Interlibrary Loan Policies

Interlibrary Loan Services
Collier Library
University of North Alabama
Phone: (256) 765-4308 Fax: (256) 765-4884

Online Book Request Form

Online Periodical Request Form

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)? Who is eligible?
When should I use ILL? What materials are available?
How can I make a request? How many requests may I submit?
How much does it cost? How long does it take?
What is the loan period? What might delay my request?
What are the copyright restrictions? Can requests be turned down?
Are there other restrictions? When should I check on my request?
How am I notified about arrivals? Where do I pick up the materials?
How do I return materials? How do I contact the ILL Office?

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Interlibrary loan is a service for obtaining materials that are not available in the University of North Alabama libraries. Materials needed for study and research, such as books and government publications, may be borrowed from other libraries. Photocopies of journal articles can be acquired as well.

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Who is eligible?

Full- and part-time UNA faculty members, emeritus faculty, university staff, and currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students, both those enrolled on campus and those in the distance learning program, are eligible to use the interlibrary loan service. UNA's distance learning students who reside outside of the United States may request photocopied materials via interlibrary loan, but not books. UNA's ILL service is not available to alumni, community borrowers, UNA students who are not currently enrolled, students from other colleges and universities, secondary or elementary school students, or the general public. Users not affiliated with UNA may obtain interlibrary loan services through public libraries.

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When should I use ILL?

Use interlibrary loan when UNACAT, the University of North Alabama's online catalog, indicates that Collier Library does not own the book you want or the periodical issue that contains the article you need. The Interlibrary Loan Department staff will request the material for you from another library.

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What materials are available?

Books, government publications, and certain materials reproduced in microform, such as newspapers, can be borrowed from other libraries. Photocopies of individual periodical articles can be requested in accordance with the copyright law, but not copies of entire issues. Items that are designated as missing or lost from the University's collection may also be requested through interlibrary loan.

Some libraries will allow dissertations to circulate via ILL. The interlibrary loan staff can usually determine the lending policy of the institution at which the dissertation is held. Dissertations from U.S. universities not available for loan are often available for sale from UMI Dissertation Publishing, 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, (800) 521-3042. Members of the UNA faculty, staff and current student body may search ProQuest Digital Dissertations.

The following types of materials cannot normally be requested: books owned by UNA that are currently checked out, whole periodical issues, recent newspapers, materials for reserve or for group use, reference books, audiovisual materials, textbooks, bulky or fragile items, rare or valuable material such as manuscripts, unpublished dissertations, musical scores, genealogical materials, items that would violate copyright guidelines, and materials that have been previously requested by the same individual.

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How can I make a request?

First, check UNACAT, UNA's online catalog, to see if the desired material is already in the University's print or electronic collection and to determine if UNA owns alternate materials that would satisfy your need. Search "Periodical Holding" to determine if the article is available in full-text in a database. If you are uncertain about other materials useful to your research, ask a reference librarian for help.

Interlibrary loan forms are available electronically via Internet. To submit a request, select the appropriate form for the materials you need [Online Book Request Form or Online Periodical Request Form]. Complete the online form being careful to fill out the form as accurately and completely as possible to prevent any delays in processing. Avoid using abbreviations and include the source of the citation in case the Interlibrary Loan staff needs to locate additional information to fulfill the request. Then click on "Submit" to send the request. A separate form is needed for each item requested. Accurate personal information (I.D. number, UNA box number, etc.) must be provided.

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How many requests may I submit?

There is no set total to the number of items you may request. However, you are asked to utilize local resources before requesting materials from other libraries. If you submit multiple requests you should rank them in order of importance. The workload of the Interlibrary Loan Department may not permit the immediate processing of a large number of simultaneous requests.

To minimize the number of interlibrary loan books returned unused or overdue, UNA limits borrowing to a reasonable amount that can be used within the specified loan period. Normally a maximum of 3 book requests will be processed at one time for an undergraduate student. At least one of the three borrowed books should be returned before additional books will be ordered for that student. Graduate students and faculty may normally request up to five books at one time.

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How much does it cost?

Collier Library provides interlibrary loan service to eligible users free-of-charge. However, the cost for each completed interlibrary loan transaction in the United States averages $30.00 per request. Users are encouraged to use the service judiciously to avoid unnecessary expense for the University.

Fines/Fees: If materials are not picked up within 10 days after notification of their arrival, the requester will be billed for all charges incurred by the library plus a $2.00 handling fee per transaction, even if the item arrives too late to be used. Materials should be picked up promptly upon notification.

