Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Interlibrary Loan

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) provides elibible UTRGV borrowers access to library materials not owned or available a the University LIbrary. Interlibrary Loan is made possible by cooperative sharing agreements with other libraries. The Library expands its borrowing and lending capabilities through consortial memberships with Amigos and TexShare and through its participation in the OCLC cooperative network.

Who can use Interlibrary Loan services?

ILL services are available to all current students, faculty, emeritus faculty, staff, retirees, visiting scholar, President's Circle, Lifetime and Gold-Member Alumni, and members of the Arnulfo L. Oliveira Literary Society. Non-UTRGV borrowers from the community are encouraged to use the City/Public Libraries' ILL services.

How do I request an item?

Users begin by requesting an item online via ILLiad. First time users must create an ILLiad account before submitting a request. Once logged into ILLiad, users should complete the form that corresponds to the item being requested (i.e. book, article). Users must provide enough information about the item, so that it can be identified and located. Incomplete requests will result in delays and possible cancellation of the request. Avoid using abbreviations when filling out the form. The more information you supply on the request form, the faster your request can be processed. Once a request has been submitted, users can view and track the request online, using the ILLiad system. Users experiencing difficulties with submitting ILL requests should contact the ILL department for assistance. When the materials arrive, users will be notified by e-mail. ILL book items should be picked up and returned to the Circulation Desk located on the first floor of the Library. Users will be required to show an ID card when checking out ILL materials.

Does it cost anything to borrow materials?

ILL services are free to eligible borrowers, if materials can be obtained from a library that has agreed to provide materials to UTRGV at no charge. If the lending library will charge UTRGV to borrow a requested item, the borrower will be contacted to approve the charges and make arrangements for payment. Every effort will be made to obtain materials from libraries that do not charge. Users are responsible for all charges associated with ILL requests, even if requested items are not picked up. Unpaid charges will result in a block on patron’s University official record.

What can I borrow?

We will try to borrow whatever you request. Some materials are more difficult to borrow, including CD-ROMs and software, audiovisual materials (video and audio cassettes, DVDs), rare and archival materials, reference books, theses and dissertations, and maps. We will not borrow materials available at the Library including entire issues (including photocopies of entire issues) of journals, magazines, and newspapers, textbooks required to be purchased for a course. Items owned by UTRGV that have been declared missing, lost, or damaged can be requested through ILL. Items that are checked out by another patron can also be requested.

Copyright Fees

In accordance with the Copyright Compliance Act, ILL will order no more than five articles from a given journal before passing on the copyright costs to the patron. If we as an institution have already ordered five articles from the same journal, the sixth and subsequent articles will have copyright fees that will be charged to the patron. These fees go to the Copyright Clearance Center, not to the Library.

How long does it take to get an item?

Requested materials typically arrive within two weeks after an ILL request is submitted. However, there is no way to know when an item will arrive. Delivery time is related to the nature of the item, the lending library’s procedures, availability of materials, and the delivery service used. Photocopies tend to arrive much faster than books. Please be sure to allow enough time to receive and use requested items.

How long can I keep my items?

If the item is a photocopy, a user can keep it in most cases. For loans or books or other items, the lending library sets the length of time and any special conditions of the loan, such as “library use only” or “non-renewable.” The due date will be indicated on the book strap of the requested item. To request an extension of the due date, or renewal, contact the ILL office or use the View/Renew Checked Out Items feature on ILLiad. In most cases, up to two renewals of two weeks each are permitted by lenders. Renewal requests should be submitted before the item due date. The Library will strictly enforce due dates and lending restrictions imposed by lending libraries.

Where do I pick up my materials?

Articles will be e-mailed to you. Other materials can be picked up and returned to the Library Circulation Desk. Items should never be placed in the Library book drop.

Overdue materials

The due date will be indicated on the book strap of a requested item. Items should be returned to the Circulation Desk on or before the due date. ILL requests will not be accepted from borrowers with overdue ILL materials. Patrons will receive an email notice if an item is kept past its due date. After the third overdue notice, items will be assumed lost, and will be reported to the lending library. A block will be placed on the patron's Library account and University official record until the item is returned. Suspension or termination of a patron's ILL borrowing privileges will result, if a user repeatedly fails to abide by due dates for ILL materials.

Lost and damaged materials

Lost or damaged materials are subject to charges imposed by the lending library. Patrons who lose or damage an item will be responsible for all fees and replacement charges and will be contacted to make payment arrangements.

What if I forget my ILLiad password?

All faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students can log into ILLiad using their UTRGV credentials. If you need help resetting your password, please visit password reset or contact the ITS Help Desk at 956-665-2020.


You cannot check out material if you have overdue materials or fees from ILL or the Library. If you do not pick up material that has charges associated with it, the Library will place a “hold” on your record until you pick up the material and pay for it.

Other information/Questions

Please contact us directly at 956-665-2342 or e-mail us if you have any questions. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Interlibrary Loan Department operates according to the University’s Academic Calendar.