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Inter-Library Loans

The Inter-Library Loan service provides members of Loughborough University with access to information resources which are not available from the print collections or electronic subscriptions of Loughborough University Library.  We do this either by borrowing these resources or by getting photocopies or PDFs of them from other libraries around Britain, and sometimes overseas.  If there is a journal article, conference paper or other information resource that you want, and the University Library does not have it, you can request it from the Inter-Library Loan service and we will set about getting it for you.

Please note that the Inter-Library Loan service does not currently include books for London students. Please contact your Academic and Learning Resources Librarian if you require a book that is not in the Library collections.

What can I request using the Inter-Library Loan service?

You can request items which are not available in print or electronically from Loughborough University Library.  You can find out what print resources and e-resources are available from the University Library using Library Catalogue Plus.

If the item that you want is not available from Loughborough University Library, the Inter-Library Loan service can attempt to obtain it from another library for you.

The Inter-Library Loan service obtains journal articles, conference papers, technical reports, theses and other documents from other libraries.

How do I make requests?

Using our online request form.  Log in to it with your Loughborough University username and password.

Please use the online request form to request one item at a time.  This is important for reasons relating to the law of copyright.

There is a hyperlink to the online request form at the bottom of this page.

Can I only borrow things using the Inter-Library Loan service, or can I request copies too?

The name ‘Inter-Library Loan service’ is a bit of a misnomer: as well as loans we can also arrange for other libraries to make a copies of items for you to keep.

If you request a single journal article, conference paper or book chapter, we will ask another library to make a copy of it for you.  You will then be able to keep this copy.

Can I request electronic copies?

Yes.  We use the British Library On Demand service to supply PDFs of journal articles, book chapters, conference papers etc.  Provided that BL On Demand can supply us with a PDF of a document, we can supply it to you.  If for any reason we cannot get a PDF for you, we will try to get a photocopy for you instead.

Full instructions on how to request and download PDFs are available at the bottom of this page.

What proportion of a work can be copied for me?

The law of copyright restricts how much of a work can be copied for the purpose of inter-library document supply.  For instance we cannot get a photocopy of an entire book for you.  Details as follows:

Type of workProportion to be copied
Book up to one chapter
Journal up to one article from any issue
Confererence proceedings up to one paper from any conference

If you wish to consult, say, more than one article in a particular journal-issue, it may be possible for us to borrow that journal-issue for you.  The same applies to books and conference proceedings.

How many requests can I make, and do I have to pay?

Members of Loughborough University have an annual allowance of free Inter-Library Loans, as follows:

Type of readerNumber of ILL requests/year
Taught postgraduate 10
Postgraduate researcher 40
Member of University staff 40

Provided that your request falls within your allowance, you will not have to pay.

If you exceed your allowance, or if you wish to request something for your own interest not connected with Loughborough University learning, teaching or research, then you must pay.

As of 1 August 2016 the British Library, our main supplier, charges £13.95 to lend us an item and £10.15 to supply a printed copy of an item.  Other suppliers make other charges.

If you think that you have exceeded your allowance or if you wish to pay for an Inter-Library Loan, please contact us.

How do I receive what I have requested?

If you request a photocopy of, say, a journal article, we can post it to you at an address of your choosing.  If you would like us to do this, please enter your address in the appropriate box on the Inter-Library Loan online request form.  Otherwise we will hold it for you at the University Library and email you to let you know when it is available.

If you request a PDF we will supply it via your Loughborough University email address.

How long will it take for what I have requested to arrive?

This depends on what you have requested and on which library supplies it.  We make no guarantee as to how long a particular item will take to arrive.  A PDF can take as little as one working day to arrive; photocopies and loanable items often arrive within five working days.  We will inform you if an item is likely to take longer than usual to arrive.

Can I check the progress of my request?

Yes. You can do this in person at the Main Service Desk on Level 3 of the University Library, by telephone (+44 (0)1509 222362) or by e-mail (

Requesting theses and dissertations