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Getting Items from other Libraries: Interlibrary Loan and Universal Borrowing

If you need an item that is not owned by the UW-Madison, there are other options to explore. Universal Borrowing allows borrowing from other UW campuses, and Interlibrary Loan allows borrowing from other libraries. Make smarter requests with this guide!

Requesting books through Interlibrary Loan

Where to go to order books via Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loans are items that are requested from other libraries outside the UW system.  Be sure to check the library catalog and Universal Borrowing for the item before using Interlibrary Loan.

 

To place an Interlibrary Loan, you can use the WorldCat link on the right-hand side of the library home page.  This will allow you to search for your item and fill in all the information for you.

Be sure to include as much information on the item you are requesting as possible.  This will make the request process go much more quickly.  To learn about how to request interlibrary loans, watch the tutorial video found on the Interlibrary Loan tab.  To enlarge the video, click on the computer monitor icon in the lower right hand corner of the video.

Interlibrary Loan Policies and FAQs

 

What is Interlibrary Loan?

 

Who can use Interlibrary Loan?

What can I get from Interlibrary Loan?

 

What information do I need to place a request?

 

How long does it take?

 

Does Interlibrary cost anything?

 

How do I know when my Interlibrary Loan is ready?  What if it is cancelled?

 

How do I keep track of my Interlibrary Loan items?  Can they be renewed?

 

Do Interlibrary Loans have overdue fines or lost charges?

 

Can I get textbooks through Interlibrary Loan?

 

What if I can't find my item using Interlibrary Loan?

 

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan is a service that allows libraries (both public and academic) to share their resources across the United States.  The University of Wisconsin Law Library has loaned books to universities ranging from Texas Tech to Marquette.  Many of the items can be found in the Worldcat catalog, which is a catalog that links libraries from across the world (though we only borrow from locations in the United States).  Think of it as the largest library catalog that you can browse! 

Who can use Interlibrary Loan?

All University of Wisconsin students, faculty and staff can request materials via Interlibrary Loan.  All you need is your NetId (to log into the new Library Catalog) or your 16 digit barcode found on your Wiscard (to log into the MadCat catalog). 

What can I get from Interlibrary Loan?

You can order any materials that you would normally request from the library.  This includes, but is not limited to: books, book chapters, movies (either dvd, blu-ray or vhs), microfilm and microfiche, music, journals, articles, citations or musical scores.

What information do I need to place a request?

The more information that you give the librarians, the quicker your request can be processed!  First, ensure that all your information is accurate.  Next, include as much of the below as you can for each request:

For books -

Title

Author

Year Published

Publisher

Edition (if applicable)

ISBN OR OCLC Number (as explained in the video under the "Interlibrary Loan Requests" Tab)

For Journals/Journal Articles -

Journal Title

Article Title and Author

Year published

Volume, Issue and Page number for the article

ISSN OR OCLC Number (as explained in the video under the "Interlibrary Loan Requests" Tab)

How long does it take?

Interlibrary Loans take a little longer than Universal Borrowing, since we are requesting items outside of our system.  Allow four-five business days for article requests and five to seven business days for book requests.  The ILL staff monitor requests to ensure that they are being filled in a timely manner.  If you have questions about your request, please call us at 608-262-1149 or email us at circ@law.wisc.edu

Does Interlibrary cost anything?

The vast majority of interlibrary loans are free to students and faculty.  If there were to be a cost, you would be notified prior to our purchasing it. 

How do I know when my Interlibrary Loan is ready?  What if it is cancelled?

You will receive a notification when your interlibrary loan is ready to be picked up (at the location of your choice).  Articles are often scanned as pdfs and can be accessed electronically as soon as you receive the email.  If an Interlibrary Loan is cancelled, the reason will be included in the cancellation email that you receive.  Always feel free to ask questions about your Interlibrary Loans account by calling the Interlibrary Loan staff at 608-262-1149 or emailing us at circ@law.wisc.edu.

How do I keep track of my Interlibrary Loan items?  Can they be renewed?

You can review which Interlibrary Loan materials you currently have checked out by either reviewing your Library Catalog account or your Interlibrary Loan account.  Both can be accessed in the upper-right hand corner of UW-Madison's library homepage.  The Interlibrary Loan account page allows you to see which items you have requested, access electronic Interlibrary Loans, and request more items.  The Library Catalog account keeps track of what items are checked out to you, including Interlibrary Loan items, which are marked with a "#" in front of their title.  

Interlibrary Loans can normally be renewed at least once.  Be sure to notify staff before your item is due so we can contact the owning library in a timely manner (IE before the item is due) to ensure that you can keep the item longer.   

Do Interlibrary Loans have overdue fines or lost charges?

Interlibrary Loans have the same overdue fines as UW-Madison items.  If you lose or damage an Interlibrary Loan item, the owning library will assess the charges, and you will be charged for that item. 

Can I get textbooks through Interlibrary Loan?

Textbooks cannot be requested via Interlibrary Loan.  The reasons for this are numerous. 

1.  Most Interlibrary Loans are only available for two to four weeks, meaning you would not have access to the textbook for the enire semester. 

2.  Many institutions are unwilling to lend texts, since they are expensive and could be lost or damaged. 

3.  The process can take several weeks, which means you may be without the text for the first unit of your class.

4.  The Law Library maintains a collection of course reserves for each semester.  The text you are looking for may be right in the library, and can be checked out for two hours at a time!  Check the Course Reserve website or email us at circ@law.wisc.edu to check for your class' text. 

What if I can't find my item using Interlibrary Loan?

If your item cannot be located using the UW-Madison Catalog, Universal Borrowing, or Interlibrary Loan, then there are still avenues open to you.  If the item is relevant to the Law School Library's collection, you could place a purchase request.  The Interlibrary Loan staff can also work with you to try and locate articles online, or suggest what the next step may be for you.  As always, we want to help!  Email us at circ@law.wisc.edu