Interlibrary Services FAQs

If your question is not a Frequently Asked Question call our service desk at (865) 974-4240.


  1. How long does interlibrary loan take?
  2. What if I need something faster than the average time?
  3. Is there a limit on the number of requests I can make?
  4. Why do I have to fill out a separate form for each item I request?
  5. Does ILS cost anything?
  6. How long can I keep books I borrow through ILS?
  7. **Can I renew ILS books?
  8. Is there anything I can’t get on ILS?
  9. Do I need to check ILS books out at the Circulation Desk?
  10. Where do I return my ILS books?
  11. My books are overdue — how much are the fines?
  12. How can I check the status of my request?
  13. How can I tell if another library has what I’m looking for?
  14. Can I have my ILS materials delivered to my office?
  15. Will you deliver items to my home or fax an article to me?
  16. We only have this on microfilm. Can I borrow hard copy through ILS?
  17. Someone has a book checked out, or it is missing. Will ILS borrow it for me?
  18. The article I need has been torn out/my journal issue is at the bindery/the issue I need is lost or not received. Can I order it?

  1. How long does interlibrary loan take?ILS delivery time normally ranges from 1 to 3 weeks. Turnaround time depends on many factors, however, including the scarcity of the title you need. In mid-semester, especially, plan for your work well in advance. Please allow several weeks before your deadline to get your most important materials. Back to the top
  2. What if I need something faster than the average time?ILS offers priority service to UTK faculty, staff and graduate students. Let ILS staff know when you would like the material and whether you could still use it after your deadline. Simply add the ‘need by’ date in your request’s Notes field. Each request form in ILLiad contains a Notes field to communicate this and other important pieces of information, including where you can change the “Need By” date.ILS always uses the fastest appropriate method to obtain materials. Due to the many factors influencing delivery time, ILS cannot guarantee that we will be able to meet a specific deadline.
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  3. Is there a limit on the number of requests I can make?ILS currently has no limit to the number of requests you can make at a time. However, during peak or heavy traffic periods, ILS staff may request that patrons prioritize requests or the ILS staff will prioritize the requests for them.Interlibrary Services will be happy to speak to you about your need for an exception. You may email us using the link or contact us via the phone at (865) 974-4240. Back to the top
  4. Why do I have to fill out a separate form for each item I request?There are two reasons for this:First, it’s the law — ILS must be able to prove that we are complying with copyright law. Guidelines developed to help interlibrary loan operations comply with Section 108 of theCopyright Act of 1976 require us to retain documentation on all ILS photocopy requests for three years. Moreover, we must be able to prove that the maker of each copy request is aware of her/his responsibilities under copyright law. UT’s General Counsel provides more information concerning copyright.Secondly, your original request is numbered with a transaction number to identify that item as yours. It is also numbered so that it can be tracked to make sure it is ordered, received, delivered to you and then sent back to the lending library correctly. We don’t want to lose your request or a book which was lent to us. Back to the top
  5. Does ILS cost anything?ILS absorbs up to $35 of the cost of ordering any item. We return requests for items that cost more, leaving the patron the option to purchase it or we may suggest that you contactCollection Development to see if the library can purchase the item for the collection. Back to the top
  6. How long can I keep books I borrow on ILS?In most cases, we give UTK patrons a minimum of three weeks. Occasionally, however, the lending library may restrict a loan to a shorter time. If the lender gives us a much longer loan period, we pass that on to the borrower. The lending library sets these limits. We must respect their wishes if we expect them to continue sharing their collections with us. Back to the top
  7. Can I renew ILS books?Usually, unless the lending library stipulates “No Renewal.” You can tell if a book is renewable by looking at the ILS sticker attached to the front cover of the book. If there is not a line in red stating “No Renewals” than you can renew the book yourself through your ILLiad account. On the left side of you ILLiad home page there is a link to renew your loans. After clicking on renewal it will give you a 2 week extension from the original due date. (This is contingent on the lending library OKing the renewal) Once you place a renewal we contact the lending library, if the renewal is granted you will not hear from us and your due date is 2 weeks from the original. If the lending library declines our request, we will recall the book from you for immediate return.You only get one renewal and only for 2 weeks. We expect the patron to ask for the renewal on or before the original due date. The new due date is 2 weeks from the orginal date. If you renew past the due date, expect to get less than two weeks. Again, it is prudent to plan your work well: Read your ILS books before the ones UT owns.If your book states “No Renewal” on the ILS sticker, then you cannot renew the book and it needs to be returned by the date stated on the cover. Back to the top
  8. Is there anything I can’t get on ILS?There are some materials that we generally cannot borrow. Our own library’s policy is useful for gauging your potential success at borrowing special items from other libraries. UTK generally does not lend these categories of items to other libraries:p>
    • Entire recent issues or volumes of periodicals – current or bound
    • Audiovisual materials, such as video cassettes, films
    • Sound recordings
    • Special Collection items, such as rare books, manuscripts and archives
    • Reference books
    • “Unpublished” papers (with the exception of dissertations and theses, which most libraries lend.)
    • Original copies of newspapers
    • Reserve Materials

    In addition to these common non-circulating items, some libraries restrict loans for genealogical research materials, dissertations and theses, newspapers on microfilm or original papers. Then again, some libraries do lend these, even if they place a “library use only” or “no renewal” restriction on them. We will be happy to try to borrow them.

