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Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and Document Delivery

ILL and document delivery are services offered to faculty, students, and staff at the University of Alabama. This guide explains how to request materials.

What is borrowing?

The University of Alabama will borrow materials from other libraries if we do not own an item. Borrowing staff evaluate requests and seek the most appropriate way to obtain the item.  We are unable to borrow materials that are rare or in special collections. 

Borrowing delivers items from other libraries to Gorgas Library. 

How long will it take?

Plan ahead when you need items the library does not own.  Articles generally arrive within 24 hours; however, books may take 7-10 days, depending on where we are borrowing the item from.  

How long can I keep the item?

Loan periods depend on the type of item, the source, and sometimes on your status.   Pay careful attention to loan periods when picking up materials from the library.  One renewal may be allowed but must be requested in advance.  Overdue and/or replacement fines will accumulate beginning on the due date and will be billed to your campus account.  Privileges for ILL may be suspended if you have overdue items.  

ILL Fines

UA patrons who do not return ILL material within the timeframe allotted by the lending institution are automatically blocked by the ILL system until the material is returned or the fine is paid.

If the lending institution issues an invoice the borrowing patron is responsible for all charges. Fees from other institutions are non-refundable. Removal of the ILL label, band or slips from any ILL materials may result in a fine.

Abuse of the ILL system may result in the suspension of ILL privileges for up to a full academic year. Borrowers may also be blocked from using other UA Library services. Penalties are dependent upon the severity of the infraction and whether restitution is made for any lost material.

Common emails

Your requested Interlibrary Loan material has arrived: Your item is available for pickup at the Circulation Desk.

Your request for a renewal has been granted: The new due date is in the message.

Your request for a renewal has been denied: The lending library will not renew.

*Reminder** your ILL item is due soon: This is an automatic due date reminder.

Overdue ILL Material: Your item is three days overdue.

Second Overdue Notice – Your item is 7 days overdue.

Third Overdue Notice – Your item is 10 days overdue.          


Request statuses

Awaiting Request Processing: Your request has been submitted to our system but has not yet been processed.
Awaiting Direct Request Sending: One of our automated systems is searching for the item you requested.
Awaiting Copyright Clearance: Your request is awaiting verification of copyright compliance.
Request in Processing: Your request is currently being processed by the ILL staff. 
Awaiting RAPID Request Sending:  Interlibrary Loan is searching for the article or book chapter you requested.
Awaiting Extensive Searching: Your request has been referred to a staff member for more in-depth searching.
Awaiting Unfilled Processing: We have not yet found a lending library for this item. Your request is now awaiting a new round of processing.
Awaiting Response from Patron: We need extra information to fill your request. Please check your email for an email titled "Further Information Required" and respond with the requested information so we may complete your request.
Request Sent: Your request was sent to a list of lending libraries and we are waiting for a response.
Awaiting Document Provider Processing: We are awaiting receipt of a document or chapter.
Awaiting Annex Processing:  The material has been requested from the Annex and will be sent via e-mail directly to the patron.
Cancelled by Customer:  Request was cancelled by the customer before ILL processing occurred.
Cancelled by ILL Staff:  We were unable to fill this request. Please see the cancellation email sent for more information.
Awaiting Conditional Processing:  A prospective lending library is considering the request but has questions or needs additional information.


Available statuses

Awaiting Post Receipt Processing: The item has arrived in our office but is not yet ready for pick up.

In Transit to Pickup Location: Item is sent to pickup location.

Awaiting Customer Contact: Your item is ready for pickup and you will receive a notification email shortly.

Customer Notified via E-Mail: Your item is ready for pickup.

Checked Out to Customer: You or an authorized user has retrieved the item from our circulation desk.

Renewed by Customer: A renewal request has been placed on your behalf and an email will be sent to you as soon as we have received confirmation of renewal and the new due date. 

In Transit from Customer: The item was returned to the circulation desk, scanned, and is awaiting processing in our office.

Awaiting Return Label Printing The item was checked in and is queued to be returned to the lending library.

Request Finished: The request has been completed and is on the way to its home library.

Awaiting Odyssey Processing: The article or book chapter has been sent to us by another library and is in a queue awaiting delivery.

Delivered to Web: The article or book chapter you requested can now be viewed through your Interlibrary Loan account

Overdue statuses

OCLC Special Message: Overdue?: The material is  overdue. 

Lost Material Processing:  The item has been lost or misplaced and an invoice for replacement has been requested.

Invoice Payment Processing:  An invoice for replacement has been received and payment is imminent.

Late Cancellation Processing:  The item has been shipped or received but the patron has informed us it is no longer needed.  

Awaiting Recalled Processing:  The lending library has recalled the item which must be returned immediately.

Abandoned Loan Processing:  The item was not picked up by the due date and is being returned.

OCLC Special Message: Received?: The request has been flagged and will be moved to the Not Received status for tracking.

Renewal Denied:  The lending library has declined to renew the item and an email will be sent to the patron.  Once the email is sent the item reverts to the checked out status.

Renewal Granted: The lending library has agreed to a renewal.  An email will be sent with the new due date.  Once the email is sent the item reverts to the checked out status.

Not Received:  Although ample time has elapsed, the material requested has not yet been received.  Tracking is ongoing.

Temporary Storage:  Material requires special handling.