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Interlibrary Loan Services: Frequently Asked Questions

Interlibrary Loan Services at the Florida State University Libraries is powered by ILLiad – an Inter Library Loan Internet Access Database – that allows the researcher to request, track and receive information seamlessly and with minimal assistance from library staff.

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a library-to-library service that allows FSU patrons to borrow materials owned by other libraries.  The FSU library acts as an intermediary with other libraries, working to identify potential lenders of the item and arranging for its use by the requesting patron.  ILL does not work with publishers, corporations or book vendors.  Interlibrary Loan Services at the Florida State University Libraries is powered by ILLiad – an Inter Library Loan Internet Access Database – that allows the researcher to request, track and receive information seamlessly and with minimal assistance from library staff.

What is the purpose of Interlibrary Loans?

  • ILL is intended to supplement the resources offered by the FSU Libraries. No library can carry every book or journal, and it sometimes becomes necessary to reach out to another library which may own items our patrons need to use.

Are there any legal issues in using Interlibrary Loans?

  • When you submit a request for an ILL item, you accept responsibility for complying with Copyright Law.  Some of the legal permissions governing ILL include:
    Books: First Sale Doctrine (Section 109 of the Copyright code) grants the library permission to borrow and lend "returnables."
    Articles/Book Chapters: Under certain conditions specified in the Copyright law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproductions (Section 108 of the Copyright code). One of those specified conditions (“Fair Use”) is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research". If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use", that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

What if I need more than one or two chapters from a book?

  • ILL is not intended to be used as a substitute for purchasing a book or issue of a journal nor for subscribing to a journal.  If you need multiple chapters from a single book, please submit an ILL LOAN request for that book, or recommend the title for purchase through the Material Request Form.

Who is eligible to use Interlibrary Loan?

  • Current faculty, staff, and students presently enrolled in classes may use ILL.
  • Retired faculty maintain FULL library privileges for life, including ILL and UBorrow.
  • College of Law and College of Medicine provide interlibrary loan service for their community.
  • FSU students, staff, and faculty at the Panama City, Florida campus should consult the Panama City Library and Learning Center.
  • Alums, Friends of the Library, and Special Borrowers are not eligible to use interlibrary loan services

What information must be provided to register for Interlibrary Loan?

  • Please use your Canvas/registrar credentials - Username (FSUID – the designation before the “@” in your FSU email address) and Password - to access registration page.
  • Please fill out ALL fields completely and accurately.
  • Please note: you are responsible for insuring that your personal profile in ILLiad is kept up to date.

Who is considered a Distance User?

FSU Faculty and Students who live beyond 50 miles of the Tallahassee Campus meet the criteria for service to Distance Users and may have research materials mailed to their home address. You must have a valid email address in order to receive communication and articles from FSU ILL.

Contact information for the FSU Libraries distance learning team can be found at and more information is available at FSU ONLINE:

Why do I need a username and password to use ILLiad?

Canvas FSUID and password creates a secure environment for your personal information and request history.
Also, FSU requires all communication to be carried out via the official or email accounts:

“University-provided email addresses are to be used for all student and employee official university communications; external accounts, such as Gmail, should not be used for official university communications.”
(FSU Information Technology Services Bulletin, July 2018)

Why don't I see all my older requests when I look at my request history?

From time to time we purge older records from ILLiad.  Our policy is to keep requests online for several years in order to comply with record keeping requirements of the copyright law. Also UBorrow requests are not shown on the ILLiad record.

What items are difficult to obtain?

Materials that other libraries usually do not lend include:

  • Entire journals (a limited number of articles may be requested from individual issues using the article request form)
  • Reference / Reserves Books (book chapters may be requested using the article request form)
  • Special Collections Items
  • “E-Books”
  • Textbooks
  • Standardized Test Preparation Materials
  • Multimedia – computer software, audio tapes, VHS tapes
  • Bestsellers and popular fiction
  • Recently Published materials (new materials may be suggested for purchase using the Materials Purchase Suggestion Form)
  • Embargoed dissertations/theses where the author has restricted access to the work.

What if the Interlibrary Loan item I requested is not available?

ILL will make every attempt to locate and request the loan of an item or article.