    The UTK Libraries maintain a membership in the Center for Research Libraries, which will lend almost anything in its collection. If CRL has an item in these categories, we will try to get it.

    Finally, a few publishers specialize in converting special collections to microfilm for libraries to purchase. If we can locate a special item on microfilm, such as an archival or manuscript collection, or even an old or rare imprint, we have a good chance of obtaining it.

    Please understand, however, that when we send you a note saying that nobody would lend the rare book you need to complete your dissertation. If your research requires you to use unobtainable materials, you will need to budget time and funds to travel to the material. Back to the top

  9. Do I need to check ILS books out at the Circulation Desk?No. When you pick-up your ILS materials, they are already checked-out to you.We take care of all ILS transactions in the Interlibrary Services Department. All you will need to do is sign and date loan slips for the items you requested. Back to the top
  10. Where do I return my ILS books?You may return books directly to the either the 2nd Floor Circulation desk (not the book return but to the staff at the desk) or to the ILS department on the 1st Floor, both in the Hodges Library.Library Express (974-0021) can also pick up your ILS books for return if you are a Graduate, Staff Member or Faculty who is already signed up for Library Express. Please do not return your ILS books to any of the UT branches or into any book drop. Back to the top
  11. My books are overdue — how much are the fines?It depends. ILS no longer charges regular fines for overdue materials which were ordered using ILLiad. If a loan ordered via ILLiad is over seven days overdue, you will be blocked from using ILLiad.If items remain overdue, you may be blocked from using other library services (e.g. Circulation) and you may be billed for the replacement cost of the overdue item. Back to the top
  12. How can I check the status of my request?ILLiad provides tracking of all current and past requests. Simply log into your ILLiad account and use the “Outstanding Order” checking options provided in the Main Menu. You may also call Interlibrary Services (865) 974-4240 or stop by during regular office hours (Hodges Library 135, M – F, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm). Back to the top
  13. How can I tell if another library has what I’m looking for?FirstSearch contains a database called WorldCat, which contains records of over 30,000,000 titles and holdings of over 10,000 libraries worldwide. Reference Services staff in Hodges or staff at the branch libraries, can assist you with FirstSearch. The database we use to order your requests uses the information within WorldCat. Kudzu can also give you holdings of libraries which we order from regularly. Back to the top
  14. Can I have my ILS materials delivered to my office?UTK faculty, staff, and graduate students may opt to have ILS materials delivered free of charge to their campus offices byLibrary Express. The only general requirement is that you have a mail box with your name on it. Contact Library Express (974-0021 ) for more information about Library Express services. Back to the top
  15. **Will you deliver items to my home or fax an article to me?No, ILS does not deliver to home addresses. If this is a problem, contact the ILS staff for possible exceptions. ILS does provide electronic delivery when available. See the ILLiad FAQ for details. Back to the top
  16. We only have this on microfilm, in Reserves or in Special Collections. Can I borrow another copy through ILS?No. Our policy is to avoid borrowing items that we own, regardless of format or location. Items held in other branches (Map Library, Music Library, AgVet, Law Library or Special Collections) and in Reserves are also not available for Interlibrary Loan.The Libraries purchase materials for permanent retention in order to provide on-site access to the content UTK clients need most urgently. Often we face a choice between having the collection in microformat or not owning it. In practice, items such as ERIC documents are only available in microfiche. Back to the top
  17. Someone has a book checked out, or it is missing. Will ILS borrow it for me?If the item you need is checked out, lost, or missing, you may order the item via KUDZU. You may also go to any UT Libraries’ Circulation desk to place a recall, search, or hold on an item. Back to the top
  18. The article I need has been torn out/my journal issue is at the bindery/the issue I need is lost or not received. Can I request it?Yes, in most cases. In the case of the journal issue at the bindery, please check the issue’s status at the Current Periodicals desk, or at the branch library holding the journal before making your ILS request. If the item is damaged or missing, please inform Circulation staff prior to ordering the item so the Libraries’ staff can take action to repair or replace the missing items.When you order the item using ILLiad, add the following note to the request’s Notes field, as appropriate: Item at Bindery, Article Missing, or Issue Missing. Back to the top