Frequently Asked Questions - Interlibrary Loan
When do I use CLS?
When do I use Interlibrary Loan?
Who can borrow items?
What types of items can I request borrow through ILL?
What are the hours that ILL is open?
How do I submit a request to ILL?
How many items can I request at a time?
How long does it take to fill an ILL request?
How are requested items sent to Gelman Library?
Is there a fee for these services?
How will I be notified? Can I call to check the status?
How long can I borrow an item?
How can I renew an item?
How do I return a borrowed item?
What are the fines for late items?
I'm a student at the Virginia Science & Technology Campus in Ashburn; who should I contact regarding ILL services?
CLS stands for Consortium Loan Service. It is a way to get books and articles quickly from a group of local libraries. This service is used when a GW library does not own the item you are seeking and one of the libraries in the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) does, or GW Libraries do own a copy but it is not available (checked out, missing or lost).
If you cannot find a book or article through Gelman Library or the other libraries listed in the WRLC catalog, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) obtains materials from libraries anywhere outside the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC). If the item you are seeking is not listed or is not available in the WRLC Catalog, then submit a request to ILL.
GW faculty, students, and staff, except those in the Colleges of Law or Medicine are eligible to borrow through Gelman and Virginia Science & Technology Campus ILL services. (Students and faculty in Law and Medicine use interlibrary loan services offered by Jacob Burns Law Library and Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library.)
Requests may be submitted for books, articles, dissertations, masters theses, microfilm and microfiche. The library which owns the item makes the decision whether or not to lend it. ILL cannot borrow noncirculating items from Reference or Rare Book collections, but in some cases photocopies of specific pages can be made from these items. Most libraries will not lend audiovisual materials, but in some cases it is possible to borrow them. Some libraries will lend dissertations and other theses; it is all decided on a case-by-case basis by the library that owns the material.
Looking for a textbook? Please visit http://www.gwu.bkstr.com/ for rental and purchase options. Interlibrary Loan is not a source for current textbooks. If you are looking for older editions of textbooks, pre-2010, we may be able to borrow those from other libraries.
Go to the Gelman Library Hours Page or the Virginia Science & Technology Campus Library Hours Page to find the hours the service desks are open. Requests can be made via the Interlibrary Loan form 24 hours a day. Books are held at the Gelman Check-Out Desk or the Virginia Science & Technology Campus Library.
You can submit ILL requests:
- via the Interlibrary Loan form
- from within some databases:
- When you have found a record for the item you want, look for the Find It button or another link to borrow this item from another library. This will take you to your Interlibrary Loan login screen, then to a request form with your citation information already filled in.
There is no fixed limit. However, during the busy parts of the fall and spring semester, we may limit the number of requests being processed at one time.
The time will vary depending on how long it takes the supplying library to process and send the request to Gelman Library. Articles generally take 1-5 days to arrive, and books generally arrive in 3-10 days.
Books are sent through the U.S. Mail, UPS, or courier services. Articles are sent through these same means, or via electronic document delivery systems.
The library does pay lending fees charged to us by other libraries. For most requests there is not a cost to you.
You will be notified via e-mail or telephone when the requested item(s) will be available for pick up from the Gelman Check-Out Desk or the Virginia Science & Technology Campus Library. You can check the status of your request by logging in to the Interlibrary Loan page, then clicking on View Current Requests.
You can borrow ILL items for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 6 weeks. The time period is determined by the library which supplies the item. Articles are supplied as PDFs or photocopies, and they are almost always yours to keep.
Most material obtained through Interlibrary Loan (from libraries outside of the WRLC consortium) may be renewed one time online via My Library Account for two weeks - these items will be specifically designated as Interlibrary Loan materials on My Library Account.
At Gelman Library, you can return your item at the Check-Out Desk or in the Book Drops. Please return items with blue ILL sleeve still in place around the cover. This will help us to update your records promptly and accurately. You may also return ILL items at the Eckles Library on the Mt. Vernon Campus or at the Virginia Campus.
Overdue items will accrue fines of 25c per day. Patrons with long overdue items may have their GW borrowing privileges blocked until the overdue items are returned and any fines or fees paid.
If you are a student at the Virginia Science & Technology Campus in Ashburn, VA, please contact the VSTC Library. You will be notified via e-mail or telephone when the requested item(s) are available for pick up from the VSTC Library. If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.