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Get Stuff from Other Libraries: UW System Borrowing and Interlibrary Loan

Requesting Textbooks through ILL

If you plan to rely on ILL to meet your textbook needs, please read through these words of wisdom:

Even though ILL is an option, it's beneficial to get your textbooks from your campus Bookstore

The bookstore receives the information directly from your professor so they should have the exact book that you need in stock and immediately available.

You probably aren’t the only student with this plan

While we can get some textbooks or books that are being used in your courses through ILL, due to their demand, we often have trouble finding libraries that have the item available.

Getting textbooks often takes several weeks

In order to get a textbook, we often have to make requests to multiple libraries over a period of several weeks. If you need it by a certain date, you should start the process early.

ILL loan periods are short

The majority of libraries lend books for one month and allow only one renewal. This means that, at most, you’ll only have this book for a two month period before it has to be returned. All renewal requests must be placed in advance of the due date and they are subject to approval from the lending library. Sometimes they grant them and sometimes they don’t.

There's a possible expense

As you know, textbooks are expensive, many costing hundreds of dollars. If you request a textbook and keep it past the due date, many libraries will charge you for the replacement cost of the textbook as well as a processing fee. For students, these charges will be billed to your SIS account. Even after you return the book, these charges will remain on your account. Once they’ve billed for a book, most libraries will not grant refunds.

Try UW System requesting first

Many of the restrictions listed above don’t pertain to the use of the UW System requesting service. UW System requesting allows you to request books from other UW libraries. The benefit of using UW System requesting is that you get longer loan periods, more renewals, and UW libraries are much more lenient with other UW students. Again, you probably aren’t the only student with this idea so it’s best to start in advance.

Requesting through ILL