Interlibrary Loan

Who may use interlibrary loan?

  • NYU students, faculty, and staff
  • NYU Abu Dhabi students, faculty, and staff
  • New School students and faculty

Note: The following schools have their own Interlibrary Loan services. If you attend one of these schools, please submit your requests there.

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (CIMS)

NYU School of Law

NYU School of Medicine

NYU College of Dentistry

Polytechnic Institute of NYU (NYUPoly)

Cooper Union

Do I have to pay for ILL Services?

There is no charge for this service.

How do I make a request?

All ILL requests must be submitted online. Login to My interlibrary loan (ILL) in your e-Shelf using your Net ID and password. Before submitting a request, please check BobCat to see that the item is not available on the shelf. You may place ILL requests for items that are checked out or otherwise unavailable from New York University or consortium libraries.

What can I request?

  • Journal or Newspaper Articles (limit: 5 articles per journal title, per copyright restrictions)
  • Books
  • Book Chapters (limit: 1 chapter per book title, per copyright restrictions)
  • Entire Journals
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Audio/Visual material (sometimes difficult to obtain)
  • Microforms
  • Musical Scores

What can't I request?

We do not accept requests for items available for checkout at Bobst, Courant or consortium libraries. We do not accept requests for articles found in NYU's full-text e-journal collection. You may place ILL requests for items that are checked out.

Digital-only materials (Kindle books, e-books, iTunes) and computer software (discs, downloads, apps) cannot be obtained due to licensing restrictions on these items.

Note: New School users must be inside of Bobst Library to access NYU electronic resources.

How long does it take?

Delivery time depends on the availability of items at other libraries and the shipping method used by other libraries.

Articles and book chapters are delivered electronically in about 3-5 days. For items only located in a few libraries or overseas, it can take 3-6 weeks to obtain a photocopy or scan.

Items that are widely held and available in the NYC metropolitan area usually arrive within 7-10 business days.

Items that have to travel from further geographic reasons take longer. A book coming from California can take 2 weeks to arrive. Items coming from overseas can take 4-8 weeks to arrive.

If you are in a rush:

Request just the article or book chapter you need instead of the entire book.

Check the WorldCat catalog to see if a local library has the item. You will want to verify that your item is available in that library's catalog before you make a trip to their library.

  • If a library is a member of the SHARES consortium, you have access to enter the library.
  • If a library is a member of the Metropolitan Library Council (METRO), you can request a METRO referral card from the 1st floor Reference Desk at Bobst Library, which will give you permission to enter the the library and use the specified material.

How can I check the status of my request?

You can check the status of your request at anytime by logging into My interlibrary loan (ILL) in your e-Shelf. Click on "Request History" to view your requests. You may also contact the ILL Department directly.

Please use the key below to interpret the status of your request:

Status What it means
Awaiting Copyright Clearance You submitted an article or book chapter request that must be evaluated against copyright guidelines before your request can be sent to other libraries. All articles and book chapter requests must pass evaluation before they can be forwarded to other libraries.
Awaiting Request Processing The ILL department has received your request and is currently trying to locate potential lenders.
Check BobCat or Standard Number
  1. An automated system detected that the item you requested might be listed in BobCat. The ILL department will verify the availability status of the item in BobCat. Your request will either be sent to other libraries or you will be notified if the item is available in our collection.
  2. An automated system detected that your request did not contain an ISSN, ISBN, or OCLC number. The ILL department will search for the number(s) for your item and send your request to other libraries using a faster method.
Request Sent The ILL department has sent your request to other libraries and is awaiting their responses. Your item could also be on its way. For the most up to date information, contact the ILL department directly.
Awaiting Conditional Processing A potential lending library would like us to agree to special terms before sending the item to us.
Awaiting Unfilled Processing We sent your request to several libraries, but they could not supply your item. Your request is being sent out to other libraries again.
Checked Out to Customer

Your item has been received and you have received an email about its arrival. This status will remain on the item:

  • when the item is waiting for you to pick up at the Circulation Desk
  • when you have already checked out the item
  • when you have returned the item but it has not yet been retrieved by the ILL department for the final return process
Information Needed We emailed you regarding your request and we are awaiting your response.
Extended Searching Your request must go through an alternate request process. It is either hard to find or must be requested from a library overseas. You received an email regarding this request and informing you that there would be a delay in processing this request.
Cancelled by ILL Staff The ILL department cancelled this request and you received an email with the specific reason why.
Request Finished The item that arrived has been returned to the lending library. Or the article or book chapter that was posted electronically to your account has been removed from the server.


