Out-of-System Interlibrary Loan FAQs
What is out-of-system interlibrary loan (ILL)?
Who may use this service?
What materials can be borrowed?
What materials cannot be borrowed?
What if the item is recently published?
Are magazines available?
How much does out-of-system ILL cost?
How do I request materials?
What if I need information on a particular subject but don't have an exact title?
What if I no longer need an item I requested?
How long will it take to receive my request?
How will I know when my materials arrive?
How long may I keep out-of-system ILL items?
What if I'm not finished with the item by the due date?
Why can't you get what I've requested?
An out-of-system interlibrary loan (ILL) transaction is a request to borrow from another library system or institution, any books or other materials, which are not available to borrow in LINKCat. Items can be obtained outside of LINKCat and the South Central Library System (SCLS) by placing a request at your local library.
Anyone who has a valid SCLS library card may use this service.
ILL requests are accepted for most items that are not found in LINKCat, including books, magazine or newspaper articles, audio books, videos, music cassettes and CDs. However, many libraries do not lend audiovisual materials. As a result they may not be available through ILL. Items published within the last 6 months may not be requested.
Libraries generally do not lend materials published within the last 6 months, non-circulating and reference materials, genealogical materials, newspapers in original format (newspapers may usually be borrowed on microfilm), entire issues of magazines, computer software and games, rare or valuable items, and items from special collections.
Items published within the last 6 months may not be requested. However, you may recommend that the library purchase this title. You may request that the library reserve the item for you if it is purchased, or wait 6 months from the publication date to request it through interlibrary loan.
Although entire issues of magazines are available for checkout in LINKCat, most out-of-system libraries will not lend an entire issue of a magazine. They may, however, provide photocopies of individual articles. When you request a magazine not available in LINKCat, please include the article title, the issue date and volume of the magazine, and the page numbers of the article. If a particular article is not desired, but a copy of the table of contents will suffice, please request that. In addition, many full-text magazine and journal articles are available in the Ebscohost databases. ProQuest contains many full-text newspaper articles.
There is no direct charge to the patron for interlibrary loan services. However, borrowers are responsible for any charges incurred for lost or damaged items.
If you have not found the title you need in LINKCat you may call the Library or stop by and submit an ILL request. Please provide as much information as possible to help identify the specific item that you are seeking, such as the title, author, publisher, etc. Many full-text magazine and journal articles can be found in EBSCOhost. Newspaper articles are available in ProQuest. If the article you want is not available in these databases, you may submit an ILL request for a photocopy of the article. When submitting a request, please include all citation information. Titles published within the last 4 months, with the exception of magazine/newspaper articles, may not be requested.
Library staff can help you find information on a particular subject.
Please be sure you are serious about obtaining an interlibrary loan item. These items may come from anywhere in the continental United States. We utilize our South Central Delivery System when it is possible, but most interlibrary loan items from outside SCLS are mailed or sent by UPS, etc. and need to be shipped back in the same manner. If you do need to cancel a request, please do so as soon as possible by calling the Library at 608-356-6166.
Delivery of ILL items can take from 2-6 weeks depending on the location of the item, its availability at the lending library, and the lending library's response time. Because the process is dependent upon responses from other institutions and delivery systems, delivery time may vary greatly. Some materials, such as items that are difficult to locate, may take considerably longer than average. Some items may be unavailable. Try to allow adequate lead-time when making a request. If you have a specific deadline, let us know when you place your request. Staff will try to obtain the item by that date, or will cancel the request and notify you if it cannot be obtained within that timeframe. Also, staff will notify you if the requested title cannot be obtained.
Patrons will be notified when the item is available for pickup from the hold shelf via the contact method chosen for holds notification. In some cases, usually due to the short length of the item loan period, library staff may call you. The due date on any given item varies since the lending library determines the loan period. Returning materials promptly helps ensure that we maintain our borrowing privileges.
The loan period for all ILL materials is determined by the lending library, and is generally from 1-4 weeks. Some materials may be restricted to "Library use only" by the lending library and may not be checked out for use at home.
Due dates are determined by the lending library and renewals are rarely given. You may request an item again 90 days after the return date.
When we request items through WorldCat, we can only request from free-lending libraries which may limit where or if we can obtain the item. Sometimes the item is in use. Sometimes the library will not lend it because it is a reference item and must be used in the library. Sometimes the library says "no" without giving a reason. Sometimes we cannot find a library that owns the requested title. Please remember that not every library that owns a particular item will lend it via interlibrary loan. For further information refer to "What materials cannot be borrowed?"