Home / Using the Libraries / Borrowing & Access / Requesting and Delivery / Interlibrary Loan - Book/Item

Interlibrary Loan - Book/Item

Not AvailableCOVID-19 Update: Interlibrary Loan cannot fill requests for physical materials at this time. They can fill requests for scans of articles and book chapters if the item is available electronically.

What is it?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) for books or other items is a free* service for borrowing physical materials not owned by the UW Libraries, such as books, bound journal volumes, DVDs, audiobooks, microfilm, etc. Use this service after trying UW Libraries collections and Summit.

*Services for Cascadia College patrons are fee-based

Who can use it?

Current UW students, staff, faculty, and retirees. 
UW Law School users should place ILL requests through the Gallagher Law Library

We also provide a fee-based service for people who are not currently affiliated with the University

When do I use it?

Use this service if the UW copy of the item can’t be checked out right now, or if the UW doesn’t own the item and the item is not available in Summit.

    How long does it take?

    Depends on availability, but most ILL items arrive in two to three weeks.

    How long can I keep materials?

    ILL items may be checked out for either six days or six weeks. The checkout period is set by the lending library at time of shipment. ILL items are not renewable.

    How do I submit a request

    UW Interlibrary Loan and Document Services requests must be submitted online through our website at https://www.lib.washington.edu/ill. We do not accept requests by email, phone, or fax. Users must fill out an individual request form for each requested book.



    Get Started!

    Request from Interlibrary Loan

    Your ILL Account


    What is the difference between Summit and Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

    Summit allows patrons to request books, DVDs and other physical items directly from any Summit library for fast delivery (about 5-7 days). Summit patrons can choose from the holdings of 39 academic libraries in the Pacific Northwest who have joined together to provide expedited service to their patrons.

    Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services allow UW patrons to request books, DVDs and other physical items held in libraries worldwide. This includes materials not available in Summit that cannot be requested through Summit (microforms, photocopies of articles). Patrons send requests to the UW ILL department where staff locate potential lenders, request, receive and send the materials to the patron's desired pickup location, and arrange for the material’s return to the home library.

    Where do I go to manage my Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests?

    You can create, cancel, resubmit, and check the status of your Interlibrary Loan requests from inside Your ILL Account. Once the item arrives, a record will also appear in Your Library Account (link) and the request can be managed there.

    Requests in your ILL account may be in one of the below statuses:

      • Awaiting Patron Email Reply – ILL staff have sent you an email with a question about your request. Please check your email and respond.
      • In Process – your request has been received and is being processed by Interlibrary Loan staff.
      • Item arrived – your requested item has arrived at the UW Libraries. Check Your Library Account to see more information about this request.
      • Request Finished – this request is complete.

    Why was my Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request cancelled?

    ILL staff do their best to fill all Interlibrary Borrowing requests. Sometimes, unfortunately, we have to cancel a request. Visit our Reasons for Cancellation page to learn more.

    Why do Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items have a different loan period than my UW items?

      ILL items have loan periods determined by the lending library. Those loan periods are 6 days or 6 weeks and are not renewable.

        Can I use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items for course reserves?

          No, ILL items may not be put on course reserve.

            How many requests can I make at a time?

              You can have up to 100 active ILL requests at a given time. Physical item requests are active from the time they are placed until the item is returned to the UW Libraries.

              Do ILL requests need to be for academic research?

              You may use your UW ILL account to request library materials for your academic research or your own personal use. While we are happy to serve your ILL needs, please refrain from making requests on behalf of others. This helps us to ensure that we are recovering our costs for our fee-based service, which helps make our service sustainable, consistent and fair. It also helps us protect our users' privacy and liability for damaged materials.

                What are the copyright restrictions for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items?

                ILL items are covered by United States copyright law (Title 17. United States Code.), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. 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/reproduction is not to be "USED FOR ANY PURPOSES 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, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

                  For more information, see the Step-by-Step Guide to Copyright Compliance.