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Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery: ILL Policy

Interlibrary Loan provides access to articles, books, and other materials that are not owned by the University of Louisville Libraries.

The University of Louisville Libraries' Interlibrary Loan policies are based on the Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association (ALA) and the most current copyright law. These policies apply to all University Libraries except the Law Library. Interlibrary Loan is a courtesy provided by the lending library, and any conditions of use imposed by that library must be strictly observed. The lending library may stipulate that use of an item be restricted to the library, and it may prohibit all photocopying of the item. The lending library also stipulates the due date of the item. All items are subject to immediate recall by the lending library.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” (as defined by the U.S. Copyright Office) that user may be liable for copyright infringement. Therefore, the University of Louisville Libraries reserve the right to refuse a request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would violate copyright law.

The University of Louisville Libraries provide interlibrary loan services to all faculty, staff, and students of the University of Louisville, as well as members of the Kentucky State Legislature or their designees. A patron's library account must be in good standing to initiate an interlibrary loan.

Individuals and institutions not affiliated with the University of Louisville may be eligible for borrowing privileges by agreement through the University of Louisville Libraries. A fee may be charged for this service. Individuals and institutions not affiliated with the University of Louisville may submit interlibrary loan requests to the Louisville Free Public Library

Law School Faculty and Students may use either Ekstrom Library or Law Library interlibrary loan services. Review Law Library policies P D F.

Requests for interlibrary loan service for the University of Louisville Libraries, except the Law Library, must be submitted electronically through the University Libraries' ILLiad system. Requests for interlibrary loan service by the Law Library must be completed at the Law Library circulation desk.

In accordance with copyright law a separate request must be submitted for each item. Accurate and complete information about the item and the patron making the request are essential to processing requests. Any request may be cancelled and returned if it lacks sufficient information to be processed. By submitting a request patrons acknowledge their acceptance of Interlibrary Loan policies, fees, and copyright laws.

Patrons must determine accessibility before submitting requests by searching the Libraries Catalog, using Journal Finder, and consulting our library staff. Note that some of the Libraries’ collections are not cataloged in the library catalog (such as the ERIC microfiche collection). Patrons may request items to be transferred between Belknap Campus and Health Sciences Campus via ILLiad. Belknap campus patrons (not eligible for document delivery) must retrieve items from libraries located on Belknap Campus.

Requests for known textbooks will not be processed.

Requests are processed in the order in which they are received. Five requests are processed per patron per day. Additional requests per patron will be processed as the workload permits.

Rush options for interlibrary loan will be left to the discretion of each library. Costs for rush requests are fixed. A full explanation may be found under the "Fees" section.

In-library use only interlibrary loan requests are identified by a blue band with the words In Library Use Only in a bold, italicized typeface. This restriction has been set by the loaning institution. Violating this restriction places all University faculty, staff and students in jeopardy of not being able to receive needed research materials from lending institutions.

Ekstrom’s ILL department follows the ALA code of responsibilities. In section 4.10 of the ALA code it states that the requesting library is responsible for honoring the due date and enforcing any use restrictions specified by the supplying library. In-library use is a restriction that this department must honor.

In-library use materials may be used anywhere inside Ekstrom Library and returned to the Circulation Desk before leaving the library. Crossing a security gate indicates one is no longer in the library. Therefore, the material cannot be taken into the following areas:

  • The Starbucks Cafe

In-library use items may be used in assigned study carrels (if applicable), but must be returned to the Circulation Desk before leaving for the day.

It is the patron’s responsibility to request a renewal for an in-library use item, if a renewal is indicated as allowed on the blue band.


In the event in-library use material is taken outside the library, the patron’s ILL and Ekstrom library accounts will be suspended until the item is returned. If a student, a bursar block will also be placed on their University account.

As stated on the policies page under the heading Penalties for Misuse, all University of Louisville Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan Departments reserve the right to deny interlibrary loan privileges to any patron who abuse the service. This includes the abuse of an in-library use only restriction.

Renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending library. The University of Louisville Libraries will honor the stipulations of the lending library. Only one renewal per item can be made using the ILLiad system. Subsequent requests must be made to the interlibrary loan staff. All requests for a renewal should be made at least three days before the original due date. If the lending library does not grant the renewal, the item must be returned immediately.

Materials obtained through Belknap Campus Libraries Interlibrary Loan should NOT be placed in book drops. Interlibrary loan materials should be returned directly to the circulation desk of the library where the request originated.

Materials obtained through Kornhauser Health Sciences Interlibrary Loan may be placed in book drops or returned to the circulation desk.

University of Louisville Libraries Interlibrary Loan Departments reserve the right to deny interlibrary loan privileges to any patron who abuses the service.

Overdue Items

Please return the item by the due date. University of Louisville Libraries Interlibrary Loan Departments send overdue notices, however these are a courtesy provided by the department. Patrons are responsible for their materials even if no notices are received.

For Ekstrom Library users, patrons need to contact ILL staff if they will need their item for longer than the stipulated loan period. The ILL staff will work with the patron to accommodate their needs. However, if an ILL item is over one month overdue, and the patron has not contacted the ILL staff, we will request a replacement invoice. Once the invoice is received, we will e-mail the patron with the invoice cost and give the patron an additional week to return the item. If the book isn't returned within that week, the patron will need to pay the replacement invoice to reinstate their ILL privileges. Patrons with overdue interlibrary loan items will have both their interlibrary loan borrowing privileges and their library privileges suspended until the overdue item is returned. A bursar block will also be placed on student accounts.

A patron will have their account restored upon completing the following conditions:

  • All overdue material has been returned if the library has not paid an invoice for the item
  • All outstanding fines and fees have been paid

Privileges may be revoked at the discretion of the interlibrary loan supervisor.

Unclaimed Items

Unclaimed items will be sent back to the lending library on the due date of the item.

Damaged and Lost Items

Patrons are responsible for all fees incurred for lost or damaged items.

Believes Item Returned

For Ekstrom Library users, if a borrower believes the library items were returned, please e-mail the ILL borrowing assistant and the ILL Coordinator. We will look for the item(s) for 30 days. During this interval normal borrowing privileges will be allowed. If the item is found the book will be discharged from the borrower account and all fees waived. If the item(s) is not found after 30 days, borrowing privileges will be suspended until either the item(s) is returned or the fees paid. A bursar block will also be placed on students' University accounts. A borrower will be allowed ONE OCCASION with a maximum of two items without assessment of fees if they contacted the ILL Borrowing Assistant and the ILL Coordinator and the item(s) were not found. The item will be removed from the borrower record and the bursar block removed. After this one occasion, or if more than two items are being claims returned (even if on the first occasion), the borrower will be responsible for paying any replacement fees charged by the lending library.

Interlibrary Loan

Ekstrom and Kornhauser Health Sciences Libraries pay the first $20.00 of the cost toward obtaining any interlibrary loan. If the cost exceeds $20.00, patrons will be notified before an order is placed to determine willingness to pay the difference. If the cost difference is paid, the patron's request will be submitted.

Rush Requests

Not all libraries will offer rush services at all times. Cost for rush services, when available, are listed below. All rush requests submitted after 2:00pm will be processed the following business day.

Three column table describing rates for rush requests. Rates differ for UofL faculty, staff, and students versus non-UofL Local Professionals.
Time frame UofL faculty, staff and students Non-UofL Local Professionals
Within three (3) working days $10 $25
Next working day $15 $30
Same working day
(photocopies only)
$20 $35

Rush costs are independent of other fees. Rush delivery can never be guaranteed. If material cannot be obtained within the specified time frame, rush fees will not be charged.

Photocopy Service

Please see Document Delivery Policies under the Document Delivery tab.

Abuse of these policies may result in the suspension or revocation of interlibrary loan privileges.

Revised 7/19/2018