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.

ILL system interface will be retired on January 3, 2023

The Libraries recently adopted a new Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system that allows materials to be requested directly from library catalog and database records. The Request a Copy and Find It links within library resources automatically request materials from our resource sharing partners, even when an item is owned by UW-Madison but is unavailable.  All requests can be viewed and tracked in users’ main Library Account rather than a separate ILL system. This improved functionality has made the current user-facing ILL system redundant. ILL will retire its current request forms and requesting interface on January 3, 2023.  

Users are encouraged to search library resources to locate what they need, since many items are already accessible online or alternative editions are readily available.  Please note that WorldCat items can be requested through the library catalog under the Items from other libraries sidebar.  And if patrons are unable to find a record of what they need in library resources, they may fill out a new blank form linked from this page, which will be integrated into the new ILL system and workflows.

Please contact us if you have any questions about this upcoming change.

How to Place an ILL Request

Search the Catalog, Article Search, 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:

Then, choose whether you would like a Partial Digitization (1 chapter from a book or 1 article from a journal issue) or a Physical Loan (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.

*Please note that ILL may cancel requests for materials that are available online through library resources.

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. ISSNs, ISBNs, and OCLC numbers are especially helpful.

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.

Check your Library Account and Interlibrary Loan Account for status updates and article downloads.

Items Difficult to Borrow Through ILL

  • Digital requests for more than 1 chapter of a book – request a physical item loan instead
  • Engineering standards – use Request a Standard service
  • E-books
  • Textbooks, popular fiction, new books
  • Reference materials
  • Genealogical resources
  • Computer software and manuals, video games
  • Rare 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.