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Interlibrary Loan: FAQ


How long does it take?

Articles usually arrive within five days.

Books take longer, those from nearby libraries often come in a few days, but one week to ten days is usual for ILL.

Rare and special materials often take longer, and sometimes no library is able to lend those.

How do you contact me?

Notifications of available items and other interlibrary loan correspondence are sent to the email address on file.

Where do I pick up my items?

Physical loans can be picked up at the Circulation Desk at the JFK or the RVPT/Spokane Academic campus library. Please indicate your pickup location preference when you create your request. You must present your EWU ID before checkout.

Articles can be viewed online via your interlibrary loan account. They are available for 30 days from the time that you are notified after which they are deleted automatically. Please save or print your articles promptly to avoid losing them.

Where do I return my items?

Loans must be returned to either the JFK or RVPT/Spokane Academic Library.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible to use interlibrary loan if you are a currently enrolled student, a faculty member, or an employee at Eastern.

However, if you have very overdue ILL materials you may be blocked from borrowing more until all overdue items are returned.

Is there a charge?

There is no charge for using interlibrary loan. However, if you lose a physical item, you will be charged for its replacement cost. This amount is determined by the lending library, but a replacement fee of $100 is typical.

What can I request?

You can request the following types of items through interlibrary loan.

  • Items that are not owned by EWU.
  • Items that are checked out or missing.

If you request an item that is checked out, missing, or on reserve, please indicate this information in the notes field of the interlibrary loan request form.

What can't I request?

  • Items held in Special Collections (Rare books etc)
  • Reference books, entire journal issues, online only material, ebooks
  • Textbooks - it is very difficult to borrow recently published or updated textbooks because most libraries keep them on reserve or non-circulating so their own students and faculty can use them. We will try to borrow these for you but they often come back unfilled. You may request only one copy (per title) of a textbook per quarter. Due dates are at the discretion of the lending library.

How many items can I request?

Due to the heavy volume of requests that interlibrary loan receives, please submit no more than 10 requests per week.

How long is the loan period?

The due date for a physical item is printed on the book band. This date is assigned by the lending library and varies depending on the lending library's loan policies. One month is a typical interlibrary loan period. Some lending libraries allow renewals, others do not.

Why is my book recalled?

Sometimes a lending library will recall a book that it has lent out via ILL. This happens when the item is needed by one of their own students or professors.

This means that the borrowing period will be cut short and the book must be returned right away. We will send you an email message telling you that the book has been recalled and that the due date has changed.

Please return the item as quickly as you can- this helps us maintain a good relationship with the lending library so we can continue borrowing from them in the future.

If you still need that item you might try ordering it again via ILL and we will do our best to get it from another library. However it can be difficult, or even impossible, to reorder rare materials.

Can I cancel a request?

That depends. If we catch the request before a potential lending library receives it, we can cancel it. If the lending library has already shipped the item it is too late. Please let us know quickly if you wish to cancel a request, and we will try. It does help us save staff time and costs.

I lost my book! What should I do?

Let us know and we will contact the lender. The lending library will send us an invoice for the replacement of the book.  Replacement costs vary a great deal, and each library has it's own policies. Replacement fees can be quite high, $100 or more is typical. We will have to pass this cost on to you by adding this fee to your EWU library account. DO NOT buy a replacement copy until we find out if the lender will accept it; some libraries will not accept replacement copies.

Meanwhile keep looking for the lost book!

How do I view my article?

I just received an email notification that my article has arrived, but I cant see the pdf file.

First you need to log into your ILL account (we send a link in the email, but you can also log in directly from your ILL account page).

After receiving an email notification, go to your requests and select the appropriate request. Click on the "available to view" option. You will see information on how many remaining views are left and when the article will expire.

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Contact Us

Interlibrary Loan:

Hours: 7:00 am–3:30 pm, M–F

Phone: 509-359-2492


Fax: 509-359-4840


Problems or emergencies:
Contact the ILL department during business hours. If you need to report a problem after 4:00 pm or during the weekend, please contact the Circulation Desk 509-359-7888.