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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.

Journal articles

Journal articles are generally delivered in digital format within 24 hours, and often within a few hours.  If we are unable to find your article through our normal means then it may take up to 3 days for a document request.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I borrow? Books, dissertations, microforms, some audio visual materials, and other materials that support academic research can be requested.  Journal articles and book chapters are often sent in digital format and can be downloaded and kept for research use. 

Why was my request canceled?  We may not be able to borrow the item.  Some audio visual, CD, or DVD's for example, are not lent by other libraries.  Rare materials are also not lent.  We cannot request entire journal issues due to copyright restrictions.  

How long can I keep a book?  It depends on the lender and our agreement.  Generally you have two to four weeks and a possible renewal.  Renewals must be requested in advance and are not guaranteed. 

Why are loan periods different when I receive a book?  We have agreements with several different groups.  We attempt to borrow from the source that will be fastest and provide the longest loan period but we cannot guarantee either. 

Can I borrow my textbooks through ILL?  We do not process orders for textbooks through ILL for several reasons.  One is that most libraries do not own textbooks in their collections.  If they do, they generally do not circulate through ILL. If we are able to borrow a book that is being used as a text, it can be recalled at anytime.  We cannot guarantee renewals or length of the loan.