Skip to Main Content

InterLibrary Loan

Information on how to request material from other libraries

Need Help? Ask Me

What is Interlibrary Loan?

We realize that even the largest library cannot possibly have all the resources every person will need. 

Interlibrary Loan is the way libraries share articles and books with each other. 

Interlibrary Loan FAQ

1. How long does it take to get items requested through interlibrary loan? For journal articles, it can take anywhere from a couple of hours to 5-days. For books and other materials, it can be anywhere from 5 to 15 business days.

2. If I lose the journal article requested or forget to download it, can I request it again? As a matter of practice, the library does not process requests for the same article by the same person within a given year. Copyright restricts the number of times articles can be requested from any given journal in a given year. If the library exceeds that number, there is a per article fee that has to be paid. 

3. How are articles I request delivered? You will receive an email from either OR In both cases, you will be given a code to enter to retrieve the article. Make sure to download the article to your device or to Zotero. The download code is only valid for 30-days or five (5) views, whichever comes first.

4. Do I have to return articles I request through interlibrary loan? No, articles requested through interlibrary loan do not have to be returned. They are yours to keep until you decide to delete them.

5. If I am an online student and don't live close to NNU how do I get items I request sent to me? Make sure to note in the request that you are a distance student and you would like items mailed to you (please include your current mailing address). You are responsible for mailing the materials back to the NNU Riley Library by the specified date due. 

6. If I need an item longer is it possible to extend the date due? Sometimes. The lending library sets the lending period. In some cases, it will be noted on the borrowing slip "No Renewal" or "No Extensions." If it is not noted on the borrowing slip on the item, you can email to request a renewal. It is best to request a renewal a few days prior to the item being due.

Interlibrary Loan: 2 Ways to Request

1. Fill Out a Form

If you have citation information on hand, fill out one of these forms.

2. Request from EBSCO or ProQuest databases

The Fine Print: Interlibrary Loan Information & Policies

Basic Information

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service offered by John E. Riley Library to support the research and educational needs of the Northwest Nazarene University community by providing access to additional resources not owned by NNU.  Riley Library conducts all transactions in accordance with the National Interlibrary Loan Code and Explanatory Supplement, the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code, Sections 107 and 108), and CONTU Guidelines.

  • The library reserves the right to prioritize and manage requests depending on the workflow.
  •  If the library cannot obtain an item the patron will be notified as soon as possible.



Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services are intended for NNU students, faculty, administrative personnel and staff. 

  • Undergraduate students – 20 items per semester
  • Graduate students – 40 items per semester
  • Faculty – no limit
  • Administrative personnel, staff, adjunct faculty – 40 items per semester



  • For current NNU students, faculty, and staff, the library covers the costs.
  • Distance learners are responsible for all postage costs and charges related to the return of materials to Riley Library.
  • If the patron does not pick up materials by the return date the item will be returned to the lending library.
  • Repeated failure to pick up and/or return materials in a timely manner may result in the loss of library service.
  • Because renewal periods are set by the lending library, patrons should request renewal prior to the due date indicated on the item.
  • Fines for overdue materials are determined by the lending library. Riley Library may also assess overdue fines.
  • Replacement charges for lost items are determined by the lending library.


Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproduction of copyrighted material.  A photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research”.  If an individual uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use”, that individual may be liable for copyright infringement.