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Interlibrary Loan

This guide will explain what Interlibrary loan (ILL) is and how you can use ILL to request materials not owned by Purdue Libraries

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does this service cost?
Nothing! The Libraries cover the cost of providing this service.

How do I place a request?
You can log in to your ILL Account to see the request forms.

Can I request eBooks through Interlibrary Loan?
Unfortunately, no. We can only deliver print books at this time. However, if we find print items available electronically (i.e. dissertations, archival materials, and other items) that are difficult to obtain in print via ILL, we will deliver PDFs to your account.


How long does it take to get material from ILL?
Articles/Book chapters: average of 3-5 business days; Loans of books/media: average of 7-12 business days. It really depends on the obscurity of the material you're requesting and its availability at other libraries. Just because something exists doesn't mean we can get it from ILL, but we will try.


Is there a limit on the number of things I can request?
No, you may submit as many requests as necessary. However, large numbers of requests from a single user may not all be processed at the same time.

Can I renew my book?

If the front of your book says Renewals: Yes, we can submit a renewal request for you.

If the front of your book says Renewals: No, we cannot submit a renewal request, but we can clone the request and attempt to obtain a second copy from another library. You will need to return the first copy.

If you've already renewed your book once, we cannot renew it again. You can clone the request and attempt to obtain a second copy from another library. The clone link is available in your ILL account for each loan transaction.

What is the monetary limit that we'll spend on each request?
Usually $100 - anything over that we may ask if you'd like to contribute to obtaining it.


Are there items that are difficult to obtain? These items are very difficult to borrow other libraries:
Technical reports and standards
Recently published books (the library may purchase a new book if it falls within the library’s collection policies)
Audiovisual materials including videos and CDs
Whole volumes or issues of periodicals (copies of individual articles may be requested)
Rare books
Genealogical resources
Reference materials
Computer software and manuals


What if I have damaged or lost my ILL item?
Interlibrary loan materials are the property of the lending library. When items are lost or damaged you will be responsible for the fines and/or replacements costs for the material. Costs and options for purchasing replacement copies will differ depending on the lending library’s policy and are often more than our campus $125 lost item fine. It can take awhile for us to get the bill, but we will apply it to your My Account when received.


What is the blue paper band wrapped around the cover of my Interlibrary loan book? Can I take it off?
In order to track Interlibrary loan material in our system, we attach a paper band or wrapper with pertinent information on it. Please do not remove the slip if possible. We require it to be included when you return the items. Returning an Interlibrary loan without the slip can delay or even prevent us from checking it in and removing it from your account.

How do I return a physical item (book, DVD, etc.)?
If you're a distance student or working remotely, you can mail the item(s) back to us (you are responsible for return postage): Purdue Libraries ILL, 504 W State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907. If you're on campus, you can return your items to the ILL office on the 2nd floor of HSSE Library in the Stewart Center. You can also return them to any campus library or you can use a book return accessible 24/7 at the north end of Stewart Center, facing Heavilon Hall (the "book depository" box opening is built into the building wall, next to the ADA doors).