Services > Interlibrary Loan

Get books, articles, and other material the library doesn't own.

Click on a link below to go directly to the named section in this guide.

Manage ILL Requests

Manage your ILLiad Account
If you want to make ILL requests, get a renewal, change your contact information, or check the status of a request:
Log into ILLiad


Frequently Asked Questions about ILL Costs

How much does an ILL cost?
Most of the time, it's free! The Sherrod Library doesn't charge any fees, and 95% of requests are free from our extensive network of reciprocal and consortial partner libraries. Sometimes, however, we can only get it from a library that does charge. When this happens, we will contact you to see if you're willing to pay their fee.
When there is a fee, how much will it be?
The typical fee charged by an academic or public library is $8-12.00. Medical Libraries typically charge $11.00. Ivy League and other prestigious institutions set fees from $15-25.00 -- or higher.
Do some kinds of requests tend to have associated fees?
Yes. Theses and dissertations (usually only one copy in the world) and articles from journals published in foreign countries other than Canada and Great Britain are often only available for a price.
What are copyright fair use guidelines?
Complicated! If the Sherrod Library requests more than five recent articles from a particular journal during a year, we have exceeded the guidelines for fair use and have to pay copyright fees to the publisher for any additional articles. That copyright fee is set by the publisher and ranges from $3.00 to $80.00. As always, we will ask you if you're willing to pay this charge before processing the request.
If you would like to read more about fair use and copyright issues, see our copyright page.


Frequently asked Questions about ILL Material

What can I request through Interlibrary Loan?
Books, book chapters, journal articles, items on microform, and theses/dissertations (whew!). In addition, graduate students, faculty, and staff may request video and audio recordings.
Is there anything I can't get through ILL?
Textbooks -- sorry, but you'll have to buy those. Since the purpose of ILL is to support scholarship and research, please ask for leisure reading material from your local public library.
I need to see a really old book, published in 1887. Should I even bother?
Yes! We can find a library to lend old or rare items surprisingly often. It may come as microfilm or microfiche, though, or be restricted to library-only use.
Is Interlibrary Loan the best way to get a dissertation?
The full text of dissertations from 1997 to the present is available by selecting the Digital Dissertations database. For older theses and dissertations, please submit an ILL request. You can also purchase your own copy of dissertations from Proquest.


Frequently Asked Questions about ILL Problems

I still need this ILL book, but it is due tomorrow. Can I renew it?
ILL renewals are decided by the library that loaned it to us. Check the wrapper on the cover of the book; it will say if you can get a renewal and show the link to ILLiad to request a renewal. We assume the answer will be "yes" and renew the book for two weeks in ETSU's circulation system. If the library says "no," we'll let you know.
This ILL book was NOT overdue -- I called the circulation desk and they renewed ALL of my books! How come I have these fines?
The folks at Check Out cannot make the circulation system renew an ILL book -- they just don't have that authority.
The ILLiad login screen won't let me in. Help!
Call the ILL office at 423-439-6998 from 8am-4:30pm weekdays. We'll walk you through, step-by-step. Other times, call the Reference Desk at 423-439-4307. You can also email us at
I lost the cover wrapper from my ILL book. Is this a problem?
This can be a headache - it's one sure way to get fines for a book that our computer thinks is overdue, so don't take the wrapper off. If you've lost the cover slip, bring the book to the main Check-Out desk and speak with someone there.
What if I lose an ILL book?
Let us know early as possible, to avoid overdue fines from our library and to protect our relationship with the library that loaned the book. The lending library sets the replacement cost, which we will then charge you. Replacement costs in the past have been from $35 to $110.


Frequently Asked Questions about ILL in General

I requested two books at the same time, and one came a week later than the first. How did that happen?
We try to borrow from libraries in our state and region (NC, VA, etc.) first, but if there isn't a copy, or if nearby copies are in use, we go on to try libraries farther away. It can take over two weeks for a book to come by library rate from Oregon.
How soon will my requests arrive?
On average, articles arrive within 3 days and books arrive within 8 days. These averages are for everyone, even full professors. A good rule of thumb: allow one week for articles and two weeks for books.
Where do my books and articles come from?
ETSU has free-lend agreements with over 2,000 libraries worldwide. We have access to 40,000 more, which may or may not charge. At those libraries, a student worker, much like we have here at ETSU, will pull the book or copy the article and send it to us through the mail.
I like this book that I got from ILL. Can I just keep it and buy it from the lending library?
No. That book is the property of another library, and they want it back. Check our book ordering resources page for a good starting point for finding both recent and out-of-print books.
My professor needs me to get this book for her through ILL. How can I do that?
If you are a GA or a student worker, we strongly recommend that you get your professor's login information for his/her ILLiad account. If you use yours, you may be responsible for fines if the professor keeps a book too long.


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