FAQs for Interlibrary loans

Everything you need to know about interlibrary loans.

Services may differ due to COVID-19. Please see our FAQs for more information.

Who can use interlibrary loans?

The following University of Sunderland borrowers can ask for book loans, journal articles, and book chapters:

  • Undergraduates can have up to 25 books/articles in each academic year
  • On-campus staff, researchers and postgraduate students can have up to 65 books or articles in each academic year

Students at Local Partner Colleges can have up to 25 books or articles in each academic year (please note: items which are borrowed must be collected from and returned to University Library Services in Sunderland).

The following borrowers can ask for copies of journal articles and book chapters but unfortunately cannot borrow interlibrary loan books:

  • Students at UK Partner Colleges (other than Local Partner Colleges) and all Overseas students.

The following users are not eligible to use our interlibrary loan services:

  • Guests such as SCONUL users, members of the University of Sunderland Alumni Association, and visiting scholars
  • Partner College staff

What kind of resources can I get?

We can only accept requests for items which we do not have in our collections, either in print or online, in the University Libraries. You can ask us to supply:

  • Books
  • Journal articles
  • Conference papers
  • Reports
  • Patents
  • Theses

Books are sent to the Library for you to collect; all book loans must be collected from the Library as we are unable to post interlibrary loan books. Some books may be for use in the Library building only; if this happens, we will tell you this when we e-mail you to say the loan has arrived. We may not be able to get copies or loans of some items; if this happens, we will let you know by emailing your University email account. Please allow at least 14 days for items to arrive; this is the length of time it may take if the item is available from The British Library. If it is not available from The British Library, we will try other libraries for you but this will take longer.

Journal articles and individual book chapters will be obtained via The British Library’s On-Demand DRM service where possible and e-mailed to your University e-mail account.

How do I request an interlibrary loan?

To request an interlibrary loan, please visit library.sunderland.ac.uk/ill-form and log in using your University user ID and password. Enter the details of the book or journal article you need. For book requests, our system will then check these details against our collections to see if we already have a copy available. For journal articles, please use Library Search on our homepage library.sunderland.ac.uk to see if we have direct access to the article (enter the article title into the search box, select 'Journal Articles', then click the magnifying glass).

Please note: we are not able to process requests for items we already have in stock or which we already have online access.

To speed up your request, please enter as much information as possible:

  • For a book: author or authors, book title, year published, edition
  • For an article: the author or authors, journal title, article title, volume, issue, year and page numbers

If we do not have enough information to process the request, we may e-mail you to ask you to give us more information.

At the end of the form, please click into 'Collection details' and choose the Library you use the most and the delivery method. You may find you cannot click in the Terms and Conditions box if you have not selected these.

How do I check or change my requests?

You can see a list of the interlibrary loan items you have requested by logging into your Library account. Under the ‘Interlibrary Loans’ tab you will see a list of any active interlibrary loans. The status column shows you the progress of your requests.

Book requests:

  • Pending – your request has been added to our Library system and is waiting to be approved, or has been sent on to other libraries if The British Library cannot supply your request
  • Requested – your request has been sent off but the item has not yet arrived
  • Received – we have received your item and informed you by e-mail to your University e-mail account that it is ready to collect, but you have not yet collected it
  • On loan – you have borrowed the item (you can see the date the item is due back)
  • Discharged – you have returned the book and it is being sent back to the supplier.
  • Completed – the item has been sent back and the loan is complete

Articles, book chapters, and papers:

  • Pending - your request has been added to the library system and is waiting to be approved, or has been sent on to other libraries if The British Library cannot supply it
  • Requested - your request has been sent off but the item has not yet arrived
  • Completed - the item has been e-mailed to you either from The British Library or by our interlibrary loan team, or you will have had an email to say a print copy is ready for you

Can I cancel or change my requests?

If you no longer need something you have requested, or you want to change it or give us extra information, please contact the interlibrary loan team directly on ill@sunderland.ac.uk. We will check whether it is possible to cancel it (unfortunately, depending on how far the request has progressed, this may not be possible) or will use the extra information to help us get the item.

How will I know when my ILL books have arrived?

When your interlibrary loan book has arrived we will e-mail your University e-mail account to tell you which of our buildings to pick it up from, and how long it will be kept for you before it is sent back. Please collect the book from the Library helpdesk during staffed opening hours. Please bring your campus card with you when you come to collect the book. Some books are provided for 'Reference Only' use. These books cannot be borrowed – you have to use them in the library. We will tell you when we email you to say the item has arrived if it is a 'Reference Only' book.

Can I renew an interlibrary loan?

If you still need to use an interlibrary loan after the return date, it may be possible to renew it a maximum of 3 times for two weeks each time. Wherever possible this will happen automatically and you will be e-mailed to tell you the new due date.

In some cases, we have to ask permission of the lending library for renewals and they can either refuse to renew it or can recall it at any time. If this happens we will e-mail you and you will have to return the book. This usually happens only if the book is needed by another reader at the lending library.

What if I lose or damage an interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary loans are not our books and need to be treated with care and returned on time. Please let us know as soon as possible if you know that an interlibrary book has been lost or damaged. The British Library charge for lost or badly damaged items is £156.60 and other libraries have their own scale of charges.

These FAQs are also available as a PDF below.

Interlibrary loan FAQs

Frequently asked questions about interlibrary loans.