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Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Office borrows materials from and lends materials to other libraries in the United States and many other countries.

We will endeavor to fill requests as quickly as possible, but due to reduced staffing levels there may be some delays.

Due to COVID-19 measures taken by other campuses, lending libraries may have staffing and/or copying & lending restrictions in place which can cause additional delays.

  • Estimated turnaround times:
    • Articles & Book chapters 3-5 days
    • Entire Books 7-14 days. ILL books are physically shipped, usually by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Items may arrive sooner depending on how quickly the lender processes & sends an item, and how far an item needs to travel (for books). These times are estimates and cannot be guaranteed.
  • For books: Use MERLIN and MOBIUS when possible - they can usually be processed & shipped more quickly than interlibrary loan books.

What We Do

The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Office borrows materials from and lends materials to other libraries in the United States and many other countries.

ILL handles requests for:
  • copies of articles and book chapters
  • requests for books not available at UMSL or through other MERLIN/MOBIUS libraries
  • requests for books and articles in the ITE storage area

All current UMSL faculty, staff, and students are welcome to use ILL services.  If you have any questions, please contact us at (314) 516-5066.

Before requesting an item through ILL, please:

  1. Check in-house resources (MERLIN/MOBIUS/Prospector catalogs, electronic subscriptions, and databases) before requesting materials via Interlibrary Loan.
  2. Limit requests to ten or fewer per week so we can process all requests in a timely manner.
  3. Understand that requests take time to process and fill. If you choose to enter a "Need By" date, the system will automatically cancel and delete your request when that date passes.  Most people should not use that option.

Important Notes

  1. Interlibrary Loan items are borrowed according to the terms and conditions of the lending library (the library that loans UMSL the item).  There is no standard loan period.
  2. Renewals are solely at the discretion of the lending library.
  3. Replacement terms and costs for lost items vary according to the lending library and the item borrowed.
  4. ILL items are seldom recalled, but if they are, please return the item as soon as possible.
  5. Please return items on-time and in good condition. Late and lost items can jeopardize our ability to borrow from other libraries.

Having problems with Interlibrary Loan requests?