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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

Interlibrary Loan


How long does it take?

  • Articles usually arrive within 2-5 days.
  • Books take longer, those from nearby libraries often come in a few days, but 7-10 business 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 JFK Library. You must present your Eagle ID before checkout.
  • Articles can be viewed online via your interlibrary loan account. They are available for 30 days or 5 views (whichever comes first) from the time that you are notified after which they are deleted automatically. Please save or print your articles promptly to avoid losing them.

Library Use Only and other conditions:

Sometimes lending libraries send special materials to us on the condition that they are used only in the library. These materials are marked In-Library Use Only, they must not be taken out of the library. You may be asked to leave your ID or other form of collateral at the Circulation desk, to view In-Library Use Only in another part of the library. Sometimes we also see books where photocopying is not allowed, or only selected pages may be copied. It is important to respect special conditions as set by the lending library.

Where do I return my items?

Loans must be returned to the JFK Library on or before the due date. You can either drop them off inside at the circulation desk drop box during business hours, or if after hours, there are two book drops outside on either side of the main library doors.

Who is eligible?

  • You are eligible to use interlibrary loan if you are a currently enrolled student, a faculty member, and/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 and a non-refundable processing fee is typical.
  • You will also be charged for any damage to the material including (but not limited to): highlighter, underlining, pen/pencil marks, removal of pages, etc.

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.
  • Items that are On Reserve

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.

Can I order textbooks?

  • 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.
  • Interlibrary Loan Textbook policy    Effective 6/1/17   One textbook request, per title, per quarter. No duplicate textbook requests in the same quarter.  Overdue ILL books that are considered lost will be billed to the borrowers university account. Charges may be non-refundable. Patrons that fail to return ILL textbooks on time, will be placed on a library use only restriction for the remainder of the current quarter and the following quarter.

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. Additional requests will be worked on as time allows.

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.
  • 3-12 weeks is a typical interlibrary loan period.
  • Some lending libraries allow renewals, others do not.

Can I renew my loan?

The lending library decides whether a renewal is allowed or not. Sometimes we receive books from libraries that will not allow renewals. This will be printed on the ILL label on the book. Sometimes we request a renewal and the lending library still replies no; we will do our best to get a renewal for you. We will submit the renewal request on your behalf. Sometimes it takes a few days to receive a reply from the lender. 

  • If the answer is no: You will receive an email saying that the renewal request has been denied. Please return the material promptly.
  • If the answer is yes: You will receive an email with the new due date.

To request a renewal, call 509 359-2492 (leave your name, Eagle ID#, and book title) or email

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?

Yes. 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.

To cancel a request you can either email us: or call: 509-359-2492.

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 its 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 university 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 can't see the PDF file.

  • First you need to log into your ILL account (we send a link in the notification 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.
  • Be sure to download your article / chapter scan so you don't lose access to it.