Interlibrary Loan: an Epic Library Service
Last week, I alluded to an often overlooked service of epic proportions: interlibrary loans.
This week, I'd like to take you on a voyage that will help you to navigate the sometimes daunting waters of the interlibrary loan (ILL) process.
First, you'll need a map. The ILL frequently asked questions page will answer basic questions you may have about this service and get you pointed in the right direction. Be sure to explore the ILL information specifically for distance learners.
Once you've got your bearings, you'll need to access ILLiad, the interlibrary loan system. Just enter your BSU username and password to log in. Next, fill in the registration page, making sure all required fields are complete. Most importantly, if you are enrolled in a distance education program select "Distance Ed Graduate" in the Status box. This guarantees your requests are handled as if you are not physically on campus. See the screenshot for an example of choosing your status. You only need to complete the registration process once, so if you need to log into the system again, it will remember your information.
After you're logged into (and registered for) ILLiad, you'll need citation information from the item you'd like to request. If you've clicked on a Find It button, this information will be automatically filled in for you. You can also get citation information automatically by clicking the "Request via interlibrary loan" link from an item record in WorldCat.
The ILL office asks that you allow one week before an electronic copy of a journal article is sent to the e-mail address you provided when you registered. If BSU doesn't own the journal, it may take up to three weeks.
Books owned by University Libraries can be mailed to your home address (you must pay for return postage). However, if an item has to be borrowed from another library, you must come to campus to pick it up, which may be an option for you if you live near Muncie. If you don't, check WorldCat to see if a library close to you owns the book you're looking for.
I hope this gives you enough information to chart the sometimes murky waters of interlibrary loans. If you have more questions about the interlibrary loan process, you can get in touch with me or contact ILL Services directly. ILL is a great example of why you don't have to be in the library to use it!