Interlibrary Loan FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Interlibrary Loan?
- How do I request something from ILL?
- What types of materials can I request?
- What if I forget my MyCoastal Password?
- What are ISBNs and ISSNs?
- How long will it take to get something from interlibrary loan?
- How will I know when my book or article arrives?
- My ILL item is taking forever to arrive! Why is that the case?
What is Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service provided by Kimbel Library that you can use to request books, journal articles, and other materials that the Kimbel Library does not own. You simply request materials through My ILLiad and we will obtain them for you. After your returnable items arrive then you check them out from the Kimbel Library and return them back here by the due date determined by the lender. When you request journal articles we will secure an electronic copy of the article for you and post it in My ILLiad.
There is no cost to you for this service!
How do I request something from ILL?
The Kimbel Library uses a program called My ILLiad to speed the process of ILL requests. All you have to do is login to My ILLiad and set up your preferences. For your convenience, your login is the same as your Coastal login; and your personal information has been auto-filled from your Coastal account.
Search for the article that you would like using the Library’s databases. If the Kimbel Library does not already own the item or have electronic access then you will be able to click on an ILLiad link and the item information will auto-fill the corresponding citation fields for you in My ILLiad. You can check the status of your requests from your ILLiad home page.
Search for returnable items such as books and media items using the Library’s website. If the Kimbel Library does not own the returnable item that you need then search the WorldCat Database. When you find the item that you need click the ILLiad link or button and the citation information will automatically transfer and auto-fill the corresponding citation fields in My ILLiad.
My ILLiad also allows you to manually request your ILL request. All you have to do is select the corresponding type of item from underneath “New Request” on the left side of your my ILLiad homepage and you can fill the required citation fields from there.
Good citations produce faster ILL results, so if you need assistance feel free to contact the Reference Department at email@example.com or 843-349-2414.
What types of materials can I request?
Books, articles, government documents, dissertations, DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes-- just about anything that is owned by another library can be requested through Interlibrary Loan. To see what is owned by other libraries, search the WorldCat Database.
Please note: If your item is a book available through PASCAL Delivers your ILL request will be cancelled.
Some materials are USUALLY NOT AVAILABLE from other libraries. These include but are not limited to:
- Original copies of old and/or rare books, especially books published before 1900. (Reprints and reproductions are normally available.)
- Complete issues of printed magazines, journals, newspapers, or other serials
- Original archival materials (manuscripts, photographs, diaries, letters, etc. held by archives or museums)
- Library use only materials (LUO) such as reference books.
- Items considered too fragile or too difficult to send through the mail
Please let the Interlibrary Loan Department know if you have any questions about whether or not it may be possible for the library to borrow the item you need by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-349-2400.
What are ISBNs and ISSNs?
ISBN: International Standard Book Number
Most books published since 1970 have their own unique ISBN number.
ISSN: International Standard Serial Number
ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number. Almost every journal or magazine that is published has its own unique ISSN number. ISBNs and ISSNs make it easy to identify books and journals. Many indexes will give an ISBN or ISSN number as part of their citations. Searching the online database WorldCat can be a quick way to find out ISBNs and ISSNs.
Providing the correct ISBN or ISSN with your request speeds the process of filling your request! If you can't find the ISBN or ISSN for your book or journal article please ask at the reference desk of the library, email at email@example.com, or call them at 843-349-2414.
How long will it take to get something from interlibrary loan?
The average time for an interlibrary loan request to be filled is between one and eight days. The Kimbel Library ILL Dept. will normally process any request received in less than 24 hours; but the lending institution sometimes takes longer, thus slowing the process.
Please make sure you allow at least two weeks for your materials to arrive. You may check the status of your ILL item by logging onto My ILLiad.
One thing that you can do to ensure a faster delivery time for your item is to provide a good citation. For citation help please contact the Reference Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 843-349-2414.
How will I know when my book or article arrives?
You can check to see if your interlibrary loan items have arrived by logging onto My ILLiad and viewing all of your ILL items there.
ILLiad will send you an email when your items arrive. One advantage of ILLiad is that you can view the status of all of your ILL items from your My ILLiad homepage.
The link for your ILL journal articles will appear on your My ILLiad homepage and these will be there for you for at least 30 days.