Students will be charged a fine of one dollar a day for each day that an interlibrary loan book is overdue.

Borrowers are responsible for the charges for any lost or damaged items.

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How long does it take?

The time it takes to fill a request varies depending on such factors as whether or not the material is available and where the lending library is located. If a lending library responds quickly and telefaxes an article, it may be quickly received. However, if a request must be sent out of state for fulfillment, the delay can be lengthy. The average turnaround time needed to search, process, and receive a response for each request is between 7 and 10 business days. Delays are common, and there are no guarantees that each submitted request can be filled. You need to allow plenty of time when requesting materials through Interlibrary Loan.

Please note: ILL demand increases sharply a few weeks before midterms and finals. While the ILL staff strives to process each request as quickly as possible, some slowdown may occur. For best results, plan ahead. If your paper is due in 3 weeks or less, it would probably be best to go directly to a library to consult materials.

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What is the loan period?

The loan period for books, microforms, and other non-photocopy items is determined by the lending institution. The due date is indicated on the paper book wrap placed around the item's cover. In most cases, the loan period is two or three weeks with no renewal. Institutions that loan materials, including the University of North Alabama, reserve the right to recall items at any time for their users.

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What might delay my request?

Inaccurate information, especially inaccurate citation information, can slow the request. The single most important thing you can to do speed up your request is to fill out the entire ILL form completely. Include all requested personal information (name, ID number, address, phone number/e-mail address, etc.) Be sure that the title, issue, date, and page information for your request is correct. Verify to indicate where you found the original reference (source). Including periodical ISSN numbers can help too. ILL forms that are insufficiently filled out will not be processed, but will be returned to the requester.

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What are the copyright restrictions?

The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Photocopies or other reproductions can be furnished only under certain conditions, if they will be used solely for private study, scholarship, or research. Use of the reproduction for other purposes may make the user liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its sole judgement, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Submission of an official Interlibrary Loan request indicates the requester's recognition of and agreement to comply with copyright laws and guidelines governing duplication of materials for interlibrary loan.

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Can requests be turned down?

Yes. U. S. copyright laws and guidelines place limits on the number of articles that a library may request from any one journal for all users, not just a single individual. Requests that exceed these guidelines will be returned to the requester who will be referred to the Information Desk to seek alternate sources of information.

Inaccurate requests or requests for materials in conflict with the University's ILL policies will also be rejected. Interlibrary loan services may be suspended for any borrower who abuses this privilege by repeatedly damaging or losing materials, failing to return items on time, or who does not pay incurred fines and charges.

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Are there other restrictions?

Processing of ILL requests for undergraduate students is suspended two weeks before the end of each regular term. The end-of-semester due date for all interlibrary loan books still in use is "study day," the day between the last day of classes and the beginning of final examinations.

Lending libraries determine any restrictions regarding the use of their materials. Lender limitations such as "No Photocopying" or "In Library Use Only" must be honored.

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When should I check on my request?

Most requests are filled within one to two weeks, often sooner. About a week after submitting your request you may wish to inquire at the Circulation Desk and see if your materials have arrived. If you haven't heard from us after two full weeks and you have reason to believe that there may be a problem, feel free to contact the ILL office (256-765-4308) during business hours.

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How am I notified about arrivals?

When the material arrives, the borrower is notified either by campus mail, e-mail, or by telephone.

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Where do I pick up the materials?

Following notification, the material may be picked up at the Collier Library Circulation Desk. Distance Learning participants living an hour or more from campus will receive their materials directly by mail, fax, or courier service.

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How do I return materials?

Photocopies become the property of the requester. All other materials borrowed through interlibrary loan must be returned by the due date indicated on the book wrap. This wrapper should be left intact to facilitate accurate and prompt processing of the loan. If an interlibrary loan book is overdue, fines are to be paid at the Circulation Desk. All books borrowed through ILL are turned in at the Circulation Desk in Collier Library. Students enrolled in Distance Learning courses should mail the borrowed book(s) back to the Interlibrary Loan Office, Collier Library, Box 5028, University of North Alabama, Florence, AL 35632-0001. Distance education students should submit payment for any fines or photocopy charges to this same address.

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How do I contact the ILL Office?

The Interlibrary Loan Office is located on the second floor of Collier Library. For more information, come by the Interlibrary Loan Office or call (256) 765-4308 during normal working hours. The normal hours of service are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., CST, Monday through Friday. (Service times may vary during interim periods, summer sessions, and holidays.)

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