Interlibrary Loan

When items are not available in UW collections, UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students may use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request items from other institutions.  ILL is to be used for university-related coursework and scholarly research. To see if you qualify for ILL services, please consult Borrowing Policies.

How to Place an ILL Request

Search Catalog, Articles, or a subject Database to locate a record of the material you seek. When you find what you need, and it is not already available online*, select:

*ILL may cancel requests for materials that are available online through library resources. If you prefer a print copy, be sure to choose Physical Item or Loan of a Physical Book or Item as the format. Please note that some publications may not be available in a physical format.

Then, choose whether you would like a Partial Digitization (1 chapter from a book or 1 article from a journal issue) or a Physical Item (multiple chapters or an entire book, DVD, CD, etc.) and follow the prompts to submit the request. We’ll request the material from another library and send you an email when it is ready to be downloaded or picked up from a campus library.

If you can’t find the item you need through library resources, then fill out a blank ILL request form and provide as much citation information as possible. Links to blank forms are in the right sidebars of this web page and the Catalog and Articles result list pages. Please note that ISSNs, ISBNs, and OCLC accession numbers are especially helpful for locating lending libraries.
*Please note that, for some physical loan requests, the blank form may not work. This issue has been reported to the vendor and the anticipated resolution date is unknown. Please use a library database or catalog, including WorldCat and FirstSearch, for locating and requesting materials that are not owned in UW-Madison collections.

Estimated Delivery Times

Partial digitizations (chapter, article) are usually filled within 2 days.

Physical loans (book, DVD, CD) are usually filled between 3 and 10 days.

Tracking Requests and Downloading Articles

Check your Library Account for request statuses and article downloads. Article links expire 30 days after delivery. Please download your articles as soon as possible. ILL may not be able to retrieve article PDFs that have expired.

Canceling Requests

If you no longer need an item that you requested, please cancel the request as soon as possible in your Library Account.

Do you have more questions?

See Interlibrary Loan Policies for more information about our services.

Items Difficult to Borrow Through ILL

  • Digital requests for more than 1 chapter of a book – request a physical item loan instead
  • Popular fiction, especially books currently on bestseller lists
  • Engineering standards – use Request a Standard service
  • E-books
  • Textbooks and books currently on reserve
  • Reference materials
  • Genealogical resources
  • Computer software and manuals, video games
  • Rare and very old books
  • Conference proceedings

Not affiliated with UW-Madison?

Borrowing libraries wishing to request items from UW-Madison: see ILL Lending.

For individuals not affiliated with UW-Madison or another institution, other options are available.