This is the "Getting Started with ILL" page of the "Interlibrary Loan" guide.
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Interlibrary Loan   Tags: ill, interlibrary loan, library basics  

This guide covers all aspects of CIIS interlibrary loan services.
Last Updated: Feb 17, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started with ILL Print Page

About Getting Started

Getting Started with Interlibrary Loan

How do I know that Interlibrary Loan is the best way to get a book?
(Steps to take before requesting a book)
Interlibrary Loan book requests should be submitted after checking for the item in the CIIS Library catalog as well as your local public library's catalog. In short, if there's an easier, quicker way to get the book, check there first, for your own benefit, as well as ours.

How do I know that Interlibrary Loan is the best way to get a journal article?
(Steps to take before requesting an article)
Similar to books, you should check to make sure that the CIIS Library (and your local public library) doesn't already own or have access to the journal article you want before requesting it through ILL. Searching for articles in journals available at CIIS is a bit different than books, we recommend getting assistance with learning how to search for journal articles by making an appointment with one of our Reference Librarians. You can also use Serials Solutions, a comprehensive list of CIIS print and online journal holdings that you can search by journal title. If you don't see the issue containing the article you want in the CIIS holdings, and your local public library doesn't have it, put in an ILL request for it.

Can I use Interlibrary loan to get required readings for my classes?
Interlibrary Loan cannot be used for required readings. Your required readings may be on reserve at the CIIS Library, and others may be available for sale at the InnerLight bookstore.

How do I fill out an ILL request?
**It is very important that you put the correct citation information in your request to ensure that your request is quickly and accurately filled.** The Library offers resources on writing & citations on its Web site. Fill in as many of the fields on the request form as you can to speed up the processing; at the very minimum you must fill in the fields labeled "required". Information like date published and ISBN can often be found on book publishers' Web sites or on If you'd like further assistance on citations, you can e-mail askref [at] ciis [dot] edu or make an appointment with a Reference Librarian. Sometimes we get ILL requests that lending libraries cannot fill due to incorrect citations, which means we have to cancel the requests and patrons have to resubmit them with correct citations.
Note: If you click through ProQuest or another database Web site that automatically fills out the ILL request form for you, PLEASE double-check the accuracy of the citation BEFORE you submit. ProQuest does NOT always correctly autofill the ILL form, and we have to cancel requests that are improperly cited.

How many requests can I submit?
Each patron can submit 10 ILL requests per week. If you submit more, we will process the rest the following week, in the order they were submitted. We strive to provide prompt service to all of our patrons, and in order to ensure that everyone's requests are going through in a timely manner, we need to limit the number of requests we process per person per week.

When should I set a MaxCost higher than $0?
Many materials requested through interlibrary loan are available free of charge from reciprocal lending libraries. However, not all materials are available for free and if you know that there is an item that you would be willing to pay for, especially if it is an obscure, out-of-print, or foreign language book or an article from a minor, out-of-print or foreign journal, please set the MaxCost higher than $0 in order to optimize processing time. We will always make every effort to obtain material for free, regardless of the MaxCost set when you submit the request.

Invoices for materials you elect to pay for are posted on your library Koha account when we receive the invoice from the lending library. You can pay it by cash, check or credit card in person in the Library Office or by calling 415-575-6184.

How many items can I have checked out at a time?
Each patron may have a maximum of 10 physical loan items - including books, dissertations, and A/V materials - checked out at a time. This does not include photocopies of book chapters or articles. There is no limit to number of articles checked out at a time, but see above policy for limitations on requests you can submit per week.

How does copyright affect my Interlibrary Loan requests?
Due to copyright restrictions that the Library is bound to, we cannot fill requests for:
More than one article from the same journal issue at once. Note: You may request articles from the same volume at the same time, as long as they are not in the same issue (example: journal – Dreaming, year - 2003: vol. 13, no. 4, pages 193-209; vol. 13, no. 1, pages 3-12).
If you need more than one article from a journal issue, consider your options for accessing the entire issue - check other local libraries, or consider purchasing it.

More than one chapter from the same book at once.
If you need several chapters from a book, consider requesting the entire book.


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