Study Tips: Interlibrary Loan

Free ILL service at Alkek lets you borrow library materials worldwide

By Jerry Weathers, Head of Access and Delivery Services

Alkek Library at night

If Alkek’s seven stories don’t have what you need, try Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services.

Have you ever had a research assignment for a class and discovered the library didn’t have everything you needed? If this happens to you again, consider giving Interlibrary Loan (ILL) a try.

ILL is a free service and is available to all CURRENT students, faculty and staff at Texas State. If the libraries at Texas State don’t have what you need, ILL staff will try to borrow from other libraries worldwide to get not only scholarly books and articles, but also items for your entertainment, such as feature films on DVD, audio books and music scores.

The process does take time. Please allow one to two weeks for books and three to five business days for electronic articles. When your book or article comes in, you will receive e-mail notification from Alkek. After that, you can conveniently pick up and return materials at the circulation desk or access electronic articles from your ILL account.

If you need something sooner, consider getting a free TexShare card from the circulation desk. With TexShare, you can go straight to other libraries, such as UT libraries, and get what you need. It’s probably a good idea to call the other library first to be sure the material you need is available.

Keep in mind that ILL is intended for temporary, short-term loans of around 30 days. The length of the loan period is set by the lending library. While some items can be renewed, it isn’t a good idea to request items such as textbooks that you will need for an extended period of time.

All ILL requests are made online, so there is no need to come to the library to place a request. You will need to set up an ILL (ILLiad) account online in order to place a request. Click here to set up an account or read the ILL FAQ to learn more about the process.

The ILL staff is always happy to help if you have questions. To contact an ILL staff member, visit the circulation or reference desk on the second floor of Alkek Library or call 512.245.4893.

Alkek Library may not have every item you need for your research or entertainment, but chances are the ILL staff can get it for you.

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