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Wednesday, March 04, 2015
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Interlibrary Loan:Information Delivery Services

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service provided by the Information Delivery Services Department that attempts to borrow materials from other libraries for you that are not available in the NIU University Libraries. Please see the FAQs below for more information.

To order books, video recordings, sound recordings, dissertations, and more:

  • First, try I-Share to look for and borrow materials from libraries in Illinois.
  • Next, try WorldCat to look for and borrow materials from libraries outside of Illinois.
  • Finally, submit an NIUILLiad request if you do not find the item in the above catalogs.

  • To order journal articles and photocopies:

  • First, see our e-journals page to search for the journal.
  • Next, search for the journal in the online catalog.
  • Finally, if you do not find the journal, submit an NIUILLiad request for the article (note: SFX also links to this form).

  • More information about the Campus Document Delivery service for faculty and staff.
  • All ILL notifications will be sent to official NIU email accounts only.


    Who is eligible for ILL services?

    • Currently enrolled Northern Illinois University students, including branch students
    • All current and retired Northern Illinois University faculty and staff
    • Members of Northern Illinois University Friends of the Library
    • Courtesy Card holders are NOT eligible for this service.

    Do I have to pay for this service?

    ILL services are provided free to all eligible NIU patrons. However, patrons may accrue fees and fines for late, damaged, or lost materials from other institutions. See the Information Delivery Services Policy for details.

    How long will it take to get my materials?

    Books, video and sound recordings, and other loan materials take an average of 14-21 days to arrive. Articles and other photocopies may arrive between 3-21 days. The time it takes to borrow materials is dependent upon the rarity of the material, how many other libraries own the material, and the lending policies of those libraries.

    Can I get my articles faster?

    Information Delivery Services always attempts to obtain articles in as timely a manner possible. The best way for you to help ensure this is to plan ahead and pay attention to the "Not Wanted After" date on the NIUILLiad request form. Information Delivery Services does not offer a Rush service for articles.

    How long may I keep my books?

    Due dates for books and other loan items are determined by the lending library. Generally, however, loans are for 28 days with a maximum of 3 possible renewals.

    How can I renew materials?

    If you obtained your materials through I-Share, you may renew them by going to the "My Account" screen in the I-Share catalog. To learn how to set-up an account watch the How to Create a VuFind Account Tutorial.

    For all other renewals, contact the Information Delivery Services department directly at (815)753-0602 or (815)753-9245. Please note that renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending library and are not in the control of the IDS department.

    What materials are available through Interlibrary Loan?

    Books, photocopies of articles and book chapters, and some microforms are generally available through interlibrary loan. Often, but not always, CDs, DVDs, and videos are also available through interlibrary loan. Other materials are generally NOT available however, such as rare, archival, or fragile books, reference books, whole issues or volumes of periodicals, software, CD-ROMs, and genealogies. In addition, items already available in the University Libraries are NOT available through Interlibrary Loan.

    How will I know when my materials have arrived?

    The Information Delivery Services office will notify you when your books have arrived by email. If an article that you have requested is supplied to us electronically by the lending library (the most likely scenario), then we will supply it electronically to you. Otherwise, the hard copy of the article will be mailed to you. Materials requested through I-Share can be monitored by going to the "My Account" screen in the I-Share catalog. If you have questions regarding book requests, contact Cherie Hauptman at (815) 753-0602. For questions regarding article requests, contact Catina Maxwell at (815) 753-9901.

    Where do I pick up and return materials?

    Unless you are notified otherwise, all ILL materials may be picked up from and returned to the Circulation Desk. Students at branch campuses may pick up and return their ILL materials to the service desk at their branch library.

    What is NIUILLiad?

    The Information Delivery Services department uses a system called ILLiad for you to make your requests. It can be accessed through the online form referred to at the top of this page, as well as through WorldCat and SFX. Log in with your official NIU login (your zID, C60, etc.) and password. The first time you log in, you'll set up your account, but every time after that the system will know who you are when you log in. With NIUILLiad, you'll be able to see the requests that you have made and see what status they are in, as well as cancel and edit requests, and access electronically delivered materials.

    For more information:

    Departmental policy
    Departmental contacts