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Interlibrary Loan: All About ILL

All About ILL

About Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a service that allows UIW users to borrow books and obtain copies of articles not available in the UIW Library from other libraries throughout the United States. Our interlibrary loan service is meant to provide UIW users with the necessary materials for their education and research. 

The UIW Library has a reciprocal service that lends books and provides copies of articles to users at other U.S. libraries. The loan period is determined by the lending library. The provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law and individual library policies regulate both lending and borrowing of library materials.


UIW faculty, currently enrolled UIW students, and UIW staff and administrators are eligible to use interlibrary loan services. Alumni, TexShare visitors, and other guests are not eligible to use ILL.

In addition, eligible UIW users must be in good standing, meaning that no library fines or fees are owed.


ILLiad is an online interlibrary loan service provided by the UIW Library. To use the system, you must first register using your UIW credentials. From then on, your requests can be made electronically from the library’s website. The service allows you to track the progress of your requests. An email will notify you when your material is available for pickup at the circulation desk or ready for electronic document retrieval in your ILLiad account.

Email your UIW ILLiad questions or comments to

Borrowing Requests

Once you have created your personal ILLiad account, you may fill out a new request form for a book, article, or other material. Include as much information as possible on the form for a quicker response.

Your online request is then submitted to the ILL Library Assistant for review. The ILL Library Assistant determines if the material requested is available in the UIW Library. If not, the request is submitted for processing to the nearest five libraries who have the item.

For more details on how to submit a borrowing request, please see the Interlibrary Loan LibGuide.  

Fulfillment Time

On average, article requests are fulfilled in 4.5 days. Book and other loan requests are typically fulfilled in 11-12 days. In some cases, it can take several weeks to get a request filled, depending on where the material is held. Be sure to submit your ILL requests well ahead of time to make certain you receive your material by the needed date.

Borrowing and Lending Conditions

The Interlibrary Loan Code of the U.S. (May, 2008) adopted by the American Library Association and regulations of individual libraries establish ILL conditions. Not all items can be loaned. Individual libraries reserve the right not to loan out rare books, reference books, entire journals, dissertations, audiovisual materials, or books in high demand. Some libraries will lend these materials for in-library use only.

Loan Length

The lending library determines loan length. You may only borrow the item for as long as the lending library has indicated. Borrowed items are sometimes renewable. Renewal requests can be submitted through ILLiad.

Items with due dates (any materials other than articles) must be returned to the Circulation Desk at the UIW Library on or before the due date. Overdue ILL materials block your UIW ILLiad account they are returned.


UIW does not charge fees for interlibrary loan borrowing or lending. However, if you lose or damage a book, the UIW Library may place a fee on your account through the Business Office for the amount invoiced by the lending library.

Copyright Restrictions

Under the guidelines of the 1976 U.S. Copyright Law as amended by consecutive enactments, a library within one calendar year may request photocopies of up to five journal articles from the last five years of publication of a journal title without infringing on the law. The ILLiad service keeps track of the number of requests made. Once the limit has been reached, the next copy must be purchased.

In addition, a library user may only request one article per issue of a journal. Requests in excess of this rule will be canceled.

Borrowing Textbooks

Purchasing a textbook is an essential part of your educational experience at UIW. Textbooks are meant to be consumable items, thus borrowing textbooks may be viewed as a violation of the fair use policy under the 1976 U.S. Copyright Law. As such, the UIW Library does not borrow or lend textbooks. 

Document Delivery for Distance Education Students

Distance Education students who do not reside in San Antonio may request books owned by the UIW Library using ILLiad. Materials will be checked out with an extended due date and mailed to the Distance Education student’s home address. Instructions regarding returns will be provided with the items.

Distance Education students are also encouraged to use interlibrary loan for articles, which are delivered electronically. However, the UIW Library cannot mail books from other libraries to Distance Education students. Instead, Distance Education students are encouraged to use their local public library for interlibrary loan of books.

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