Interlibrary Loan FAQs, Policies, and Guidelines

What is Interlibrary Loan?
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a system by which libraries share their materials. It relies on cooperation among libraries at the national and international levels.
  • The ILL staff borrows materials and obtains articles for students, faculty and staff not available at the Cal Poly Humboldt Library.
  • ILL users are expected to have checked OneSearch before submitting an interlibrary loan request. 
What sort of materials can be requested on ILL?
  • Material that is not available at Humboldt.
  • Generally, books, journal articles, microfilm, government documents and conference proceedings are available through ILL.
  • Videos, DVDs, audio books, sound recordings, theses and dissertations are sometimes, but not always, available.
How much does it cost?
  • The Library absorbs all costs associated with most ILL transactions allowing users free access to ILL services. On occasion, we incur charges above what we are able to subsidize and it is necessary to pass these charges on to the user. We will not process such requests without the user’s informed consent.
Is there a limit on the number of items I can borrow?
  • There is no limit on the amount of material you can request, however, during busy periods we may need to restrict the amount of requests per person per day to 10.
What is not available for loan?
  • Print newspapers and manuscripts.
  • Most materials that are classified as Reference or Special Collections items.
  • The most recent edition of textbooks.
May I borrow titles owned by the Cal Poly Humboldt Library?
  • If a title is checked out or missing from the collection, it may be requested on ILL.
  • If the title is only available as an e-book and a print version is preferred, it may be requested on ILL.
How will I know when ILL material has arrived?
  • When loaned ILL material arrives, you will be notified via email.
    • Electronic material: most articles are received electronically and you will be sent email notification when it becomes available. You will then be able to access it online through your ILL account.
    • Some articles are in PDF formats and will be sent to you as an email attachment.
    • Some articles are in hardcopy. We will send you an email to pick it up at the Checkout desk.
What are my responsibilities?
  • Material borrowed for you should be used within the time allotted by the lending library and treated with care. Report any accidents or damage to the ILL staff immediately.
  • Charges incurred by the Cal Poly Humboldt Library due to loss or damage of material while in your possession will be passed on to you.
  • Borrowed material is expected to be returned on time to the Circulation Desk or ILL Department. Do not return to a book drop.
  • Libraries loan to us as a courtesy. To maintain our reputation as a borrowing library and to retain our borrowing privileges among lenders, we must adhere to the rules and restrictions imposed by those libraries. Therefore, the ILL staff reserves the right to deny service to any user who abuses the ILL system and jeopardizes our ability to deliver quality service to our patrons. Abuses include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Consistently failing to return ILL material on time
    • Failure to return items within 5 days of a recall notice.
    • Refusal to acknowledge or respond to overdue notices.
    • Defacing ILL material or any accompanying paperwork.
How long may I keep materials?
  • The lending library assigns the due date which will be clearly marked on the book band.
Are there fines for overdue materials?
  • Yes! You will be charged $1 per day for overdue items.
Are renewals allowed?
  • Renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending library.
  • Renewals must be requested before the due date. To request a renewal, logon to your ILL account and choose the “View/Renew Checked Out Items” button. You will be notified when the lender approves or denies the renewal.
  • If you have already had a renewal or if the renewal has been denied, do not hold on to the book! Come see us or give us a call. We can request the item from a different lender and work with you to ensure your research continues with minimal disruption.
I still have questions. Where can I go for help?
  • The ILL Office is located on the first floor of the library, down the corridor behind the Checkout Desk. We are open Monday through Friday 8am–5pm.  You can call us at 826-4889, send us an email or drop by the office with questions or concerns.
  • Your feedback is important, and we welcome suggestions on how to better serve our users.