Knowledge Base

About Interlibrary Loan


Interlibrary Loan is a service that will obtain books, article photocopies, and other materials not owned by University of Oklahoma libraries. It is available to OU faculty, staff and students.

Interlibrary Loan Restrictions

Interlibrary Loan is intended for academic research only. The lending library may set limitations or restrictions on loans, such as “Library Use Only”, with which we must comply. Popular DVDs, music CDs and audio books are more readily available from a local video store, online vendor or public library. Requests for such items will be cancelled by ILL staff. Current textbooks not available through the library’s reserve system should be purchased; they are not available for loan for an entire semester.

Interlibrary Loan Charges

Although every effort is made to obtain Interlibrary Loan materials free of charge, some materials (especially photocopies) cost. In the event that an interlibrary loan request requires payment, patrons will be notified in advance for approval. If the patron agrees, the charges will be posted to the patron's library patron account.

Copyright & Interlibrary Loan

The Federal copyright law 94-553, enacted January 1, 1978, has placed a limit on the number of photocopies of articles that OU Libraries may request from recent periodical issues, i.e. those published in the last five years. In most cases this will not affect our ability to request the materials you need, but the Interlibrary Loan department reserves the right to refuse to process requests, which in our opinion, would violate copyright law. On these occasions, Interlibrary Loan will provide patrons with information on how they might acquire the desired materials through channels other than Interlibrary Loan.

Overdue and Recalled Items

You will receive an overdue notice after your ILL item is two days past due. If you still need the item, you can request a renewal for it. If the item reaches two weeks past due, you will receive a second notice. If the item reaches three weeks past due, you will receive a third notice and you will be blocked from using ILL. A blocked account will prevent you from ordering additional ILL material. The block will be cleared after you have returned all overdue items. If the item is not returned within one week after receiving your third notice, you will be charged a nonrefundable overdue fee of $10. If an item is never returned or is lost, you will be responsible for the replacement cost of the item. The cost will be determined by the library that sent the item.

If an item is recalled by the lending library, you will receive a notice via email to let you know. You will have one week to return the item. If the item is not returned within one week of the recall notice, you will be charged a nonrefundable fee of $10.

Requesting a Book through Interlibrary Loan

First, determine that the book is not owned by the OU Libraries by searching the catalog. If OU owns the item, use Sooner Xpress to request the item.

To request a book, please use the WorldCat database. After finding a record for the book you desire, click on the “Request via Interlibrary Loan” link to order the item.

If a record for the book is unavailable in WorldCat, use the request forms located on your My ILL page. To access these forms, login to University Libraries' website using your OUNetID and password. Once logged in, click on My ILL, and then choose one of the forms located under New ILL Request.

Please be as specific as possible: include title, author, edition, volumes, publisher, publication year, and place of publication.

Requesting a Journal Article through Interlibrary Loan

First, determine that the journal is not owned by the OU Libraries by searching the catalog. If OU owns the item, use Sooner Xpress to request the item.

Locate the record for the needed article in one of the databases available from the library's website. Once you have found a record for the article, use the “Request via Interlibrary Loan” link or OU Link to Article, whichever is available, to order the article. The OU Link to Article will direct you to a page that will allow you to check the OU catalog for availability. If the item is not available, a link is provided so that you may request it through interlibrary loan.

If a record for the desired article is unavailable in one of the OU Libraries’ databases, use the request forms located on your My ILL page to request the article directly. To access these forms, login to University Libraries' website using your OUNetID and password. Click on My ILL, and then, choose one of the forms located under New ILL Request.

Please be as specific as possible: include journal title, volume number, publication year, article or chapter title (if any), author(s), and page numbers.

Requesting a Thesis through Interlibrary Loan

To order a thesis, please use the WorldCat database. Once you have located a record for the thesis, click on the “Request via Interlibrary Loan” link to order the item.

If you are unable to locate the item within WorldCat, use the request forms located on your My ILL page. To access these forms, login to University Libraries' website using your OUNetID and password. Once you have logged in, you will see a link for My ILL. Click on My ILL and then choose the Thesis/Dissertation form under New ILL Request. Please include the author, title, date of publication, and the school where it was written.

Requesting a Dissertation through Interlibrary Loan

To request a dissertation, please use the Dissertation Abstracts database. Many dissertations are available online, without change from this database.

If online access to the dissertation is unavailable in Dissertation Abstracts, use the WorldCat database to request the dissertation. Once you have located a record for the dissertation within WorldCat, click on the “Request via Interlibrary Loan” link to order it.

If there is no record for the dissertation in WorldCat, use the request forms located on your My ILL page to request the dissertation. To access these forms, login to the University Libraries' website using your OUNetID and password. Click on My ILL, and then choose the Thesis/Dissertation form under New ILL Request. Please be sure to include the author, title, date of publication, and the school where it was written.

How long will it take to fill my Interlibrary Loan request?

Normally, a request for a photocopy is filled within one week. A request for a loan of an item may take up to two weeks to arrive. Many times requests for both are filled sooner.

Rush Service

Rush Service for copies of articles costs $10 per item. For books, we require that patrons cover the cost of the expedited shipping, which averages $30. If the item does not arrive by the date needed, the charges will be waived. If you have an urgent need, email the Interlibrary Loan office about this service.

Delivery Options

In addition to picking up loaned items at Bizzell Memorial Library, you may request that Interlibrary Loan books be delivered to a branch library, your home or your office. Items delivered off-campus will be delivered via USPS.  You are responsible for the cost of returning the item.

Interlibrary Loan for Students Enrolled at OU-Tulsa or OU-Health Sciences Center

Students enrolled at OU-Tulsa or OU-Health Sciences Center should use the Interlibrary Loan forms available on the Schusterman Library at OU-Tulsa or OU-Health Sciences Center library websites to request materials. In some cases, they may be able to get needed items from other libraries more quickly than they can from the OU-Norman library.

Determining If an Interlibrary Loan Request Has Arrived

OU Interlibrary Loan notifies patrons of the availability of materials via email only. The email will indicate that the notice is from OU Interlibrary Loan and provide instructions on how to access or obtain the materials. You must present an ID to pick-up an item being held for you in the library.

If you would prefer that a proxy pick up your materials, please make arrangements by following our "Checking Out Materials through Proxy" guidelines.

Troubleshooting Viewing Articles

If you cannot view the electronically posted material, please email OU Interlibrary Loan. We will try to access the document. If we are unable to repost the article, we will send it to your email as a PDF attachment.

Posted Interlibrary Loan Articles

Once you have received notification that your article has arrived, login to the library's website with your OUNetID (4x4) and click on “My ILL.” Your article should be under the heading "Electronically Received Articles." To view the article, click on the PDF icon.

If notification is received that the article has arrived but the article is not located on the "My ILL" page, please report it IMMEDIATELY to Interlibrary Loan at (405)325-6422 or by email.

Downloading Adobe Acrobat Reader

Some library files (interlibrary loan, electronic reserves, etc.) are scanned and saved in the Adobe pdf file format. The pdf format is smaller than other image files and is capable of spanning multiple pages in one document. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader by visiting their website, follow the instructions for installation on your system. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 3.0 or later.

Renewing Interlibrary Loan Materials

Login to University Libraries' website using your OUNetID and password. Click on My ILL. Under "Checked Out Items," select the item for renewal, and click "Renew Request" at the top of the page. A note confirming your renewal request will appear at the top of the page.


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