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Access Services: Interlibrary Loan Policies

Access Services include the departments for Circulation, Interlibrary Loan and Reserves.

Request Portal for Interlibrary Loan

  • ILL Request Portal*
    Use this account to receive articles or book from another library shipped to you at WSU.
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Interlibrary Loan Policies

Submit Interlibrary Loan requests online using the links on the left.

WSU's Interlibrary Loan service borrows books and obtains copies of journal articles not owned by the WSU Library. We get much of our requested material from area libraries, but ILL is not restricted to just local service. We can request material from almost any library in the U.S. 

The Interlibrary Loan Department is part of Access Services and is located at the Circulation Desk, in the second floor lobby of the Learning Resource Center (LRC). When material is received, it can be picked up at the Circulation Desk at any time during normal library hours. Copies are usually received in PDF or other text format so when we receive it, we automatically forward it to your WSU ILL account.

Who can Borrow:

Any student may use this service: undergraduate, graduate or continuing education - even if registered for only 1 course. However, students must be registered for courses in the semester during which the forms are submitted. The service is also open to any faculty member (full-time or adjunct), staff or administrator.

This service is only available to users currently affiliated with WSU. It is not available to other types of borrowers such as Alumni, WILL or ARC card holders.

Types of Materials: read carefully

We try to accommodate requests for most types of material. However, due to the lending policies of many libraries, and the guidelines set forth by the National Interlibrary Loan Code, there are some items that should not be requested for loans through ILL:

  •       Items not needed for research (leisure reading)
  •       Books on reserve in the WSU Library
  •       Books (from other libraries) to be placed on reserve at WSU
  •       Textbooks required for WSU courses
  •       Entire issue of a journal – ask for copies of individual articles instead
  •       Articles from our full text online databases
  •       Videos, DVDs, or audio compact discs (CDs). Many libraries do not lend audio or visual materials, so availability is limited. Ask the Interlibrary Loan Assistant to research availability for your specific request.
  •       Books printed this year (most public libraries will not lend)
  •       Oversize, fragile, rare, multi-volume, or reference [limited availability]
  •       Dissertations (limited availability - almost always a cost for loan is involved)
  •       ERIC documents (those with ED numbers)



We can almost always get books at no cost as a result of our membership in several library networks. However, some research libraries do charge for loans of books not readily available at other libraries. 99% of our requested books are obtained at no cost. 

If journals that you need are owned by libraries in the Worcester area, photocopies from these issues will be made at no charge. However, if we have to send beyond the local area, there is a good chance that there could be a charge for copies. The cost varies from library to library and can be anywhere from $5, $15. We make every attempt to get your journal articles at no cost, but requesting "free only" does limit obtaining photocopy requests for any hard-to-find journal titles. 

Again, each request can be different. Check with the ILL Assistant for specific answers to your questions. Please note that there are no guarantees of timely delivery; you are responsible for any charges, even if your material arrives after your deadline.

Length of Loans:

  • Article copies are yours to keep and do not need to be returned.
  • Length of loans for books are set by the lending library and apply to all borrowers, including faculty.
  • Renewals may only be requested once, and it is at the discretion of the lending library whether or not an extension is granted.


Our reputation as a borrower depends upon your prompt return of items obtained on your behalf. To ensure our continued ability to borrow from other libraries, we charge a fine of 10¢ per day per book for each day that the book is overdue.

Number of Requests:

You will need your Library barcode number (printed on the front, lower right of your WSU One Card ID) each time that you submit an ILL request. All requests must be made by submitting the appropriate online form. We cannot accept requests over the phone, e-mail or fax. 

Please note that for undergraduates there is a limit of no more than five (5) requests that can be outstanding at any one time. This means that material must be received in the Library before you can submit more requests.

Processing/ Waiting Time:

Due to recent changes in the copyright law, and the complex nature of searching for journal articles, this request form is more complicated than the one for books. Therefore, this means that it also takes longer to research and locate these titles in libraries. Receiving books through the mail depends on the delivery service used by the lending library. Over 90% of our requests are filled, and most of that material is received within 4-10 days.

If your material is available in the Worcester area, we can usually get it for you within 4-7 days. But, if we have to send outside the area, it can often take 10 days-2 weeks to receive material. We make every effort to obtain wanted items from libraries we know provide the fastest service, but please allow enough time to receive your items before your due date. Each request is different - please check with the ILL Assistant.


Subject Guide