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Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is the process through which Link Library requests items from other libraries on behalf of the CUNE community. This guide provides ILL forms and explains the process and procedures of Interlibrary Loaning materials.
To request an item by interlibrary loan, please click this "ILL Order Form" button. A new tab will open with the request form. You would be surprised how many items have the same or very similar names, so please fill out as much information as you can about the item you are requesting.

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL?)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a free* service from Link library for our Concordia community (current students, faculty, and staff). This service allows Concordia's library to gain access to materials that we don't have.

Books: ILL books are borrowed from other libraries and mailed to Concordia. Once received, these materials are processed and sent to the Circulation Desk. You will receive an email notice when items are ready to be picked up. 

Articles: Most articles will be available for download through a secure link that is emailed to your CUNE email address.  Occasionally they will be emailed as a PDF attachment. If an article is sourced from an overseas library, it may be mailed as a paper copy. 

Other Items: DVDs, music albums, and other materials may be available through ILL. Feel free to fill out a form or contact us directly with requests for other materials.

* Note: The ILL service is free of charge at Link library. However, certain items may require a charge from the lending library. We always search for free lenders, but sometimes cost can't be avoided. We will email you before we fill the order, to verify the charges are acceptable; any charge will be put on your library account.


Are there limits?

Yes. ILL is not intended to supply many articles from any one journal. Copyright guidelines allow us to borrow no more than a few articles from any particular journal during a calendar year. If you need several articles from the same journal, we may ask you to purchase the articles from the publisher, so that Concordia does not violate borrowing guidelines. We can also help you find more full-text articles on your topic from journals that we already pay for.


What Can't Be ILLed?

Ebooks cannot be loaned from other libraries. When we receive a request for an ebook, we will seek a print copy of the book. 

Textbooks are not available through ILL. Most libraries will not lend textbooks, and lending periods are much shorter than the length of a semester. Interlibrary Loan is not an alternative to buying textbooks. Non-textbook items such as suggested reading listed in courses may be requested through ILL. If you have questions please ask a library staff member; we will be happy to help you.

Who can use ILL?

Current Students, Faculty, Staff at Seward Campus: 

Articles: ILL articles are delivered through email, with only extremely rare exceptions. Average delivery time to CUNE email address is 2-4 days.

Books/Physical Materials: Although materials may arrive sooner, expect delivery of physical items to take 7-10 days.  Processing time at the lending library and transit time are out of our control.  You will be notified via your CUNE email account when items are ready to be picked up.


Distance Students, Faculty, Staff: 

Articles: ILL articles are delivered through email, with only extremely rare exceptions. Average delivery time to CUNE email address is 2-4 days.

Dual-Credit Students: When requesting an item, please state "Dual-Credit Student" and your Teacher's name in the Notes section. This will help us keep track of where these materials are going and for whom.

Books/Physical Materials: For those who are unable to come to Link Library to pick up physical items, we recommend checking first with your local public or academic library, as you will receive materials much sooner.  The time it takes to fill the order, receive and process it, send it to you, then get it back, process and mail back leaves little time for you to use the material.  We are able to find libraries that hold the item(s) you are looking for and are happy to help you obtain needed materials in the best way possible.  Please contact us for assistance.

Timeframes and Process


The timeframe for all materials is affected by  multiple factors:

  • What kind of material is it?
  • How near is the nearest library who is loaning it?
  • What is the cost?
  • What day is it?

Electronic Articles: We always aim to fill your request as quickly as possible, and average timeframe is 2-4 business days for electronic delivery. Please understand that lending library processing and transit time are out of our control and plan accordingly. It could take as long as one business week for delivery.

Physical Materials: Books are the most common. Other materials can vary in availability, distance and mailing regulations. Depending on the book and the library, we suggest one week as the standard wait time. Remember, the materials must be processed by the lending library, shipped, received, and processed by Link Library. Ebooks cannot be borrowed through ILL.

All Materials Lending time: Usage and lending time varies based on the materials and lending library. We don't have a say in what the lending library's policy details are, we just pass along the information. If you would like an extension of the lending period,  you must let us know and request it before the due date. We cannot guarantee that your renewal request will be granted, but we are happy to place request on your behalf.



Click on one of the boxes at the top of the page: Article, Book, or Other, to fill out a form related to the item you are requesting. Give as much information as you can on the form, and provide links or other useful information in "Other information" to help us find exactly what you're looking for.

The information required is specific to the materials, so the forms will look different and ask different questions based what type of item you're seeking. If you're unsure, check the publication page of the article. Google Books and are useful places to check for information like a book's ISBN number, or other hard to find publication information. If you are unsure, include your question in "Other Information" on the form. You are always welcome to contact us directly if you need assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: The fees are processed through the library's loan system, which means it will appear on your library account, the same as an overdue fine. If you are on-campus, you can stop by the front desk and pay at any time, or it will be sent to student services if unpaid by the end of the year.
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