FAQs for Interlibrary Loan

Who may request items through interlibrary loan (ILL)?
  • UWM faculty members and emeritus faculty
  • UWM staff members
  • UWM graduate students currently enrolled, employed, or working as researchers for UWM
  • UWM undergraduate students
  • Friends of the Library (Sponsor level members and above)
I'm no longer a student at UWM. May I still request items through ILL?
You may join Friends of the Library at the Sponsor level and above to be eligible to use interlibrary loan.
What can I request through ILL?
The interlibrary loan staff obtains books, articles, dissertations, reports, some DVDs and CDs, and other material from outside libraries and institutions. Please note, that some audio-visual media may be difficult to borrow.
How much does it cost to make an ILL request?
While many academic institutions charge for ILL services, we offer these services at no charge to eligible users. We are happy to provide for our patrons’ research, teaching, and study needs and will do our best to acquire needed materials as efficiently as possible.

However, we ask our patrons to be mindful that ILL services are not free for the UWM Libraries. In fact, some items are quite expensive to obtain. Please be judicious in making your requests. That way, you can help to ensure that the UWM Libraries are able to continue providing ILL services free of charge for eligible users

How long does it take to receive an ILL item?
Many factors determine when ILL items arrive. Typically, but not always, journal articles and book chapters arrive anywhere between a few hours after requesting them in ILLiad to a few days to a couple weeks. Books, audio-visual items, and other loans typically take a week or longer to arrive.
How do I access my ILL article?
The interlibrary loan staff will email you a notification when any ILL article you requested has arrived.

You will access articles and chapters electronically by logging into ILLiad. All received articles will appear in the table in the middle of the screen. You can also click ‘Electronically Received Articles’ under ‘View’ on the left side of your screen.

ILLiad how to retrieve an article

You will then click the PDF icon ILLiad view PDF iconof the item you wish to open. You need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view these items. At that point, you may download, save, and/or print your article. These articles are automatically deleted after 60 days.


Where do I pick up my ILL book?
Books, musical scores, CDs, DVDs, and other loans will be picked up at the main circulation desk during these hours. You need your UWM ID to check out all ILL items.

Some ILL loans will be designated library-use only. These designations will be in the notification emails. Library-use only books will be available in Archives. Library-use only microformats and DVDs will be available in Media & Reserve. Library-use only sound recordings will be available in Music Library.

How long can I keep my ILL item?
Lending libraries determine due dates for all items they loan. Typically, but not always, loan periods are between two weeks to one month with one renewal. Renewals are at the discretion of the lending libraries and the length is determined by them.
How can I renew my ILL item?
To request a renewal for your ILL item that is not due yet, log into ILLiad and click ‘View/Renew Checked Out Items’ under ‘View’ on the left side of your screen.
ILLiad view renew checked out items

From there, click the blue transaction number next to the item you want to renew.ILLiad click the TN number to access record

Then click ILLiad renew request button toward the top of your screen.

Since all renewals are decided by the lending libraries, the interlibrary loan staff will email you when it finds out if your renewal request is approved or denied. Whatever due date will be listed in the forthcoming email is what you can write on the white sticker affixed to the front of your item. You may keep your ILL item in the meantime.

If you want to renew an ILL item that is past its due date, you need to contact the ILL staff.

Can I have someone else pick up my ILL item for me?
Yes. An Authorized User can pick up your ILL items on your behalf. You can add one (or more) Authorized Users to your account by logging into ILLiad and clicking ‘Change User Information’ under ‘Tools’ on the left side of your screen.
ILLiad change user information

Enter the full name of anyone you wish to be allowed to pick up your ILL items at the main circulation desk.ILLiad-auth-user

Please note, anyone you designate as an Authorized User will be required to show his or her ID at the time of pick up. Also, you are responsible for your interlibrary loan items regardless of who picks them up.

How do I request an ILL item that I need right away?
The interlibrary loan staff does its best to process requests as soon as it receives them. After the ILL staff processes a request, it is up to another library to decide when – or if – it can lend or copy an item. In other words, the ILL staff can only control when it processes a request. The ILL staff does not control when – or if – any item arrives. If you want the ILL staff to process a request immediately after it’s submitted, click ‘RUSH Article Request’ under ‘New Request’ on the left side of your screen. ILLiad rush article request
Please note, the ‘RUSH Article Request’ form can only be used for journal articles and book chapters. Requests for books, reports, audio-visual items, and other loans cannot be requested with the ‘RUSH Article Request’ form.
Are there other options for requesting items the UWM Libraries doesn't own?
Yes. Apart from ILLiad, the most popular method for obtaining materials that the UWM Libraries doesn’t own is UW System Borrowing.
Can I request a textbook through interlibrary loan?

No. The interlibrary loan staff is not able to obtain textbooks. You may purchase textbooks at the UWM Bookstore or other sources. You may also suggest to your instructor to have a copy placed on Reserve. Interlibrary loan should not be considered a substitute for purchasing a textbook.

My ILL request was transferred to UW System Borrowing. Why?

Items obtained through UW System Borrowing can be kept for a longer period of time than items obtained through interlibrary loan. And, UW System Borrowing items typically arrive sooner than interlibrary loan items.

You can watch the video below on making a UW System Borrowing request. Please note, there are important differences between UW System Borrowing and interlibrary loan.

My ILL request was cancelled because it's 'available fulltext'. How can I access it?
The UWM Libraries subscribes to many databases for the UWM campus community. However, in order to be recognized as a member of our campus community and view full-text materials, you need to access these databases in a specific manner. The most efficient method is as follows:

  • Start at the library homepage or Search@UW.
  • Type the full article title in the search box. You may also include the journal title.

Following these steps, you will be prompted to enter your ePanther ID and Password if you’re using a computer off campus. Your ePanther ID is everything before the @uwm.edu in your UWM email address. Your Password is your regular password you use to log into your campus email.