Interlibrary Loan FAQs


How do I register for interlibrary loan?

If you are a current student, faculty, or staff member you can log in to ILLiad using your JBU user name and password. You may be asked to fill in some additional information if it is your first time logging in. If you followed a link from a library database to get to ILLiad, you will need to go back and click on the link again to complete your request.

If you are a General or Special patron, go to First Time ILLiad User, click the button at the bottom of the page, and complete the form.

How do I request material through interlibrary loan?

Most JBU Library databases have “Request by Interlibrary Loan” links for items that are not available in full text. When you click on that link, it will take you to ILLiad and automatically fill in the request form with information about the item. Review the form and make any necessary corrections, then click on “Submit.”

You can also fill in a request form manually by logging into ILLiad and entering information about the item you want in a "New Request" form.

What resources can't be borrowed through interlibrary loan?

While ILL provides access to millions of resources held at libraries around the world, there are some categories of material that can be difficult or impossible to obtain. Items that cannot or should not be requested through ILL include the following:

  • Textbooks
  • Books published within the past year
    (Faculty: if you believe a new release would be valuable for students, please submit a book recommendation card.)
  • Ebooks (a print version of the same title may be requested)
  • Market research reports
  • Archival materials
  • More than 3 or 4 articles from the same journal (copyright and fair use guidelines restrict the number of copies per journal)
  • Books that are self-published or published outside of North America or Europe
  • Books that are held by very few network libraries (the item entry in Worldcat Discovery shows how many libraries worldwide hold each book)

Rare books or books held by a few libraries can be requested but are unlikely to be filled.

Most of the time, if we can’t get the exact item you requested, we can help you find other alternatives that will meet your research needs. Contact a research librarian for advice about alternative resources.

Is there a limit on ILL requests?

There is no preset limit for JBU students, faculty, or staff. ILL requests should be limited to academic research and submitted only after all JBU Library resources have been exhausted.

You should be aware that if you submit a large number of requests all at once, there may be a delay in processing all of the requests. You may wish to prioritize your requests before submitting them so that we can get the most important materials for your project as promptly as possible.

How long does it take for interlibrary loan materials to arrive?

Journal articles typically in 1-3 business days, but may take several weeks if difficult to find. Books must be mailed so they usually take 1-2 weeks for on-campus students and 2-4 weeks for distance students. However, books that are in high demand or that are rare may take longer to find a lender resulting in a delivery time of 3-4 weeks.

How do I receive my requested articles?

When your article is available, you will receive an email with a link to your ILLiad account where you can login and download the article. Click on “Electronically Received Articles” under the “View” section of the menu on the left side of the screen.

NOTE: Articles are automatically deleted from your account 30 days after delivery.

Be sure to download the article and save it to your own device or network storage space before then. Once you’ve downloaded an article, you can keep it indefinitely.

Items that are received may not be requested again unless a $4.00 processing fee is paid.

How do I receive my requested books?

For most patrons, your books will be held for you at the library circulation desk. You just need to come by any time the library is open and pick them up.

For distance students and distance instructors only: we can mail you books or other items borrowed from our partner libraries. There is no charge for you to receive the book, but you are responsible for the cost of shipping it back to us when you’re done. Please note that because physical items ordered through interlibrary loan must be mailed from the owning library to us and then forwarded to you, it can take 2+ weeks for you to receive them. You may wish to inquire with your local libraries to see if they provide interlibrary loan, because they may be able to offer you faster service than we can.

How long can I keep books that I get from interlibrary loan?

The loan period for a book borrowed from another library is set by the library that owns the book. It may be significantly different from the loan period for regular library books — either shorter or longer. Please pay attention to the due date on the book band and contact the ILL librarian (; 479-524-7276) promptly if you think you might need to request a renewal. Be aware that many lenders do not allow renewals.

We cannot promise that you will be permitted to keep a book for an extended time, so be prepared to take notes to gather the information you need by the book due date, even if your assignment is due later. 

Book loans that are received but not picked up by the patron will result in a $4.00 non-use fee being charged to the patrons account. Items that are received may not be requested again unless a $4.00 processing fee is paid.

Can I renew interlibrary loan books?

This is determined by the library that owns the book. Contact the ILL librarian (; 479-524-7276) to request a renewal. If you get an email that your renewal has been denied, please return the item promptly.

Is there any cost for interlibrary loan?

ILL service is provided to JBU students, faculty, and staff at no cost. The library covers the costs involved in borrowing the item, so we just ask that you make sure to download or pick up your ILL items so that the time and expense invested in getting them for you is not in vain.

On very rare occasions, the cost of borrowing an item may exceed our budgeted allowance, in which case we might contact you and ask whether you want to pay for the overage or cancel the request. We will not borrow items that involve a cost to you without your prior approval.

For patrons who are not affiliated with JBU (Pastors, Special Scholars, General Patrons), there is a $4 fee per request. If you have one of these types of library cards and need interlibrary loan service, please contact the ILL librarian (; 479-524-7276).

The following fines and fees may be charged to your student or departmental account:

  • Overdue ILL book loans will be charged a fine of $1/day.
  • Lost or damaged books will be charged the replacement cost and processing fee as set by the lending library.
  • Book loans that are not picked up will be charged $4.
  • Article and book request that have already been filled will not be filled a second time. A patron may pay a $4.00 fee to request an item a second time.

I'm a distance student, how do I pick up my book?

If you received an email telling you to come to the library to pick up your ILL book even though you're a distance student, that probably means you accidentally ordered a physical book when you thought you were ordering an electronic resource, and/or you’re incorrectly identified in our computer system as a local student instead of a distance student. Contact the ILL librarian (; 479-524-7276) and we’ll sort it out. You’ll have a few options:

  • If you just need a part of the book (e.g., one chapter), we can probably scan it for you and deliver it to your ILLiad account. (You must be able to identify the specific part of the book that you need to request this service.)
  • We can send you the book in the mail.
  • If you don’t want the item anymore, you can cancel the order. You may also wish to consult with a research librarian for help finding alternative resources that might be available to you from our electronic collections.

ILLiad isn't accepting my password. Can you look it up for me?

If you are a student, faculty, or staff member your JBU user name and password are used for your ILLiad account. DO NOT attempt to reset or recover your password from ILLiad. Contact the Help Desk for assistance.

If you are a Special or General patron then your account uses ILLiad authentication. Passwords are encrypted and cannot be read by staff. If you have forgotten your password, use the "Forgot Password?" link on the ILLiad Logon page to reset your password. Please do not create a new account if you have trouble logging into your existing account; reset your password or contact the ILL librarian (; 479-524-7276) for help.

What's a dissertation, and what happens if I request one through ILLiad?

Dissertations and theses are major research projects – usually book-length – written by students who are completing master's or doctoral degrees. They tend to be highly technical and are written for an expert audience. Many library databases list dissertations together with peer reviewed journal articles as academic literature; they are usually identified by a special icon that indicates the document type.

Recently written dissertations are increasingly available online from institutional digital repositories (check Google Scholar or the awarding institution's website). Dissertations are often only held by one or two libraries and can be difficult to borrow. Loans often include substantial fees to the borrowing library.

For these reasons, as well as the high number of dissertations that are requested but never picked up, requests for dissertations placed by undergraduate students will not be filled by JBU's ILL department. If you believe a dissertation is truly vital to your research project, you may be able to purchase a copy from Dissertation Express or Theological Research Exchange Network. You are advised to consult with a research librarian and/or your instructor about appropriate sources for your project.

Graduate students completing a thesis may request dissertations which will be processed on a case by case basis, but all previously mentioned conditions apply.