Research Guides

Interlibrary Loan (ILL): FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

A Guide to Interlibrary Loan Services at Wellesley.

What can I request?

  • Books, DVDs, CDs, scores, book chapters, journal articles, theses & microforms
  • Items owned by Wellesley that are currently checked out or on reserve if needed for a longer period.


Make sure you search the Wellesley Library Catalog first to make sure we don't already own the item.

How long will it take?

Request Type  Average Time for Request
 ILL (book)     ** 2-10 days 
 ILL (article/chapter)        hours to 2 days 


** Some materials may take longer based on location of lending library and availability of item requested 

Is there a charge for this service & how many items can I request?

  • Wellesley does not limit or charge for this service.


(In the case of large numbers of requests, we may ask if the material is for faculty, scholarly research or direct the user to Research & Instruction for further assistance)

How will I get my requests and how long will you hold them for me?


  • Picked up at the Clapp Service Desk.  You will receive an email when they are ready.
  • ILL loans are held until the due date, after which time they are sent back.


Articles and Book Chapters

  • Delivered to your ILL account electronically and you will be notified by email when the PDF is available. 
  • PDFs are only available for 30 days in your ILL account.  Please be sure to save or print the articles once you open them.

How do I cancel my request?

Please contact us and let us know what you've requested and we'll cancel it for you.   

What are the replacement fees for unreturned, damaged or lost loans?

ILL Loans:

  • A replacement fee determined by the lending library will be added to the patron's library account when a replacement invoice is received. Fees over $100 will result in a "borrowing block" on a student's record. All fees will result in a "borrowing block" on a student's ILL account. This fee (and any associated blocks) will be removed when the item is returned.  


Read more about library policies here.


What materials are difficult to borrow?

Place your request and we'll try to get it for you.  

We may not be able to borrow the following:

  • Some reference books
  • Most archival or very rare materials
  • Most whole periodical issues
  • Most senior, honors and masters theses
  • Some artists materials cataloged as ‘boxed’ or ‘lineal footage’

Who can use ILL and what do I need to use it?

  • Currently enrolled Wellesley students, faculty, faculty emeriti and staff.  
  • You'll need your One Card and your MyWellesley domain username and password to make requests.

My book was recalled. What does that mean and why?


  • Recalls happen when items we borrow are needed back at the lending library before the given due date.
  • Remember we are borrowing these books and they belong to the lending library.  
  • If you receive a recall notification, please return the item right away and submit a new request or contact us and we’ll try to obtain another copy for you.


How long can I borrow what I requested? (Can I keep this the whole semester)?

Loan periods vary depending on the lending library.  Most libraries give a 4 week loan period with one renewal and some give an 8 week loan period with no renewal.  Items may be recalled at anytime (prior to the due date) by the lending library.


How will I know when my item is due?

  • Due dates can be checked within your library accounts.  
  • Courtesy notices are sent by email (7 days before the due date for ILL loans). Notices will contain a direct link for renewals.  
  • Renewals can be requested if you need the loan longer.

How will I know if my loans are overdue?

All overdue notices are emailed to your Wellesley email. 

ILL Loans:

  • Overdue notices are sent 1 and 15 days after the item is due.  (Overdue loans may not be renewed.)
  • Once the item is two weeks overdue, the lending library can bill for the item.

Read more about library policies here.

My question isn’t answered here. Whom should I contact?

Please contact us with any questions:

Angie Batson & Jamie Sherman