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What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan is a service for Cornell faculty, staff and registered students. Interlibrary Loan allows Cornell Library users to borrow physical material from other libraries and universities, as well as obtain copies of articles or chapters from titles that are not held by Cornell University Library.

Books can also be borrowed using Borrow Direct. Copies of articles and chapters from titles held by Cornell can be requested using Document Delivery. Institutions and individuals not affiliated with Cornell should see the Interlibrary Lending page for details about policies and charges.

What can be requested on Interlibrary Loan?

  • Books and multi-volume works
  • Conference proceedings
  • Dissertations
  • Audiovisual material (videos, DVD's)
  • Selected bound journal volumes
  • Microfilm
  • Microfiche
  • Selected articles from journals
  • Selected book chapters
  • Other miscellaneous formats

Is there a charge to use Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan is free for Cornell faculty, staff and registered students. There is no charge to borrow material or obtain copies of articles on Interlibrary Loan. For copies of articles held by the Cornell Library there may be a fee. Please see the Document Delivery page for details.

Do I have to submit credit card information to use Interlibrary Loan?

No. During your initial registration for Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery you do not need to include credit card information. Most Interlibrary Loan and some Document Delivery requests are free. If an item you request has a fee library staff will contact you about your method of payment, at which point the credit card information can be submitted. During your initial registration you can skip the credit card page by selecting "Main Menu" on the left side of the page.

Can I request a book that is held at Cornell but currently checked out?

Please use Borrow Direct as your primary source to request loans of Cornell-owned items that are checked out. If the material you need is not available from Borrow Direct you may submit a request on Interlibrary Loan. However, in some cases it may be faster to recall the Cornell copy. If you recall the Cornell copy please contact the Interlibrary Loan office to cancel your request.

Items held in the Cornell Library that are on Reserve or in Reference may not be borrowed on Interlibrary Loan.

How long will it take to get the items I requested on Interlibrary Loan?

Most loans requested on Interlibrary Loan will arrive in about 1-2 weeks, but in some cases may take longer. Most articles are received in about 2-3 business days. If you have any questions about the status of your request please contact your Interlibrary Loan office.

How long can I borrow Interlibrary Loan items?

The loan period for items borrowed on Interlibrary Loan is determined by the library lending the material. Standard loans are between 2-6 weeks, but can be as little as 3 days in some cases.

Can I renew my Interlibrary Loan?

Most Interlibrary Loan material can be renewed. Due dates and renewal eligibility will be on the band attached to the book.

A renewal may be requested by phone, e-mail, in person or on the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery web site. To renew on the web site, select "Checked out items" and click on the Transaction Number of the item to renew. Click "Renew Request" at the top of the page. If this option is not available, contact your Interlibrary Loan office.

How do I cancel my request if I no longer need the material?

In some cases requests can be cancelled using the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery web site. Under "View" select "Outstanding Requests," and click on the Transaction Number for the request to be cancelled. Some requests will have the option of "Cancel Request" next to "Edit Request." If this option is not available, please contact your Interlibrary Loan office.

How do I register for Interlibrary Loan?

The first time you use Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery you will be asked to register. This is a one-time registration. During your registration you will be asked to select your Interlibrary Loan unit: Olin Library, Mann Library, Law Library, Geneva Library or the Veterinary Library. The library you select will process your requests and be the pick-up location for your Interlibrary Loans.

Can a proxy user submit requests?

A professor who would like to arrange for a student to place requests under the professor's account should contact their Interlibrary Loan office directly. ILL staff can set up a proxy username and password for students to access their professor's Interlibrary Loan account and submit requests under their professor's name.

If you have any further questions or can't find what you need, please ask a librarian, or contact any Interlibrary Loan office directly. Staff are happy to answer any questions via e-mail, phone or in person.

Contact one of the 5 pickup locations on campus:

Olin Library 255-9564 olin-ils@cornell.edu
Mann, Geneva or Veterinary Library 255-7754 mann_ill@cornell.edu
Law Library 255-5750 law-ils@cornell.edu