Interlibrary Loan (ILL)



Interlibrary Loan (ILL) can be used to borrow library materials or obtain copies of articles or book chapters currently not available from KU Libraries, or not owned by the KU Libraries. Through cooperative agreements, participating libraries share their collections with students, faculty and staff from other libraries


KU faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, staff and affiliates with a valid KUID, and in good standing. This includes emeritus faculty and retired staff. There is no cost for using Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan is not available for individuals with KU Library Borrower Cards.

What can be requested through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Requests may be made for items that are currently unavailable from the KU Libraries (checked out, missing, declared lost, etc.) or are not owned by the KU Libraries. Submit your requests through WebRetrieve for anything that supports your classroom and research needs.

Items available through Interlibrary Loan:

  • Microfilm or Microfiche items
  • Books
  • Book Chapters
  • Journal Articles
  • Conference Proceedings
  • Theses, Dissertations or Reports
  • Audio/Visual Materials

Some libraries will not lend certain types of materials, making them difficult to obtain on loan. Often it depends on the lending libraries' policies.

Especially hard to borrow items are:

  • Software and audio/visual materials
  • Current journals
  • Items in the reserve collection
  • Reference books
  • Genealogy materials
  • Archival materials
  • Electronic files
  • Paper newspapers
  • Rare or fragile materials

How many requests can I make?

For faculty, students and staff, there is no limit on the number of WebRetrieve requests you can submit.

Getting started - request via WebRetrieve:

  • Log in to WebRetrieve.  For help logging in, see our WebRetrieve video tutorials.
  • Once you have logged in to WebRetrieve you may request:
    • an article not available from KU Libraries
    • a book chapter not available from KU Libraries
    • a loan not available from KU Libraries
  • If you have trouble accessing WebRetrieve, contact Interlibrary Loan.

Tips to ensure efficient handling of your requests:

Submit all requests via WebRetrieve in order to comply with U.S. Copyright regulations. Interlibrary Loan does not accept requests via email, telephone or fax.

Carefully fill out your request forms. Incomplete or inaccurate citations can cause delays.

When you see the "Get at KU button" in a database, e-journal or other search tool, "Get at KU" can automatically paste citation data into the WebRetrieve request forms. Please be sure to proof information for accuracy.

KU materials currently checked out, on search, missing or declared lost may be requested through Interlibrary Borrowing.

Interlibrary Loan Borrowing is limited to related research, scholarship and work and is provided at no cost to KU faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, staff and affiliates with a valid KUID, and in good standing.

How much will it cost?

There is no cost to our patrons for using Interlibrary Loan. However, the KU Libraries typically pays $5 to $50 upward to $70 for each filled request.

How will I be notified?

You will receive an email notification at the email address on file with the libraries when interlibrary loans arrive and are being held for you at your pickup location.

If you requested delivery via TripSaver or Home Delivery, interlibrary loan books will be checked out to you before shipment.

Where do I pick up and return materials?

Materials may be picked up from any KU library location specified by the patron. Materials, except for media items and fragile items, may be returned to any of the KU Libraries or bookdrops located around KU's main campus. Patrons are responsible for ensuring that all materials are returned to the KU Libraries in the same condition when picked up or checked out.

Please DO NOT remove any paperwork from the Interlibrary Loan materials. This increases the chance for items to become lost and patrons to be charged for the materials.

Pickup location: You can set a default pickup location in your KU WebRetrieve account record, and that location will automatically be selected on your future requests. You will still have the option of choosing an alternate pickup location on each request. To set your default pickup location:

When you first log on for a KU Libraries WebRetrieve account, select your pickup location from the dropdown menu.

If you already have a KU WebRetrieve account:

  • Go to WebRetrieve
  • Log in to your account
  • Select "Update Pickup Location" under "My Account" tab
  • Select a pickup location from the dropdown menu
  • Submit information

How do I get the articles or book chapters I requested?

  • You will receive an email notification when your articles have been delivered to WebRetrieve.
  • To retrieve your articles, login to WebRetrieve and click on "Your PDFs" under "View". You can download or print your articles from here.
  • Your copies will remain on WebRetrieve for 14 days after you have received your email notification.

Can I request a rescan of an article?

Yes, reply as soon as possible to the email notification you received for the article and be specific about the problem (see examples below). A request for a resend will be made for you.

  • Unreadable
  • Missing pages
  • Missing text
  • Wrong article was scanned
  • Pages cut off

How do I request a renewal?

If renewals are allowed (note any restrictions under PLEASE NOTE THESE LENDING RESTRICTIONS on the Interlibrary Loan book jacket), renewals for Interlibrary Loans must be requested before the due date. To renew, contact the Interlibrary Borrowing to update your account. Staff members will help you and provide you with the new due date. Please note that the lending library or institution is solely responsible for the decision of how long to extend the due date. The materials might not be renewed, even if renewal requests are allowed. If a renewal is denied or the due date is shorter than originally assigned, Interlibrary Loan staff will contact patrons via email with the new due date. Materials must be returned by the due date to avoid overdue fines.

Can someone else pick up Interlibrary Loan materials for me?

KU faculty, staff and graduate students may designate a proxy to pick up their materials by completing a form at the Watson Service Desk. All authorized users and proxies are required to present their Proxy Card and photo ID to library staff when picking up materials. The requesting patron retains responsibility for all materials obtained via Interlibrary Loan.

Restrictions and copyright

Interlibrary Loan is a courtesy provided by the lending library or institution and any conditions of use imposed by the lending library must be strictly observed. Loan periods vary. Some materials may be "In-library use only." All items are subject to immediate recall by the lending library or institution. Limitations on materials will be clearly indicated on the Interlibrary Loan jacket of the borrowed items. Disregarding restrictions and due dates may result in the lending libraries or institutions to refuse loaning materials to KU Libraries in the future.

The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.