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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

Interlibrary Loan

Did You Know?

No library can own everything that users might need, so interlibrary loan fills the gap.

Our most important source of materials is our local consortium the Orbis Cascade Alliance (Summit), which is a nonprofit consortium of 38 colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Interlibrary loan between libraries works because it is reciprocal, if we borrow we must also lend in return. It's all about sharing.

In 2023 (Jan. thru Dec.)

  • We borrowed around 355 physical items (books, microfilm, DVDs, CDs etc.)
  • We received about 2,249 copies (journal articles, book chapters etc.) from other libraries.
  • We filled 600 Document Delivery requests and purchased 13 vendor supplied articles.
  • We sent 2,669 loans and 2,634 copies to other libraries.

We do pay borrowing fees to other libraries, and we also charge those libraries. However, we pay careful attention to costs by obtaining as much material as possible from libraries that don't charge us.

Interesting Places We Borrow From


We have borrowed from libraries all over the world. We borrow from large libraries, small libraries, public libraries, university and college libraries, research libraries, medical libraries, historical societies, art museums, theological libraries, music conservatories, state libraries, archives, presidential libraries, overseas libraries.

For example:

  • Library of Congress
  • Smithsonian
  • British Library
  • Harvard University
  • New York State Library
  • University of Chicago
  • Naval War College
  • Brigham Young University
  • National Library of Medicine
  • The Getty Research Institute
  • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • CIA & CDC

Sometimes we are fortunate enough to get something so special that it can only be used under supervision in the reading room of the Archives and Special Collections department.

Foreign Libraries

We sometimes borrow from (and lend to) foreign libraries, but because of the extra shipping time and costs we always check to see if we can obtain the item from a US library first.

We regularly borrow from Canadian libraries, including the National Library of Canada

Other important suppliers are the British Library and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Germany.

Sometimes we have to make special inquiries to see if we can obtain something from a library outside of the usual ILL networks. Over the years we have obtained materials from libraries in France, Great Britain, Ireland, Seoul, Italy, and other places.

Ready for Pick Up

Items requested through interlibrary loan are kept on the hold shelf at the Circulation Desk until they are checked out for use. Some lending libraries are very generous and share items that are normally non-circulating; they must be used in the library only.

Please remember to bring your Eagle ID card for quick and easy checkout when picking up your requested items.

Most Requests by...

Most Requests by Department: 2023

1. Biology

2. Physical Therapy

3. Social Work