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
I'm no longer a student at UWM. May I still request items through ILL?
Interlibrary loan services are only offered for current students and employees. Check with your local library.
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 ‘Articles Available for Viewing’ under ‘View My Requests’ on the left side of your screen.

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 circulation desk of the library pickup location you selected on the ‘Change Pickup Library and Add Authorized User’ page in ILLiad. Verify circulation desk hours before coming to the library. You will need your UWM ID or state issued ID to check out all ILL items.

Some ILL loans will be designated Library Use only. These designations will be in the notification emails. Milwaukee campus 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. Library Use Only items at the branch campus libraries can be picked up at the circulation desk and used in the library.

Can I pick my book up at a different UWM branch/campus?
Yes, you may pick up your interlibrary loan book at either the Milwaukee main campus library, Waukesha Library or Washington County Library. You may change the pickup location by clicking the ‘Change Pickup Location or Add Authorized User’ link under ‘Review My Account Information’ on the left side of your screen.

Choose your pickup location from the drop-down menu and click the ‘Submit Information’ button when done.

How long can I keep my ILL item?
Lending libraries determine due dates for all items they loan. Typically, but not always, loan periods range from two weeks to several months 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 ‘Checked Out Items’ under ‘View My Requests’ on the left side of your screen.

From there, click the transaction number next to the item you want to renew.

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 Pickup Location or Add Authorized User’ under ‘Review My Account Information’ on the left side of your screen.

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.
Can I request a textbook through interlibrary loan?

Yes. The interlibrary loan staff will try to obtain textbooks. However it may not always be possible to borrow a textbook, as many libraries do not purchase current textbooks or have their copies on Reserve for their own students.

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 Resource Sharing.
My ILL request was transferred to UW System Resource Sharing. Why?

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

Please note, there are important differences between UW System Resource Sharing and interlibrary loan. You can watch the video on that page on how to make a UW System Borrowing request