All returnable interlibrary loan items can be picked up at the circulation desk of the library. If you do not pick up materials before the return date they must be sent back to the lending library and you will have to place another request for the item.
My ILL item is taking forever to arrive! Why is that the case?
It is the policy at the Kimbel Library to process received items in less than 24 hours; but it is not unusual for some of the lenders to take up to two weeks to process a request.
Here are a few normal reasons for a delay in the process:
- Most ILL returnable items like books are sent via “Library Rate” mail, which can take longer to arrive.
- The lending institution is backlogged and does not process ILL items in less than 24 hours like we do. This is common.
- Your returnable item is an infrequently used item and is kept at an off-site storage facility such as a warehouse. This can be the case at larger research institutions that have so many books it becomes necessary to keep them at a remote facility that is only accessed as needed. This can add over a week to normal response times. Most lenders are happy to lend these materials and we will email you to tell you when we this is the case.
- It is not unusual for older and rarely needed academic journals that are not available online to be housed in a remote storage facility. If this is the case we are normally notified of the extra time needed and we will email you to let you know that the material will be need extra time to be accessed.
- Your book is being read by a gremlin while en route via a US Postal Service facility and will continue on its way when it is finished.
- Your citation was missing some important information and had to be verified before processing could begin. The volume of requests could be higher than normal that day and could be moved to the bottom of the pile since it was problematic. Please contact our Reference Department if you have questions about your request before submitting it by stopping by, emailing at email@example.com or calling 843-349-2414.
Please check My ILLiad for the status of your request.If you have further questions about the status of your item please feel free to contact ILL at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-349-2400
Can I renew an interlibrary loan book?
Most of the time, interlibrary loan books can be renewed. The lender that your book was borrowed from must approve of the renewal first.
To request a renewal, logon to My ILLiad, click on the item you want renewed, and click the renew button. ILLiad will email you when your renewal has been granted and the new due date will appear in My ILLiad.
If your ILL item cannot be renewed the label (sometimes book strap) on the front will indicate this as well as the item record in My ILLiad. We usually highlight any special messages on the front of the item so that you will be sure to see it.
How many requests can I place at a time?
Request away! There is no set limit of ILL items that you can request at one time.
Please be aware that ILL due dates are different from Kimbel Library due dates.
Don’t request more items than you can use at one time! Overdue items prevent you from making more requests. When you request more than you can read at once and the items become overdue you jeopardize our ability to request an item for another patron from that institution. Please do not request too many items at once. It may be better if you spread out your requests.
*If you have overdue items we will NOT request new items for you
Who can place interlibrary loan requests?
All students, faculty, and staff members of Coastal Carolina University can place interlibrary loan requests. Requests are also filled for members of the CCU Alumni Association who have a CCU alumni library card. If you do not fall into any of these categories then please use the services of your local public library.
Does it cost anything to get materials through ILL?
There is no charge to students, faculty, staff, or alumni association members for interlibrary loan requests, but please keep in mind that Interlibrary Loan is not free. Kimbel Library pays all Interlibrary Loan costs.
Please see this link for information on overdue Interlibrary Loan materials fines.
Is there anything I can do to get materials faster?
Yes. If you need a book then check and see if the item you need is available through PASCAL Delivers. Materials requested through PASCAL Delivers are sent via statewide courier service and usually arrive within 2-3 business days. ILL requests available via PASCAL Delivers will be cancelled anyway thus slowing the process for you.
If your materials are not available through PASCAL Delivers, the best way to speed up your request is to make sure all of the information you provide is correct. If you leave out important information like authors, titles, and page numbers, your request will be slowed down because we must verify the citation information.
If you are requesting a book, adding the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) will speed up your request. If you are requesting a journal article, adding the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) will speed up your request. If you don't know how to find these numbers or if you need any other citation help ask at the reference desk, email them at email@example.com or call 843-349-2414.
What does "over copyright" mean?
According to the copyright law of the United States, a library may not request through interlibrary loan any more than five articles from the most recent five years of any journal during a one year period. If you receive an email telling you that your request is "over copyright", that means that Kimbel Library has already requested five articles from the most recent five years of that journal for the year, and we are not allowed to fill your request at this time. If you have any questions about this please contact the ILL office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 843-349-2400.