Research Guides

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

A Guide to ILL at Wellesley.

Covid 19 Update

At this time we are only able to try and fill loan requests (for physical items) for faculty and staff.

If you would like to make a request for an e-book, please contact 
If you only need a limited number of chapters from a book, please try placing a book chapter request for each chapter needed and we'll try to get them electronically (in accordance with copyright law).
If this is for a class, please check with your instructor who may have already requested the resource for you. If not, please contact

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.

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’

How long will it take?

  • Loans - 2-7 business days 
  • Article/Book Chapters - hours to 2 business days 


We try to get your requests as quickly as possible!  This depends on the availability of the item (how many libraries own it and if it is available) and how the lending library ships it to us.  Most ILL offices are only open M-F.  Please try to place your ILL requests at least a week before you need it.  


How do I cancel my request?

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

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


  • You will receive an email when your loan has been shipped by the lending library.
  • You will receive another email when it has arrived and is ready to be picked up at the Clapp Service Desk. 
  • ILL loans are held until the due date, after which time they are sent back.

Example email:

The book you requested, Antike Glastöpferei : ein vergessenes Kapitel der Glasgeschichte / (394307), has been shipped from the lending library and is on its way here!  We'll let you know when it's available for pick-up at the Clapp Service Desk.


ILL Staff 

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.

Example Email:

An article that you requested:
Title: Violence and Entertainment in The Hunger Games.
Author: Bartlett, Myke

TN: 306558

has been received and processed by the Interlibrary Loan Staff.
You can access your request here by logging on to ILL.

Your request can also be accessed under "Recieved PDFs" on your ILL account homepage.
If you have any questions about this service, please e-mail us at or call us at 781-283-2101.

ILL Staff 

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.

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)

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.


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. 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.


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 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 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 Jesanis
781-283-2101 or 781-283-3597