Skip to Main Content

Interlibrary Loan: FAQ

Who can use ILL?

Current VWU students, faculty, and staff

(ILL service is not available to VWU alumni and non-VWU library guests.)

What can be borrowed through ILL?

What can I borrow through ILL?

  • Most books and journal articles
  • Most dissertations and audio-visual materials

While we try to accommodate all requests, the following items are difficult to obtain or not available through ILL:

  • Entire issues of journals, magazines, and newspapers
  • Electronic books (e-books)
  • Current textbooks
  • Reference books
  • Genealogy materials
  • Standardized test preparation materials
  • Video games, board games
  • Archives, special collections, rare/fragile items, and unique materials that would be difficult to replace

How many books or articles can I get?

As many items per semester as needed to complete your research; however, there is a weekly limit of 10 requests. If you need to make additional requests, please contact the ILL Coordinator or a librarian.

Can ILL items be renewed?


You can request a renewal through your ILLiad account by clicking on 'Checked Out Items' in the 'View' menu. Click on the transaction number of the item you wish to renew and then click the 'Renew Request' button. If the lending library doesn't allow renewals, you shouldn't see a 'Renew Request' button; in this case, "NO RENEWALS" should also be noted on the item's book band.

An item can only be renewed once. Please keep in mind that renewal requests are at the discretion of the lending library.

    How long do I get to keep ILL materials?

    • Due dates are set by the lending library and range from 1 - 8 weeks
    • Renewal requests should be made before the due date
    • Renewals may or may not be granted by the lending library
    • Journal articles are yours to keep; it is not necessary to return them

    Do I need to know which libraries have the item I want?

    No. While this information may be helpful, you do not need to know which libraries have the item you are requesting. We try to borrow items from the closest libraries in order to obtain items quickly; however, we also must avoid burdening any one library with our requests.


    The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

    Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

    This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

    My item was recalled. What does this mean?

    While extremely rare, the lending library may recall an item they have loaned to us. This happens if a patron at their library has requested the item. When this occurs, we need to return the item as quickly as possible to maintain a good relationship with the lending library.

    If you receive notification that an item you borrowed through ILL has been recalled, please promptly return it to the library. If you still need the item, please submit another request for the item in ILLiad; we will obtain another copy from another library.

    What does "Library Use Only" mean?

    If you pick up an ILL item that is labeled Library Use Only, this means that the lending library loaned the item to us on the condition that it remain in the library. This is common with audio/visual materials, microforms, dissertations, and rare, old, or expensive items.

    Please help us maintain a good relationship with the lending library by respecting any stipulations regarding their materials.

    We will keep the item for you to use in the library at your convenience. We will return the item to the lending library on the due date; please plan accordingly.

    Can the same item be requested again?

    In general, we can only borrow an item one time per patron per semester. Please speak with the ILL Coordinator about your particular needs.

    Head Librarian

    Profile Photo
    Stephen Leist
    Liaison to the Birdsong School of Social Sciences