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InterLibrary Loan & Document Delivery Policies and Procedures: FAQs

This guide provides information about the InterLibrary Loan and Document Delivery functions that Healey Library serves to its patrons.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take?

This all depends on which library has the item, if they are willing to lend it out, if it is in use by their patrons, how far away they are, what kind of shipping they use, as well as many other factors.

The average turnaround time for articles and book chapter is 3-4 business days. However, some hard to find or hard to process articles and book chapters may take longer.

Books take longer than articles. Those from nearby libraries often come in a few days, but one week to ten days is usual. Rare and special materials often take longer, and sometimes no library is able to lend those.


How do you contact me?

Notifications of available items and other interlibrary loan correspondence are sent to the email you specify in your account.


Where do I pick up my items and how long will they be there?

Physical items can be picked up at the 2nd floor Circulation desk. You must present your UMass ID in order to check out item. They will be available for pickup until the due date.

Articles can be viewed online via your interlibrary loan account. They are available for 30 days from the time that you are notified after which they are deleted automatically so it is a good idea to save it as soon as you receive it.


Where do I return my items?

Physical items must be returned to the 2nd floor Circulation desk. After hours, they may be dropped off at the drop box located outside of the main entrance doors of the library.


Who is eligible?

You are eligible to use interlibrary loan if you are a currently enrolled student, a faculty member, or an employee at UMass, Boston.

However, if you have very overdue ILL materials you will be blocked from borrowing more until all overdue items are returned.


Is there a charge?

At present, there is no charge for using interlibrary loan. However, if you lose a physical item, you will be charged for its replacement cost as well as overdue charges. This amount is determined by the lending library, but a replacement fee of $100 is typical. Overdue charges max out at $20 per item.


What can I request?

You can request the following types of items through interlibrary loan.

  • Items that are not owned by UMass.

  • Items that are checked out or missing.

  • Books, CDs, DVDs, videos, articles, book chapters, theses, conference papers, etc.

If you request an item that is checked out or missing, please indicate this information in the "notes" field of the interlibrary loan request form.


How many items can I request?

This is an unlimited number. Just make sure to keep track of due dates!


How long is the loan period?

The due date for a physical item is located on the book band. This date is assigned by the lending library and varies depending on the lending library's loan policies. One month is a typical interlibrary loan period.


Why has my book been recalled?

Sometimes a lending library will recall a book that it has lent out via ILL. This happens when the item is needed by one of their students or professors.

This means that the borrowing period will be cut short and the book must be returned right away. We will send you an email message telling you that the book has been recalled and that the due date has changed.

Please return the item as quickly as you can, this helps us maintain a good relationship with the lending library so we can continue borrowing from them in the future.

If you still need that item you might try ordering it again via ILL and we will do our best to get it from another library.


Can I cancel a request?

That depends. If we catch the request before a potential lending library receives it, we can cancel it. We can also cancel the request if it is "between" libraries. If the lending library has already shipped the item it is too late. Please let us know if you wish to cancel a request, and we will try to get to it in time. It helps us save staff time and costs. If not, when you get an email letting you know that it has arrived, please let us know that you no longer need this item


Where can I get information about fines?

Please go to the Healey Circulation page for information about fines.


Why can't I log in?

There are few possible reasons why you can't log into InterLibrary Loan.

  • If you activated your barcode recently, there is a waiting period before it can be used to log in to ILLiad. Due to automated system processes, barcodes that are edited or activated BEFORE 8pm will be available to log in to the ILL system after 8am the following morning. Barcodes that are edited or activated AFTER 8pm will be available to log in to the ILL system after 8am on the second day following the edit or activation.

  • Are you entering the correct information? Enter your barcode number, NOT your UMass system ID number.

  • Are you typing your last name correctly? Reminder: Your last name MUST BE be all lower case.

If you are still having problems, check to see if your account is up to date by contacting the circulation department at 617.287.5900 or Library.Circulation@umb.edu.


Is there a way I can get items faster?

Yes, if you include the ISBN or ISSN numbers in your request form, in most cases, you get the request faster.

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique identifier for books.

ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is a unique identifier for journals, magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals.


What do these statuses mean in my ILL account?

Request Sent – The request has been sent to a potential lender and we are awaiting notification that the items can be borrowed and delivered.

Awaiting Unfilled Processing - The request has been returned unfilled. ILL staff will continue searching for the item through our resources until all efforts has been exhausted.

Awaiting Renewal Response - Your request for a renewal has been sent to the lender and we are waiting to hear back from them to see if the renewal has been granted.


How do I renew an item?

In order to renew an interlibrary loan book, you must first check the book-band around your book to see if there are any statements from the lending library that renewals are not allowed. Certain libraries will not allow renewals, which is indicated on the book band.

If there are no statements regarding renewals on the book band, you may be able to renew your book. Renewals are granted by the lending library and are usually accepted only before the due dates passes. Sometimes, if your book is a couple of days overdue, you can ask for a renewal through the system.

If the lending library allows renewal requests:

  • Log onto your ILLiad InterLibrary Loan account at http://www.umb.edu/library/interlibrary_loan.

  • Click on the transaction number of the book you wish to renew.

  • At the top of the screen there should be “Renew Request.” Click on that & the request to renew will be generated.

  • If you do not see in red “Renew Request” at the top of the request, you may contact the InterLibrary Loan office at Library.ill@umb.edu.


How will I know if my renewal request has been granted?

Notifications of your renewal status are sent to the email you specify in your ILLiad account. The new due date is determined by lending library and may different from the original date you requested.
If the lending library denys your renew request, you must return the item before the due date.

Healey Library | University of Massachusetts Boston | 100 Morrissey Blvd | Boston, MA | 02125-3393 | 617-287-5900