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Interlibrary Loan: Information Delivery Services: FAQs

This guide describes the interlibrary loan services of NIU's library.

FAQs

  1. Who is eligible for Interlibrary Loan services?
  2. Do I have to pay for this service?
  3. How long will it take to get my materials?
  4. Can I get my articles faster?
  5. How long may I keep my books?
  6. How can I renew my materials?
  7. What materials are available through Interlibrary Loan?
  8. How will I know when my materials have arrived?
  9. Where do I pick up and return materials?
  10. Why was my request cancelled?
  11. Why is my account blocked?
  12. How does Local Request work?

Who is eligible for Interlibrary Loan services?

All currently enrolled NIU students, including branch students, are able to request interlibrary loan services, as are all current and retired NIU faculty and staff and all current Northern Illinois University Friends of the Library. Please note that Courtesy Card holders are NOT eligible for ILL services.

Branch students and NIU faculty and staff should see the tab above about Document Delivery and Campus Delivery for further information.

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. Please see the Departmental Policy above for more information. 

How long will it take to get my materials?

Books, video, sound recordings, and other loaned materials take an average of 14-21 days to arrive, although items ordered through I-Share tend to come much more quickly.

Articles and other photocopies may arrive between 3-21 days.

The time it takes to borrow materials depends upon how many other libraries own the material and what those libraries’ lending policies are. The IDS office works hard to process all requests in a timely manner.

At this time, we do not offer a Rush service.

Can I get my articles faster?

You can assist the Information Delivery Services department in the timely processing of your article request by planning ahead and by paying attention to the “Not Wanted After” date on the NIUILLiad request form—use that field to tell us how quickly you need the article, and we’ll see what we can do.

However, IDS does not at this time offer a Rush service.

 

How long may I keep my books?

Due dates for books and other loaned items are determined by the libraries that lend us those items. Generally, however, loans for IShare materials are for 28 days with a possible 3 renewals (6 renewals for faculty and staff). Books requested through NIUILLiad are often for 28 days with one possible renewal.

 

How can I renew my 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 Creating a Catalog (VuFind) Account Tutorial.

For all other renewals, contact the Information Delivery Services office directly at 815-753-9842 or email us at illdept@niu.edu. Please note that renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending library and are not in the control in the IDS department.

 

What materials are available through Interlibrary Loan?

Books, copies of journal articles or book chapters, and microforms are generally available through Interlibrary Loan. Often, but not always, CDs, DVDs, and videos are also available. However, items such as rare, archival, or fragile books, reference books, electronic books, whole issues or volumes of periodicals, software, CD-ROMs, and genealogies are generally NOT available. In addition, if an item is already available in NIU’s library, it is NOT available through Interlibrary Loan. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact IDS at 815-753-9842 or email us at illdept@niu.edu.

 

How will I know when my materials have arrived?

You will receive an email from the Information Delivery Services office to notify you when your books have arrived. If you have ordered an article, almost always you will receive it electronically. Materials requested through I-Share can be monitored by going to the "My Account" screen in the I-Share catalog. Questions? Call the IDS office at 815-753-9842 or email us at illdept@niu.edu. Please note that all ILL notifications are sent to official NIU email accounts only.

 

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 their ILL materials from and return them to the service desk at their branch library.

 

Why was my request cancelled?

Requests might be cancelled for several reasons. Most commonly, the item is already held by NIU and is available to check out. In addition, a request is cancelled when the item is available and can be borrowed through I-Share, in which case you need to request the item in I-Share on your own. Every cancellation notice you get will list the reason and will let you know what your options are for resubmitting the request. If you have any questions about a cancellation, please contact the IDS office at 815-753-9842 or email us at illdept@niu.edu. Please note that all ILL notifications are sent to official NIU email accounts only.

If you have any other questions, please see our departmental policy (under Policy tab above). You can also call us at 815-753-9842 or email us at illdept@niu.edu.

Why is my account blocked?

When you have fines and fees owed to other institutions' libraries, they may request that we block your account until that money is paid. In this case, you will not be able to use the NIU catalog or ILLiad until those fines and fees are paid. Please contact 815-753-9842 for assistance in resolving your account and getting blocks removed.

You may be blocked in I-Share if you have reached or exceeded any of the following thesholds:

  • 25 I-Share items overdue
  • 1 I-Share item recalled and overdue
  • 3 I-Share items in "Lost" status (missing due to non-return of item or loss of item)
  • 10 "Claims returned" I-Share items (where the item is claimed to be returned but cannot be located)
  • 10 I-Share items self-shelved (i.e., not returned through the proper channels)
  • $200.00 dollars total in I-Share fines and fees

If you have a block in I-Share you can log into your VuFind accounts in the online catalog so that you can see which I-Share items triggered the block and which schools those items are from at the following link: https://vufind.carli.illinois.edu/all/vf/MyResearch/Home. NIU patrons with I-Share blocks should contact the schools that implemented the block. The contact information for these schools is found here: http://www.carli.illinois.edu/membership/mem-libs

NIU Libraries may also suspend borrowing privileges of NIU patrons for abuses of circulation policies as listed in the circulation policy at: http://library.niu.edu/ulib/content/aboutus/policies/circulation_policy.pdf

The staff of NIU Libraries' User Services Department is happy to assist any NIU patron who has questions or needs help related to I-Share blocks, VuFind accounts, or any other Circulation and Interlibrary Loan matters. Contact Circulation at 815-753-1955 or Interlibrary Loan at 815-753-9842.

How does Local Request work?

You can place a local request for items in the catalog. When you find a book that you would like to have held for you to pick up at the Library, click the Request Item tab on the far right. You will be prompted to log in. Next, choose the pick up location and click the Request button.

The book(s) you request are available for pick up by 3:00pm the next business day.

If, for whatever reason, the requested book is not available, the request will promote into I-Share and will be filled by another school. This will add at least a couple of days to the time it takes to get the book. You can monitor your request by logging into your My Account.