« Ethical Decision Making for Social Workers | Main | Photo of the Week »

Scouring the Ends of the Earth!

Have you ever been disappointed to learn that your library does not own the item you are looking for, thinking you must now make trips to many different libraries in your area to find that item? If so, read on.

When you know the library does not own the item you need, make an Interlibrary Loan, aka ILL, request and let us find it for you—you don’t even have to leave home! When you login to ILLIAD , fill out information on the item you are looking for and submit your request. From there, you ILL staff will search certain databases and library networks to see which libraries own this item. From there, they will ask a library to loan the item out to your institution. Sometimes the item is owned by a local library. However, sometimes your item might be owned by a library across the country! No matter what library houses the item, if they participate in ILL, they will send that item to your library and it will eventually wind up in your hands. In fact, UAlbany has seen ILL items come in all the way from Europe and Japan. The ILL department will try every library that owns the material until they are able to obtain it for you.
Keep in mind, ILL is not just for books. If you need an article from a journal that the University Libraries does not own, you can submit a request to get that article as well.

You can also make requests directly from Worldcat, which is a database of participating library catalogs. Simply click on the "Submit Request to UAlbany" link at the top of the item record, and a new window will pop up which allows you to log in to ILLiad. Once logged in, the record will be filled out for you, simply give it a quick scan to make sure the form is correct, and click "Submit."

So, who is eligible for ILL? How long does it take? Are there any exceptions? For the answer to more questions like these, see our ILL FAQ page.

Lastly, if you need help signing up with ILLIAD or making a request once you are in there, ask a reference librarian for help.

Blog post created by Jill Parsons