Borrowing from Other Libraries

  • How do I get a book, article, or other materials from another library?

    • Current UNCW students, staff and faculty can use our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service to borrow items not owned by Randall Library.
    • Current UNCW faculty, staff and students are eligible to borrow materials not owned by Randall Library through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
    • First time users will enter their name, address, and other personal information into the system only once, at the time of their first request. Thereafter, you log in with your UNCW username and password and need only enter the bibliographic information for your requests.
    • Whenever possible, documents are delivered electronically to your ILL account (you will receive email or text message notification).
    • Users can check the status of request(s) through their Interlibrary Loan account.
    • Log on to our Interlibrary Loan Page to create a request.
  • Can I renew an Interlibrary Loan book?

    • You may request one renewal for an Interlibrary Loan item, unless the lending library has disallowed renewals. If no renewal is possible, it will be stated on the item's white band and in the item's record in your ILLiad account.
    • Renewable items may typically be granted only one renewal, and the request must be submitted through the user’s ILL account before the item’s due date.
    • To request a renewal, log on your Interlibrary Loan account, click on the transaction number of the item you want to renew, and select "request renewal" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Your request will be forwarded to the lending library for consideration.
    • You will get an email with a new due date if the request is granted or a message requesting the return of the item if the renewal is denied.
    • For policy information, please see the Interlibrary Borrowing Policy
  • How do I receive materials ordered through Interlibrary Loan?

    • Current faculty and staff may choose to have items sent to their office through campus mail by selecting "Mail to Campus Address" as the delivery method in their ILL account profile.
    • Undergraduate and Graduate students will receive an email notification or text message and instructions when an article is available for download from their ILL account. When a loan is received, an email notification or text message is sent when the item is available for pickup at the Library Help Desk in Randall Library.
    • Distance Education faculty and students will be prompted to enter their current mailing address when creating their ILL account. Items will be mailed via UPS with return shipping provided.
    • Graduate students completing degree requirements outside of the Wilmington area may set their ILL account status to “Distance Ed Grad” and provide their current mailing address. Items will be mailed via UPS with return shipping provided.
    • Graduate students based at the Center for Marine Science may have items sent to them at CMS Myrtle Grove through campus mail. In their ILL account, students should select “CMS” as their department/major, set their status as “Distance Ed Grad,” and enter CMS/Myrtle Grove as their address.
  • I'm a UNCW student/staff/faculty, can I use other UNC libraries?

    • Yes, take your UNCW One Card to the Library Help Desk in the main library at one of the other UNC system libraries.
    • Let the staff know that you want to borrow materials through the "UNC Direct Borrowing agreement."
    • Show your UNCW One Card and be prepared to log in to your UNCW account in order to show that you are in good standing.
    • If the library does not honor your UNCW One Card, ask the staff member to call the UNCW Library Help Desk at 910-962-3272 so your status can be verified.
    • The borrowing policies of that library will apply to any items checked out to you.
  • What do the Interlibrary Loan status messages mean?

    Submitted to ILL Staff Request has been successfully submitted.
    Awaiting Copyright Clearance ILL staff checking to see if a copyright fee is required; if fee is
    required it is paid by the library up to our maximum of $30.00 USD.
    Information Needed from User A request for additional information has been emailed to the user.
    Submitted to Lending Libraries Request has been sent to potential lending libraries.
    Ready for Pickup Loan is available to check out from the Randall Library Circulation Desk.
    Received by ILL Staff Article or loan has arrived and an email notification to the user is pending.
    Selected for Library Purchase Request has been selected by Library Acquisitions to purchase for the collection. The item will be rush ordered and placed on hold for the requestor when it arrives.
    Available for Download

    Article has been posted and ready for user to download; to view articles, logon to ILL account, select “Electronically Received Articles” from the menu and select the one wanted. Articles are deleted from the ILL server after 30 days.

    Checked Out Loan has been picked up by or mailed to customer.
    Request Completed or Expired Loan was successfully returned, or article has expired and been removed from the ILL server.
    Awaiting Renewal Processing Customer has requested a renewal; ILL staff will contact the lending library for approval.
    Link Emailed to User

    The item was found in our electronic holdings or open-access online; a link to the item has been emailed to the user.

    Request Cancelled

    User or staff has canceled the request; reason for cancellation is included in email notification and available to view in user's ILL account (under "Cancelled Requests").


  • Why are some Interlibrary Loan requests being purchased rather than borrowed from other libraries?

    When placing an ILL request for a book during the fall or spring semesters you may recommend that Randall Library consider purchasing the item for the collection. To do so, select “Consider for Purchase” or “Not sure” on the request form. If you prefer to borrow the book through the traditional ILL process, select “Borrow.” 

    The criteria for this ILL-initiated purchasing program are more restrictive than for standard purchase requests, and include year of publication, cost of item, and expedited shipping availability. If the title meets the criteria, the item will be purchased rather than borrowed. If the title does not meet the criteria it will be requested for borrowing via ILL. 

    Purchased items are typically ready for check out within 7 to 12 days. On arrival the item will be placed on hold for you at the Library Help Desk and you will receive an email when it ready to be checked out.

    As a reminder, items outside these criteria may be requested by contacting your Liaison Librarian or submitting through the Suggest a Purchase form.

  • How long does it take to get an item through ILL?

    Items requested through Interlibrary Loan may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to arrive depending on the item's type, availability, and the shipping method used by the lending library. Please plan for at least 2-4 business days for journal articles, and at least 7-14 business days for books. Certain material types are less-often lent by libraries (including newly-published popular fiction and recreational media), so requests for these items may take longer to fill than for other items.