Frequently Asked Questions
Use interlibraryloan to access materials held by libraries around the world. You can use interlibrary loan to borrow books, articles, and other items that are not owned by Cook Library or other libraries in the University System of Maryland (USMAI).
Need more help? Watch our Using Interlibrary Loan video.
Check Cook OneSearch to see if Cook Library or another USMAI library owns the item.
If an item is not available through Cook Library or another USMAI library, please place an ILL request.
You can request books, audiovisual materials, articles, theses and dissertations, book chapters, and other research materials that are not owned by Cook Library or another USMAI library.
While every effort will be made to locate your requested item, some things may not be available or may be too costly to obtain. Generally we cannot obtain textbooks, reference material, entire issues of journals, or rare or fragile items.
Please limit requests to items that support study or research needs. We cannot process requests for leisure reading or entertainment.
There is no charge for ILL requests. In some cases where the cost to obtain an item is too high, ILL staff will cancel the request and notify you of the reason.
First-time users will need to register for an ILLiad interlibrary loan account.
Once you have an account, you can place requests directly from Cook OneSearch or many of our other search tools by clicking the Find It button
You can also place requests by logging into your ILLiad account and selecting one of the options under the "New Request" menu.
Hard-copy items (such as books, DVDs, etc.) typically arrive within 10 days. Articles, book chapters, and other electronic items may arrive much faster. Items that are difficult to obtain may take several weeks to arrive.
ILL staff will make every effort to obtain materials by the deadline included on your request.
You will receive an email when your item is available. Articles and book chapters will be available to view online by logging in to your ILLiad interlibrary loan account.
Physical items are held for pickup at the circulation desk located on the 3rd floor of Cook Library. Items that are not retrieved from the circulation desk within one week may be returned to the lender.
Electronic items are available in your account for 30 days. We recommend that you download or print files before they expire.
For physical loans, the lending library sets the borrowing terms for their items -- including the due date. The due date can be found on the paper sleeve attached to the item. Please do not remove the paper sleeve from your loan.
You will receive reminder and overdue notices via email. Long overdue materials will result in your account being automatically blocked and your ILL service suspended.
To request a renewal online:
- Log in to your interlibrary loan account
- Under the "View menu" on the navigational menu, select "Checked out items"
- Select the transaction number link for the loan you wish to renew
- If a renewal is allowed, a "Renew Request" link will be available. Select "Renew Request"
The message "Item renewed" and the new due date will be displayed. The loan is temporarily renewed for two weeks while we wait for the library that owns the item to respond.