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How-tos & FAQs: I-Share Interlibrary Loans

I-Share & VuFind

  • I-Share is a consortium of over 80 academic and specialized libraries in Illinois that share a common catalog.  I-Share libraries agree to share materials with the patrons of other I-Share libraries, including on-site borrowing (for most I-Share libraries; there are exceptions).
  • The I-Share catalog uses the VuFind version of the catalog. The 'Classic' version available at NIU cannot be used to search I-Share libraries.

IMPORTANT: Before requesting books in the I-Share catalog, you'll need to set up a Vu-Find account.  

  1. Log into your VuFind account before starting your search by clicking Login in the upper right hand corner of the VuFind I-Share home page.
  2. Search for your item in the I-Share catalog.  Multiple results may display. If they do, click on the specific version of the item you want to request.  
    • (Note: if the item you want isn’t available in I-Share, please fill out an interlibrary loan form & turn it in to the Circulation Desk. The library staff will see if we can borrow your item from libraries outside the I-Share system.)
  3. Scroll down through the Location & Availability information for the item to make sure at least one copy is available. Then click either the Request 1st Available tab to have the system select a copy for you, OR click Request this item to order a copy from a specific library. *
  4. You'll be prompted for pick-up information.  Northern Illinois University should be pre-selected as your pick-up library. Select .LAW LIBRARY CIRCULATION as the pick-up location. Then click Request.
  5. You'll receive the confirmation message, Request submitted. Check your account to track your requests.
  6. To track your requests, renew items, set your default pick-up location and perform other functions on your account, click Your Account in the upper right hand corner.
  7. When finished using I-Share, always click Log Out in the upper right hand corner.

* Please note that if an item you request is not available at a particular library, the system will automatically move your request to the next library with an available copy. You do not need to re-request the item yourself.

  1. Log in to your VuFind account by checking the "Login" link in the upper right hand corner of the VuFind catalog.
  2. Enter your user name and password & click "Login."
  3. In the green right hand column, click "Checked out items."
  4. Under the "Renew?" column, click the box next to each item you want to renew.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Renew Selected Items."
  6. IMPORTANT: After renewing items, scroll through your list of items to make sure each was renewed.
    • If there is the message "Renew request failed!" you have either reached your renewal limit for that item or it has been recalled by its home library.
    • In either case you need to return the item by the item's current due date (or as soon as possible if the due date has passed).
  7. TIP: if your item can no longer be renewed, it's sometimes possible to place a new request for the same title from a different library. Ask at the Reference Desk if you need help with this.
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