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FAQs for Online & Distance Students: Interlibrary Loan

This guide contains FAQs for students in Simmons' Online programs, as well as distance students.

Requesting Materials

Visit this page to find out about requesting materials from Simmons, and requesting from other libraries (Interlibrary Loan).

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

You can use interlibrary loan to request a book, article, or other item that the Library does not own. We will try to borrow it from another library for you.

Who can use ILL?

Current Simmons students, faculty, and staff may use ILL. Other patrons may use the ILL services at their academic institution or local public library.

How do I access ILL?

Go to the library home page, and scroll to the ‘Quick links” box, or go directly to the form.

What can I borrow through ILL?

You can request books, media, articles and book chapters that are not owned by the Library. You cannot request items that Simmons owns but are on reserve or currently checked out. You cannot request textbooks. Some items, such as movies, music, recently-published books, bestsellers, and rare materials, can be difficult to obtain as many libraries do not lend them through ILL.

How many items can I request?

Undergraduate students may have 5 active ILL requests at a time. A request is active from when you submit it until it is returned to the lending library (for hard-copy items) or delivered to your ILL account (for PDFs). Currently, there is no limit on the number of requests for graduate students, faculty, and staff. However, we ask that you be conscientious about the number of requests that you submit, as the Library is often charged for ILL requests.

How can I request an item?

First, make sure that Library does not own the item by searching the Library catalog. If the Library does not own it, log in to your ILL account and fill out the appropriate request form (book, article, etc.).

When will my items arrive? How will I know?

Articles and book chapters typically arrive within 5 days. Hard-copy items (books, DVDs, etc.) typically arrive within 10 days. Items that are difficult to obtain may take longer. You will receive an email from informing you that your items are ready to be picked up.

Where do I pick up items? How do I retrieve articles?

Students can pick up hard-copy items at the Library Service Desk. Faculty and staff may have items delivered to their offices. Articles and book chapters are made available as PDFs that you can access by logging into your ILL account. PDFs will be deleted from your account after 30 days or 5 views (whichever comes first), so be sure to download them.

How long can I keep ILL items?

Your item will come with a paper slip indicating the due date, which is decided by the lending library. Most items can be borrowed for about four weeks. Please keep and return all paperwork that comes with your items, as this makes it easier for ILL staff to process your items once they are returned.

Can I renew materials borrowed through interlibrary loan?

You can request a renewal by logging in to your ILL account and selecting "Renew ILL Items." Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library. You will receive an email indicating whether or not your renewal was approved, along with the new due date, if applicable. There is a limit of one renewal per item, and renewals may not be requested after the due date.