University Libraries
Interlibrary Loan FAQ

What is Interlibrary Loan? Who is eligible?

This service is offered to current University of Memphis students, faculty, and staff both on and off campus, and to Belhaven College, Memphis campus students on a special basis. All non-University of Memphis users except for Belhaven College, Memphis campus students, including those with library-issued borrower cards, should contact the Memphis Public Library & Information Center or other appropriate institutions to obtain interlibrary loan service. 

What materials CAN and CANNOT be obtained?

ILL is a library-to-library transaction and is regulated by the Copyright Law (U.S. Code, title 17) and the policies of the American Library Association Interlibrary Loan Code. ILL provides access to most books, journal articles, microforms, conference proceedings, and other research materials not owned by the University of Memphis Libraries. Some material may notbe available through Interlibrary Loan. This material includes: 
  • Textbooks 
  • Any request which may violate copyright limitations 
  • Entire issues or volumes of periodicals. Photocopies of specific articles may be requested. 
  • Reference books 
  • Rare materials, including manuscripts 
  • Bulky or fragile materials that are difficult to ship 
  • Audiovisual materials 
  • Genealogical material, except when needed for research 

How much does it cost?

The library pays all fees and delivery charges for current University of Memphis faculty, staff, and students. Belhaven College, Memphis campus students are charged a fee of $3.00 per item. However, the average cost to the library is $30.00 per item, so please be judicious in choosing the materials you request. Keep in mind that if you lose or do not return interlibrary loan materials on time, fines will be assessed to your account through the Bursar's office. Late fees are $1.00 per day, per item, and if the material is lost, you will have to pay for it at a rate to be determined by the loaning library.

How do I submit requests?

BE AWARE; Before you submit a request...Please check local availability in the University's Catalog Classic and online full-text resources. If the ILL staff finds that the University already owns the item that you have requested, they won't send it to you. Requests must be submitted electronically through your online ILLiad account. You can also make requests electronically through any of the FirstSearch databases. If you need help setting up your ILLiad account, filling out the online request forms, or using one of the FirstSearch databases to fill out the forms, you may emailor call the ILL office during regular business hours. Please take care to fill out your request as accurately and completely as possible to prevent delays in ordering. The more complete the form, the better your chances of getting the requested material. Please avoid using abbreviations, and do include the source of your citation in case the Interlibrary Loan staff needs to locate additional information to fulfill your request. 

You MUST use your University of Memphis-issued email account when requesting items.

All official University of Memphis communication is sent to your account. If you are accustomed to using a different email account (such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc.), you can have your mail forwarded to that account using the University's ID Management System, which can be accessed at You will need a valid UUID and password to access this site. For more information on the UUID and password, please click here. Belhaven College, Memphis campus students should use their Belhaven College email addresses.

How long does it take?

Usually, it takes 7-10 working days from the time your request is processed to the time the material is checked out to you and waiting at the Circulation Desk for pickup. However, this length of time is dependent upon many factors: which library has the material you have requested, how far away they are, whether the material is currently checked out to another borrower, if it is term paper time, and whether the Interlibrary Loan Department has an abnormally large number of requests to fill.... Rest assured that the Interlibrary Loan staff will work their hardest to fill your request as soon as they possibly can. 

How will ILL notify me?

You will be notified that your material has arrived via your University of Memphis email account. If you do not know your email address, please click here to go to the University Information Systems Help Desk's page on UUIDs. Belhaven College, Memphis campus students will be notified via their Belhaven College email addresses.

Where do I pick up my materials?

Your materials will be waiting for you at the McWherter Library Circulation Desk. You may pick up your materials any time that the Circulation Desk is open and staffed. In order to pick them up, you MUST bring your University of Memphis ID as proof of who you are. If you are picking up an item for another person, you MUST bring that individual's ID card, or that individual must have previously completed a Proxy Borrower Application and had you approved as a "proxy borrower." If you do not have an ID card, or would like more information about ID cards, please visit the Identification Card Information page in the Business and Finance section of the U of M Web site. 

If you are an Extended Programs student, you may not have been given an ID, or it may be difficult for you to get to the main U of M campus. In that case, arrangements can be made to have the materials delivered to you. Please be sure to note on your request forms if you are an Extended Programs student so that we can accommodate your needs.

Belhaven College, Memphis campus students must present their Belhaven IDs to pick up materials.

When are ILLs due back?

When you pick up your ILL materials, you will notice a paper band strapped around your items. Please do not remove this band. It has the due date for your item on it, along with other important information. The length of time you may have the material is determined by the loaning library, not by the University of Memphis' ILL department. The time can vary from 10 days to 1 month. If you need more time with the material, sometimes it is possible to renew it. For more information on renewal, see the section on renewals.

It is very important that you return ILL materials on time.

If you don't, not only will you be fined $1.00 per day for each overdue item, but you also will be jeopardizing the University of Memphis' relationship with the loaning library. A seriously overdue item will also result in a suspension of your Interlibrary Loan privileges. 

Please do not put materials borrowed through Interlibrary Loan into any of the campus bookdrops.

Return all materials (except photocopied articles, which are yours to keep) to the Circulation Desk at the McWherter Library. Be sure to hand them to a person: please do not just leave them on the desk and hope for the best. 

Can I renew ILL materials?

Renewals are done at the discretion of the loaning library. If the loaned material is eligible for renewal, that information will appear in your notification email and in your ILL Item Due notice. You must renew online through your ILLiad online account. If you need help, please emailor phone the ILL office during regular business hours. 

Keep in mind that once an item is overdue, it cannot be renewed.

What if I lose or damage materials?

If you lose or damage material ordered through Interlibrary Loan, you will most likely have to pay to replace the item, a price which is determined by the loaning library. You will also have to pay whatever has accumulated in overdue fines, which are $1.00 per day. Repeated loss of or damage to material may result in a suspension of interlibrary loan privileges. 

Please be nice to library books! Be gentle with microforms! Love your loaned items!

And if you still have questions...

Please feel free to contact Interlibrary Loan staff. We are here to help. 
Regina Cade--Library Assistant, Lending, 901-678-8222
Wayne Key--Library Assistant, Borrowing (books), 901-678-2262
Paula Phillips--Library Assistant, Borrowing (articles and microforms), 901-678-8220 
Interlibrary Loan

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The University of Memphis | University Libraries | 126 Ned R. McWherter Library | Memphis, TN 38152-3250
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Last Updated: 9/9/14