However, for an ILL request to be successful, ILL has to ascertain that a) the item is owned by a library and b) the owning library is willing to loan the item.  As a result, not every item will be available for loan, and you will be notified that it is presently unavailable. The request may then be referred to the Subject Specialist Librarian for purchase consideration or to find an alternate means of securing the item.

I don't have an FSU card. How can I locate my library card number?

Even without an FSU card, you can access your library card number through the OMNI portal.

Login to the OMNI portal at, and beneath the "MyFSULinks" panel, expand the "myFSU Identity Management" folder. Click on "My Profile." Depending on your security settings, you may or may not be asked to confirm two-factor authentication. Your library card number will be on the left-hand side of the page under the 'My Information' heading. You may have to expand the heading if this is your first time visiting this portal.

How much does Interlibrary Loan cost?

Florida State University Libraries absorbs the cost of Interlibrary Loan materials in order to support the research and instruction at FSU.  Please note that while this cost is free to you, the FSU Libraries are invoiced for copyright, shipping, and lender fees; the average cost for FSU for each item borrowed can be as low as $20 or as high as $150.

How long does it take to receive the item I request?

In most cases articles requested with complete citations are fulfilled electronically and are available within hours of the request; however, some articles can take up to three days.

Delivery time of loans may vary due to availability and distance of the owning library, and method of sending the item.  Should we not be able to obtain an item, we would notify you that it is unavailable through ILL.

How can I check on the status of a request I placed?

You can check on the status of your requests by logging into your ILLiad page, and checking under "Outstanding Requests".  Once ILL receives an item, it will be processed and an email sent to out via the email address in the ILLiad user information data, with instructions on where/how to access your items. 

When are Interlibrary Loan materials due?

The lending library determines the due date and condition of the loan such as "In-Library-Use-ONLY" or "No Renewals".   This information will be displayed on the book-strap attached to the book by the ILL staff. PLEASE do not remove this book-strap, as it will be needed to properly process the return of the item to the owning library.  Renewals may be requested as long as the item is not overdue; however, it is up to the owning library to approve or deny such a request, and you will be notified as to that decision.

Where do I pick up my items?

Articles delivered electronically will be sent to you via your email address used in your ILLiad registration, usually as a .PDF file.
Books may be picked up at the service desk of the Location site you specified when you registered. Full details will be sent to you when you are notified that the item has arrived.

Faculty and Teaching Assistants may register for the Library Express Delivery Service to have ILL and UBorrow books delivered to their department offices:

How do I renew my items?

Renewals must be requested at least a week before the due date.  You will find a “renew request” button next to the title you wish to renew.  A request is then submitted to the owning/lending library, which will either grant or deny the request.  You will be notified by email if the renewal is approved and the new due date will appear in your ILLiad account of current items.

How do I return the materials?

Books may be returned to any campus library service desk (Strozier, Dirac, Law, Medicine, Engineering). Please do not return the item in the campus book drop boxes, or remove the book-strap from the item.

  • Items picked up at the Allen Music Library will need to be returned to the Allen Music Library circulation desk.
  • FSU Distance Users should use a service with a tracking mechanism to return ILL materials.
  • FSUPC Distance Users may return their ILL materials to the Panama City, Florida Campus Library.

What happens if the materials are overdue?

Interlibrary Loan is a library-to-library transaction.  As a result, overdue, damaged and/or lost books impact the FSU Community at large.  To insure unrestricted access to the collections of our interlibrary loan partners, departmental protocol suspends ILL privileges; creates invoice for replacement costs; blocks all library services until invoice is paid and limits future ILL requests for books to “in-library-use only”.  Lost or damaged items should be reported to the ILL office immediately.

Who do I contact if I have questions about Interlibrary Loan or UBorrow request or need technical support?

  • Interlibrary Loan staff can be reached during business hours at 850.644.4466 or by email at
  • UBorrow information and questions: call 850.644.5959 or emailed to
  • ILLiad Technical Support (e.g., problems with logging in) is provided by James (Jim) Snowden at

What is UBorrow?

UBORROW allows you to request materials directly from participating libraries within Florida's state university and college systems. This unmediated borrowing service increases your access to the collections of the other universities and colleges in Florida and delivers more quickly than standard Interlibrary Loan. To locate items from other institutions, search FSU Libraries OneSearch and expand your search in the search bar to include “Statewide Catalog”. Items not available for loan at FSU Libraries will include a link to complete the Uborrow form.


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