copyright when using ILL?

  • US copyright laws and ILL codes govern the use of certain copyrighted materials.  When you request an item through ILL, you become liable for the responsible use of that item regarding copyright laws. 
  • Making photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material is only allowed under certain conditions, such as if the reproduction is used for private study, academic research, or scholarship.  Reproduction under other circumstances may be considered copyright infringement and carry legal ramifications.
  • Please see our Copyright & Fair Use Libguide for more information.


Interlibrary Loan | | 817-531-4804