What happens when my materials arrive at Bobst Library?

You will be notified by e-mail when the item has been received.

We will indicate the location where your item is held. This will depend on the type of item and the restrictions placed upon the item by the lending library. Your item could be in either the Circulation, Course Reserves, Avery Fisher Center, or Special Collections areas.

Articles or book chapters are posted to My interlibrary loan (ILL) in your e-Shelf; click on "My available articles" to access them.

How many requests can I make?

Faculty may submit ILL requests without limit. Students and staff may submit up to 5 ILL requests per day.

Article and book chapter requests are limited per copyright restrictions.

  • limit 5 article requests per journal title
  • limit 1 chapter per book title

How long can I keep my ILL item?

The loan period for ILL material is determined by the lending library. Lending libraries can also restrict the holding location of the material ("library use only") and your ability to renew the item.

The most common loan period is 3-4 weeks. The loan period for audio/visual materials is substantially shorter, usually 3-7 days.

You will be informed of the due date when you are notified that your item has arrived.

Articles and book chapters delivered electronically will remain available for 15 days or 5 views, whichever comes first. You are encouraged to save or print your document before it is automatically removed from view. Documents that expire or are deleted cannot be retrieved.

How do I renew my ILL material?

Renewals may be requested online and are subject to approval by the lending library.

If the label on your book states "Can I renew? No" you cannot renew the item. Renewals have been denied by the lending library.

If your item can be renewed, you must request renewal through My interlibrary loan (ILL) in your e-Shelf.

Once you are logged into your account:

* Click on "Request History" under "View" in the menu on the left.

* Find the item you wish to renew and click on the Transaction Number

* Click "Renew Request" at the top of the screen

* If the item can be renewed, the new due date will appear at the top of the screen

You are able to request only one renewal online. For subsequent renewals or for problems renewing, please contact the ILL department directly.

Once I'm finished with the materials, where do I return them?

Please return all ILL items with the labels intact. Removing the label from an ILL item can cause a delay in removing the item from your library account. It may also result in the item being lost among Bobst Library books or returned to the wrong lending library.

ILL books can be returned in the book drops near the library entrance or at the north or south ends of the Circulation Desk. Please return damaged or fragile items to a staff member at the Circulation Desk during hours of operation.

Please return ILL media items (DVDs, CDs, etc.) to a staff member at the Circulation Desk during hours of operation.

Items held at Avery Fisher Center, Course Reserves, or Special Collections:

Please return ILL items held in these locations to the service desk where you retrieved the item.

How do I download a document or e-book to my e-reader, tablet, or mobile device?

For instructions on how to download PDF files to your specific device, refer to the documentation provided by your device's manufacturer.

Send to Kindle: Kindle Personal Documents Service

Send to iPad or iPhone using free iBooks app

NOOK devices: FAQs to transfer files or download library e-books

How to create PDFs from ebrary e-books:

Create an image PDF of a specific chapter or page range

Download an entire document as an e-book in Adobe Digital Editions

I am not an NYU student, faculty member, or staff, but need something from NYU's collection. How do I request it?

Ask at your home library, which is any local public, corporate, or academic library where you have borrowing privileges.

What happens if an ILL becomes overdue?

Every effort should be made to return ILL materials on time. Overdue items jeopardize NYU's ability to borrow items from other libraries. Libraries can restrict our ability to borrow any material until the overdue item is returned. This restrictions can cause delay to other students and faculty who are trying to obtain materials through interlibrary loan.

All users are charged an overdue fine of $1.00 per day per item for overdue ILL materials. Items that are more than 20 days overdue will be declared "lost" and the cost of the book plus a non-refundable $30 processing fee will be charged to your account. In addition, an individual's library privileges may be suspended until the overdue material is returned.


Contact the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Department:

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