What is Interlibrary Loan?
What it is: the Interlibrary Loan system (ILL) is based on a general agreement among participating libraries to make certain materials—books, dissertations, journal articles—available to other member libraries upon request. This agreement allows library patrons access to far more materials than any one library could possibly hold. We routinely search the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) database to locate and borrow materials owned by other US, Canadian and European libraries.
We try to borrow almost any item that is requested. Be aware that we frequently have trouble borrowing:
- recently published books
- rare or fragile books
- multi-volume sets
- reference books
- theses and dissertations
- conferences and proceedings
- unpublished papers and reports
- bound or single-issue periodicals
- computer software
- audio-visual materials, i.e., videos
Who is eligible?
Currently enrolled USF students, faculty and staff, with the exception of USF Law School patrons, may use Gleeson Library/Geschke Center's Interlibrary Loan service.
If you are a USF Law School student, staff member, or faculty member, please use Zief Library's ILL service.
If you are uncertain as to whether you are entitled to ILL services, please contact the ILL Office at email@example.com or (415) 422-2662.
How long does it take?
Most items arrive in 2-4 weeks. Some items are unavailable from our first set of lending libraries and are automatically entered into another request set, unless the deadline has expired or all library sources have been exhausted. Please contact the ILL Office for additional information about your request.
How much does Interlibrary Loan cost?
The Interlibrary Loan Office at Gleeson Library/Geshcke Center always tries to obtain ILL materials free of charge.
However, if we are unable to find a lender who will send your requested material for free, we can request to borrow materials from lending libraries that do charge for Interlibrary Loans.
If you do not want to pay for the material you are requesting, on the ILLiad request form please authorize the maximum amount you are willing to pay as $0. If we are unable to find a lender who will send your requested material for free, we will cancel your request.
If you would like the material, even in the event that a charge is incurred, on the ILLiad request form please authorize the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the material. First, we will look for your request for free. If we are unable to find a lender who will send your requested material for free, we will attempt to fill your request within the cost parameters you provide.
The below table gives the average lending costs set by libraries who charge for Interlibrary Loans. This table is only a guideline. Lending libraries set their own fees. Gleeson does not add any costs to your requests.
||$10 to $20
||$20 to $25
||$10 to $30
If you’d like an item and are willing to be charged for it regardless of cost, a good strategy is to authorize a high dollar amount (in the $20 range).
The Interlibrary Loan Office assesses ILL charges at the end of each month.
Students and Staff:
If a cost is incurred to borrow the ILL materials you requested, and you authorized an ILL charge,
expect to receive a bill towards the beginning of the month after your request is filled. You will also
see a fee on your Gleeson Library/Geschke Center library record.
USF Faculty, Full-time, and Part-time instructors:
Please check with your department to see if ILL charges are covered by your College. If your
College covers your ILL charges, the ILL office will invoice your College at the beginning of each
Even if ILL charges are covered by your department, you must still authorize the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the material.
If your ILL charges are not covered by your College, you will be responsible for any ILL charges incurred. If a charge is incurred to borrow ILL materials you requested, and you authorized an ILL charge, expect to receive a bill from the library towards the beginning of the month after your request is filled. You will also see a fee on your Gleeson Library/Geschke Center library record.
ALL ILL Users:
If you authorize a charge, and the request is not filled by the lending institution, you will not be
If you authorize a charge, and your request is filled, but you neglect to pick up the material at the
Gleeson, the ILL charge will still be applied to your record.
Remember, you can pay library fees and fines online, by logging on to your main library
record (not your ILLiad record!). Look for the “Pay Online” button. A bursar hold will be
placed on your university record until ILL fees are paid.
What is the Copyright Law?
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified condition is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright.
What are copyright restrictions?
U.S. Copyright guidelines restrict the photocopying of copyrighted materials. There is an annual limit on the number of current periodical articles we can borrow from each journal title. Requests received after the limit is reached will be returned with instructions to consult the journal at a neighboring library.
When is the book or dissertation due?
Each lending library sets its own due date. This means that if you pick up several books on the same day, each one may have a different due date. A blue book band noting your name, date the book is due, ILL transaction number, and any special restriction from the lending library is attached to the front of each book. Please return the book with the blue book band intact. A missing blue book band may cause your Circulation Record not to be cleared properly, and you will be held liable for any overdue / lost books charges.
Can I renew a book or dissertation?
Unfortunately, no. The due date is determined by the lending library. If you anticipate needing more time, place a new interlibrary loan request for the same title and return the first copy when it is due. Dissertations and materials received in microfilm/microfiche are generally more difficult to obtain the second time around.
Where do I return books and dissertations?
Please return ILL books and dissertations to the Circulation Desk. If items are returned in the outside book return slot, they must be clearly marked as Interlibrary Loan Materials. You are responsible for lost book replacement charges.
What are the fines and replacement charges?
Books borrowed on interlibrary loan are subject to different loan periods than USF owned materials. Be aware of the different due dates listed on each blue book band. The fine for overdue books is 50 cents per day per item. Charges for lost or damaged materials are individually based on the lending library's fees, which begin at $130.00.
Students who have unpaid fines are placed on University Hold and do not receive any One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services or Registrar services until their library account is cleared. A borrower is not exempt from any overdue or replacement charges because of a failure to receive a notice from the Library.
How do I contact the Interlibrary Loan Office?
For questions, please provide the following:
- Your name
- Your phone number(s)
- The ILL transaction number, if known
- Brief title (first five words) of book /dissertation/journal
- Your question
- Phone: (415) 422-5385 speak slowly and clearly, please
- Fax: (415) 422-2233
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Every effort is made to respond within one business day. Please try again if you have heard nothing.
Special Faculty Proxy Procedures
Faculty members and/or their proxies, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Department prior to initiating any interlibrary loan requests in ILLiad through a proxy. The Interlibrary Loan Department may be reached at (415) 422-5385 or at email@example.com.