Interlibrary Loan (ILL) FAQ

Requesting Materials from Other Libraries (ILL) - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q Is there a help document for requesting interlibrary loan items through ILLiad?
A
Yes, there is a help document located online at ILLiad Interlibrary Loan Instruction document. This document will tell you how to create an account, how to submit a request, and how to check the status of your requests. You can always contact us in-person in the library, by telephone (203) 254-4000 ext. 2135, or e-mail ils@fairfield.edu.

Q Can I submit an ILS request for something our library owns?
A
No, we're very sorry, but requests for titles owned by the library will be returned to you with a note saying that they are available at the library. Students should be sure and check the library's own holdings before you submit a request. For help locating an item that the library owns, please contact the Reference Desk at reference@fairfield.edu or at (203) 254-4000 ext. 2178.

Q What if a book is charged out at our library - then can I submit an interlibrary loan request? What if the book or journal is missing?
A If a book or audiovisual material from the library's own collection has been deemed "lost" or "missing," by the circulation staff, then we will be happy to process an interlibrary loan request on your behalf during the time when the library is in the process of replacing the item. Journal article requests can be honored if the pages that are needed are torn from the issue or the desired issue is currently check out to the bindery. Please feel free to contact the staff with any other requests for books that are currently unavailable, and we will review these requests on a case-by-case basis.

Q How can I submit interlibrary loan requests?
A Please submit interlibrary loan requests online through Request from Other Libraries (ILL). This will take you to a Net ID log in page which will then automatically route you to the request form itself. Fill in the citation information - as complete as possible - and include an ISSN number if you have it. If you are using a database with an interlibrary loan request link, often you can simply click the link, log in, and the request form will be populated with the citation information automatically, saving you any need to retype.

Q How can I check whether a request has been submitted?
A You can always check the status of your requests by logging into your account, and clicking "View Outstanding Requests." This will tell you whether the request has been sent, processed, or shipped.

Q How many requests can be submitted at any one time?
A
Patrons may submit as many requests as they like, however, requests are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Busy times during the semester may add to processing time. Patrons are encouraged to prioritize their requests and send them in as early as possible to ensure timely and efficient delivery.

Q How soon will I get the items I've requested?
A Please allow at least four business days for all journal article requests to be processed. (In fact about half of these requests arrive in as little as two days - but this cannot be guaranteed.) Books and audio-visual materials average 7-10 business days, as these are physical items that have to be shipped from the lending library. It is good practice to allow enough time for your requests to be completed, so patrons are strongly encouraged to submit their book and article requests as early in the research process as possible.

Q How will I be notified when the interlibrary loan items arrive?
A For books, we e-mail whenever possible; all "returnables" - i.e., books or audio-visual materials - are picked up at the Circulation Desk. Journal articles are uploaded to a secure server which will allow you to view, print, or download the material for a 30-day period. An e-mail message will be sent to you as soon as the item is available.

Q I submitted ten requests and only received seven. Where are the rest?
A
Materials arrive at different times from different sources; we will notify you each time an item arrives. Unless there is a problem with the request, rest assured all your requests will be filled in time. Remember, you can always check the status of your requests by logging into your account, and clicking "View Outstanding Requests." This will tell you whether the request has been sent, processed, or shipped. Once again, do not hesitate to contact the department if you have any questions regarding the status of your requests.

Q How long can I keep a book from another library?
A Due dates are assigned by the lending library, but most lenders allow a borrowing period of six weeks.

Q Can I renew an interlibrary loan item?
A Renewals can be requested and are most often granted by the lending library usually extending the borrowing period another month, yet there are no guarantees. You can call the department (203) 254-4000 ext. 2135 or e-mail ils@fairfield.edu to request an extension. Leave your name and the six digit IL number found on the bookband of the item you wish to renew (for example, IL#: 769473).

Q Where do I return interlibrary loan books when I am done?
A Please bring materials directly back to the Circulation Desk during normal business hours. You are ultimately responsible for the materials you borrow - please be respectful. Do not leave materials in the book drops. Faculty and staff have the option of returning interlibrary loan items through the Faculty/Staff Delivery Service.

Q Can I get audio-visual or microform material through ILS?
A Some libraries do lend audiovisual materials and microforms and we are able to borrow them, but be aware that these materials can be much more difficult to acquire and at times not possible at all. Also be aware that any of these materials we manage to borrow are often for in-library use only and then must not leave the building.

Q What if an interlibrary loan request I've made cannot be filled?
A
We will notify you if that is the case. There are various reasons why we might return a request to you - new, rare, and reference materials can be hard to obtain and special libraries may have restrictions on their collection. Be assured we will do our best to fulfill your request.

Q I need a book/article immediately and interlibrary loan might take too long. What can I do?
A In this case, please contact the Reference Desk for assistance at reference@fairfield.edu or at (203) 254-4000 ext. 2178. A Reference Librarian can search local library catalogs to see if they hold the material you want, and you can travel there yourself to obtain it. With a library card from your local Connecticut public library you can checkout materials from any public library in the state. Remember that submitting ILS requests early is really the most effective way for us to serve you.

Q I am working for a faculty member and submitting requests. What should I put on the interlibrary loan form?
A In the past it has been helpful for the faculty member to contact us ahead of time, alerting us to the fact that a designated student assistant will be making requests on their behalf. The student can use their own log in, but please remember to put the faculty member's name and contact information on the form in the "Comments" field.

Q Can I order dissertations and theses? What about conference proceedings, or white papers?
A Yes, you can make these requests at any time. But please be aware that theses, dissertations and conference proceedings are often hard to obtain. To increase your chances of obtaining this kind of hard-to-get material, please be sure to include the correct title, author, year, and the school granting the degree. Also please note, that "Dissertation Abstracts International" is merely a collection of the abstracts or summaries of the dissertations indexed. It does not contain the full text of the dissertations themselves. We will search for the original item and request it directly from the author's school or, if available, sometimes they are available for you to purchase through Proquest Dissertations/University Microfilms.