Interlibrary Loan Policies

You can use ILL if you have currently valid borrowing privileges and you are a:

  • UW-Madison faculty (including emeritus)
  • UW-Madison staff
  • UW-Madison student

Some UW Alumni also have limited document delivery privileges.

Faculty may obtain a faculty runner card so someone else can place requests for them.

Borrowing libraries wishing to request items from UW-Madison, see ILL Lending. For those not affiliated with UW-Madison or another institution, other options are available.

Students: update your information using My UW portal.
Employees: contact your local Human Resources office.

Article and book delivery service supports the instructional, research and scholarly activities of UW-Madison faculty, staff and students.

Section 108 of the US Copyright Act stipulates that libraries may not copy more than one article per journal issue or one chapter per book. Lending libraries may limit the number of pages they’re willing and able to scan. Fifty (50) pages is a common limit.

Requests for articles that are available in full-text through UW-Madison licensed databases and electronic journals will be cancelled with instructions on how to obtain the article online. Check Article Search for online availability before submitting an ILL request.

Check your Library Account for status updates. You’ll always receive an email when your item is available. Contact ILL if you have further questions about the status of your request.

Articles and book chapters are generally available within 2 days. Books and other loans can take up to 2 weeks or longer.

Peak times of ILL activity are October/November and February/March. We make every effort to place your requests as soon as they are received, but factors such as how quickly the lending library supplies the material and how quickly shipping couriers deliver the item are out of our control.

To avoid delays, check UW-Madison’s collections for items you can get quickly before submitting requests to ILL.

If you need more time with an ILL item, please contact ILL as soon as possible. Some lending libraries are very generous with renewals if they’re contacted before the item is due, and it’s more cost effective for ILL to obtain a renewal than re-requesting the material from another library.

Interlibrary loan materials are the property of the lending library. Returning materials to lending libraries on time is vital to ILL maintaining borrowing privileges from other institutions. When an ILL item becomes overdue, the patron’s account will be blocked from using library databases and resources and a $100 fine will be added to the patron’s account. Usually, once the item is returned, the block and fine will be removed; however, if the item is so overdue that the lending library has declared it lost and billed ILL for a replacement, then the minimum $100 fine on your library account is nonrefundable.

When items are lost or damaged, you will be responsible for the fines and/or replacement costs for the material. The minimum charge is $100. UW-Madison Interlibrary Loan will work directly with the lending library – do not contact lending libraries yourself. Please note that some lending libraries charge more than $100, and any costs over $100 will also be passed on to you. It can take some time for us to get the bill, but we will apply it to your Library Catalog account once received.

Please see the library’s Fines & Holds page for more information.