Who is eligible to request items?

All current faculty, staff, and students in good standing may request items through interlibrary loan.

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How can I request an item?

Request an item by completing ILLiad's electronic request form. To access ILLiad's electronic request from go to the UMSL Libraries' home page. Log into ILLiad and select the type of request you wish to make.

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What type of items can I request?

  • Books: Almost any book not available through MERLIN or MOBIUS can be requested. It is difficult for us to obtain newly published books, and book/CD sets. Lending periods for books tend to run from two to four weeks. As a matter of policy, we do not order textbooks that have been assigned during the current semester.
  • Articles: We will process requests for articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. Articles longer than 30 pages or in a foreign language are more difficult to obtain and may take additional time. We usually cannot obtain the original journal/magazine, only copies.
  • Book Chapters: We can request copies of chapters, but it is up to the lending library to decide whether they will supply a copy of the requested chapter or the book itself. Copies are subject to the same limits on length as noted above.
  • Theses: A thesis is a formal paper prepared as part of a masters or doctoral program. Typically, only the library at the school that granted the degree retains a copy. Some libraries will not lend theses. Theses are often supplied on microfilm. If we are unable to borrow a copy of a thesis, we will try to purchase a copy for you (at your expense, with your prior approval).
  • Audiovisual and computer CD or software: Few libraries will lend these items. We will try our best to obtain them for you. We will require a "need by" date for items to be used in a classroom setting.
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What's the difference between MERLIN/MOBIUS and Interlibrary Loan requests?

The MERLIN and MOBIUS catalogs allow you to borrow books from other member libraries in the state of Missouri. Requests are immediately sent to the lending library and the books are delivered to the library of your choice within three to five working days

Interlibrary Loan procures copies of articles and book chapters and borrows books, theses, and other materials that are not available via the MERLIN/MOBIUS collections.

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Is there a cost for Interlibrary Loan requests?

There is no charge for most requests. If we need to charge you for an item, we will contact you before we process your request.

Interlibrary loan requests are not free. However, the University currently absorbs this cost as a service to its faculty, staff, and students. Just as with other books you may borrow, you are responsible for any fines incurred for materials you damage or do not return.

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Why do you ask for so much information?

We need this information to verify the citation, accurately identify sources, notify you when the item arrives, and contact you with any questions we may have:

  • Author: For books & theses, supply the author(s) or editor(s). May leave blank for journals
  • Title: For books and theses, supply the title. For articles, supply the name of the journal in which the article is found
  • Edition & Imprint: Supply any additional information such as a specific edition (if needed), publisher, and/or year published
  • Article: Indicate the author and title of the article. Leave blank for books unless you are requesting a copy of a chapter
  • Volume,Issue, Date & Pages: Please supply as much information as possible
  • Name, ID Number, Department, Student/Faculty/Staff data: We need this information to track your request and verify that your eligibility for services
  • Address: Campus and/or home address information depending on how you wish to be contacted
  • Phone:Campus, work or home number where we can reach you for questions or notifications
  • Email: Ensure that we have a valid email address for questions or notifications
  • Where found: Tell us where you found this citation in case we need to review the references you used (e.g. PsycInfo, SocioFile, MLA International Bibliography, web site, etc.)
  • Additional Information: Add a message here if there is other information that will help us find your material or if you wish to alert us to any special needs or circumstances
  • Avoid abbreviations: books and journals often have very similar or even identical titles. Incomplete or erroneous information may cause delays in fulfilling a borrowing request
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What if I don't have all the information needed?

Please supply as much information as you have. It's often helpful for us to have a copy of your bibliography or other sources. Add a note if you are unsure of the citation.

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How does the ILL process work? How long will it take?

When we receive your request, we:

  • Review the request to ensure we have adequate information
  • Verify the item is not available at the University of Missouri - St. Louis Libraries
  • Verify the item is not available from any MERLIN/MOBIUS libraries
  • Search libraries and other possible sources for the item
  • Request the item. The request goes to a series of libraries until one confirms that they can supply it. Each library has up to four business days to make this determination
  • Examine and check in the item
  • Notify patron the item is ready for pick-up or mail the item

Shipping time varies. Article and book chapters usually take from two to ten days. Books and theses typically take longer, five to 14 days. Since this is a cooperative process between libraries, we cannot guarantee delivery times.

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How can I check on the status of an item?

Log into ILLiad. Click on "Outstanding Requests" under the "View" menu.

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How was the due date determined? Can I renew an item?

Due dates are set by the lending library. We abide by their terms and conditions.

You can request renewals by logging into ILLiad.

Renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending library. If an item is marked "No Renewal" the lender has already indicated that they will not grant renewals. If a library recalls an item before the original due date, promptly return the material to us.

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What are my delivery options?

  • Books and Theses need to be picked-up at the circulation desk at the Thomas Jefferson Library. They cannot be shipped to you. Distance learners, with prior permission, may choose to have their books shipped.
  • We encourage the use of electronic delivery for your convenience. Articles can be retrieved electronically, picked up at the circulation desk at the Thomas Jefferson Library, or sent to a campus or home address.
  • Library Use Only: If a lending library designates an item as "Library Use Only" it will be kept in the Interlibrary Loan office and must be signed out for each use. If you need one of these items when the office is closed, please request assistance from the supervisor at the circulation desk
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What are the policies for distance students?

  • If you are not currently coming to campus while taking credit courses you may qualify as a distance student. Please contact the ILL Office to discuss your situation.
  • Should you qualify, we will work with you to provide document delivery services. Books are often available, but we ship books via FedEx and expect you to return them to us via FedEx, UPS or another carrier that provides tracking and insurance for the item(s); (you are responsible for the item if it is lost in shipping).
  • Not all items can be copied or sent. If you are located near another MERLIN/MOBIUS college or university, we may ask you to pickup items there.
  • Please contact the ILL office with any questions.
  • This does not apply to local online students.
  • Please refer to the Distance Students page for more information.
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