What Is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a free service that supplements our library's collections by providing patrons access to materials owned by other libraries across the country. If you are a Randolph-Macon College student, faculty or staff member, the library can borrow books, obtain copies of journal articles and occasionally borrow materials in other formats from another library.

Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions about our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service:

Current ILL Users

Forgot your password? That's ok, just let us know at ill@rmc.edu so we can reset it for you! Or, if you'd rather, you can use our reset password link.

New ILL Users

1. How Do I Request a Book or Article Using Interlibrary Loan?:  FIRST, be sure to check MaconCat and Journal Title Search before you make a request to verify that the McGraw-Page Library does not already have the materials that you need. 

The preferred method of submission for ILL requests is via your ILLiad account. ILLiad is a full-service electronic ILL system. To create an account, see the link at the top of this page. After you have created an account, you may logon to the account to fill in the ILL request forms. Also, you may send requests directly into ILLiad from most of the library's databases, and the information on the form will be automatically filled out for you after you logon!

Faculty and staff may continue to submit paper or email ILL requests; however, due to the sometimes lengthy processing time these require, requests made outside of the ILLiad system may be significantly delayed.

You may track the current status of all of your ILL requests via ILLiad, as well as view a history of your past requests. You may also easily cancel requests or resubmit previous requests, view due dates of loaned items, or submit a request for the renewal of a loaned item. 

The system is available for use 24/7 from any internet-connected computer, and all electronically-received articles reside on the library's server for 30 days, no longer filling up your valuable email space. 

2. How Fast Can I Get My Materials Through Interlibrary Loan?:  Every effort is made by the Interlibrary Loan staff to handle each request expeditiously. However, there are inherent time delays after the request leaves this library that prevent us from guaranteeing that material will be received within a specific time period. You must allow sufficient time for your requests to be processed. The average turnaround time is three to five days for copies of articles and three to fourteen days for books, excluding holidays and weekends. Borrowers are encouraged to submit ILL requests well in advance of deadlines.

3. How Much Does Your Interlibrary Loan Service Cost?:  Generally there is no cost for the borrower. The library pays for any borrowing and shipping charges incurred. The exceptions to this are in the event of damage to or loss of a book or other loaned item for which the lender bills us. The average cost to the library of an Interlibrary Loan transaction is approximately $30, so please only request materials you will use. This helps both us and the lending library keep costs at a minimum.

4. What Kinds of Materials Can I Request?:  Books and journal articles that the library does not either own or subscribe to may be borrowed through ILL. We cannot request books through ILL that have been checked out from our library. You must instead place a hold on the item, please see the Library Information Staff for assistance. We also cannot request through ILL books that the library has ordered that have not yet been received and cataloged (these show as being 'On Order' in MaconCat. Most lending libraries do not lend items from special collections, bound volumes of periodicals, microfiche/microfilm, or audio-visual materials. Theses/dissertations can be borrowed only by faculty and by students working on SURF or senior projects with the approval of their faculty advisor. Course textbooks available for purchase at the bookstore should not be requested through ILL. 

5. How Will I know When My ILL Item Has Arrived?:  Generally we will notify you by R-MC e-mail when an interlibrary Loan book is ready to be picked up at the Library Information Desk. ILL books not claimed within two weeks will be returned to the lending library. 

Copies of journal articles that arrive electronically will be sent to your ILLiad account drop box. You can see these articles by clicking on the 'View Electronically Received Articles' link. Articles that arrive as paper copies can be picked up at the Library Information Desk. Faculty who have elected not to receive electronic copies can also pick up their articles at the Library Information Desk. Some lenders also send electronic copies of articles to us directly by email and a new system called Article Exchange, we will forward those to your campus e-mail address.

6. How Long Can I Keep an ILL Item?:  Copies of articles are yours to keep until your research has been completed. Upon your research completion you must, due to copy right regulations, dispose of your article copy. Articles received in your ILLiad account will be automatically deleted after 30 days.

Books are generally loaned to us for eight weeks with no renewal. However, there are some libraries that will only lend an item for two weeks or some other time period. Please, if you need more time, log into your ILLiad account and request a renewal, or contact the ILL Staff and they will be happy to request an extension for you (there is no guarantee, however if a lender will grant an extension!). It is up to the borrower to be mindful of and honor the due date of each item as a courtesy to the lending library.

Overdue materials may result in an unwillingness by another library to lend us additional items. Students with very overdue materials may be blocked from both using Interlibrary Loan or borrowing our library materials, as well having a block placed on their account at the Registrar's Office. All items should be returned to the Library Information Desk. As with books you borrow from our library, you may return your ILL books to Campus Safety if the library is closed.