Inter Library Loans: Your Questions Answered

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What is an Inter Library Loan (ILL)?

Do you have a book you really need which isn’t in the Library Catalogue? Fear not! With Inter Library Loans (ILL) you can send in a request and we’ll search other libraries (from all over the world!) for you. This isn’t just limited to books, you can also request Journal Articles.

Just make sure you’ve fully checked our Catalogue and Full Text Finder before making a request!

The Library Catalogue and Full Text Finder can be accessed through the Library Intranet Page.


So how do I request items?

You can request items by searching the Library Catalogue, scrolling to the bottom and clicking in the yellow box pictured below:


Then, fill out the appropriate forms to the best of your knowledge and request!


What if I’ve found the book I need on the catalogue but there aren’t any copies left?

The best thing to do is place a reservation on the book. This will send a recall notice to the person who currently has it, asking them to bring it back.  The reservation prevents them from renewing it so they HAVE to bring it back by its due date (if they don’t bring it back they will incur fines).

To place a reservation, just look for the book on the catalogue, if there are no copies available then you’ll be able to reserve the book. Simply click the reserve button and enter your library card number (the number on the back of your student card).


How long will it take for my ILL item to arrive?

Our usual wait time is usually between one to three weeks, though this is entirely in the hands of the lending library and the delivery firm! Of course, we will try and keep you as informed as possible when requesting, especially if you let us know any time constraints or issues.


How long can I borrow the item?

It is up to the lending library as to how long they wish to issue their books, but on average they often issue them for roughly a month.


Can I renew ILL items?

Usually you can. Pop an email to to request a renewal and our team will be happy to assist! After you’ve e-mailed us, we’ll contact the lending library who will then let us know if it can be renewed and how long for.

If the renewal is declined by the lending library, you must bring the book back before the due date or fines will be incurred! Of course, if this happens and you still need your book, let us know and we can try to order a replacement copy.


How/when will you contact me?

All correspondence will be through your University email, so ensure once you’ve made your request that you keep checking!


I’m a Staff Member, can I charge to my department?

Yes, staff are charged £2.50 per request for the service. Notify us in the Notes field that you wish for it to be charged to your department and make sure you include your cost-code.


What if I’m a distance learner and need to use the service?

Yes, that is absolutely fine.  If you request an article we will be able to post it to you; just send us an email at with the request details and your postal address. In certain cases we may be able to email them to you instead.

Book requests differ as we will be unable to post them to you. You may still request books via inter library loans using the online request form, but they must be collected and returned in person.  If completely necessary for your course, we suggest you try your nearest public library.


I have more questions – who can I contact?

If you have any questions or queries about inter library loans, feel free to drop us an email on and our team will be happy to help!