Interlibrary Loan

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Maddie Stap

Phone: 269.337.7148 | Email:

What is ILL?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) supplements the Kalamazoo College Library’s resources by providing materials not available on campus for research needs. Through ILL services, current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff may obtain materials such as books, chapters, and journal articles that are not available in the Kalamazoo College Library collection. To request materials through Interlibrary Loan, you must complete and submit a request form in Kalamazoo College Library’s Interlibrary Loan system.

PLEASE NOTE: Library staff work diligently to honor your requests. However, the nature of Interlibrary Loan requires the cooperation of outside institutions and therefore CANNOT BE GUARANTEED. If you do not receive any communication from ILL within two weeks, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Department at or by phone at 269.337.7148.

This service is administered in accordance with the standards of the American Library Association Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States. Kalamazoo College reserves the right to decline an ILL request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would violate copyright law. When an ILL request is filled, patrons are responsible for following copyright. See Copyright Guidelines for more information.

Contact the Interlibrary Loan Department by email at or by phone at 269.337.7148 if you have questions.

OCLC Express Library

OCLC Express Library Badge

The Kalamazoo College Library is a member of OCLC’s Express Interlibrary Loan program, meaning we meet Express standards for consistently and quickly delivering articles and other digital resources. Kalamazoo College users benefit from the speedy delivery of digital materials from other Express libraries who reciprocate this same high level of service. When available, many ILL requests for digital resources can be fulfilled in fewer than 48 business hours.

Who Can Use ILL at Kalamazoo College?

Current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff in good standing can use the Library’s ILL service. Patrons are not in good standing if they have over $20 in ILL fines, or have been blocked from using ILL. Patrons may be blocked from using ILL for:

  • having too many overdue items
  • failing to return ILL items, or
  • damaging materials

Alumni are not eligible to use Interlibrary Loan through Kalamazoo College. Alumni may be able to interlibrary loan items through their local public libraries.

Generally, emeriti faculty are not eligible to use ILL through Kalamazoo College. Emeriti who do not have access to ILL services through another library may use Kalamazoo College ILL services. Any charges associated with these services must be paid by the emeriti faculty member personally.

Before You Submit an ILL Request


  • Check Library OneSearch to see if the item you need is available in the Library’s collection. If a Kalamazoo College Library item is not on the shelf, please ask at the Circulation Desk. It may have been returned recently, or it may be missing. If a Kalamazoo College Library book is checked out, it may be recalled under certain circumstances. Please ask at the Circulation Desk.
  • Check MeLCat. You can order books directly through MeLCat; generally they arrive sooner than those requested through ILL.
  • Be sure you have a complete bibliographic citation of the item(s) you wish to request. Incomplete requests may be sent back to you for more information.


  • Check Library OneSearch. If the article is available in any of Kalamazoo College Library’s Full Text resources, OneSearch provides links to those databases.
  • Be sure you have a complete bibliographic citation of the item(s) you wish to request. Incomplete requests may be sent back to you for more information.

How to Request Materials through ILL

To request materials through ILL, you must complete and submit a request form in Kalamazoo College Library’s Interlibrary Loan system.

To start your request, log into the ILL system with your Kalamazoo College username and password.

You can check on the status of your requests, ask for renewals, and cancel requests. You can also request materials through ILL directly in many of the Library’s databases.

Instant email notification lets you know when your materials have arrived. Please do not turn off the email option, or you will not be notified. If you prefer to receive a text when your materials have arrived, add your cell phone number to the request.

Pick up and return books at the Library Circulation Desk. Articles and chapters will be delivered electronically to your ILL account.

The length of time to obtain materials through ILL varies. Requests are processed in the order they are received, but some items arrive faster than others. Most items can be obtained within two weeks but may take longer.

What Can Be Requested

Books and Returnable Items

Generally, returnable items will be ordered only for current students who reside locally and for current faculty and staff who are in the area to pick up and return items at the Circulation Desk.

Unfortunately, we cannot send ILL materials to patrons who are off campus; all books and other returnable items (media, microfilm, etc.) must be picked up at the Kalamazoo College Library Circulation Desk. If you will be off campus and need to interlibrary loan a returnable item (book), please consult your local public library. If your local public library participates in MeLCat, you may also order books through MeLCat as a patron of your local public library and have them delivered there.


Periodical articles and chapters may be requested by eligible patrons on campus and off campus. Articles may be ordered through ILL and delivered electronically as a PDF file.

Most libraries will lend:

  • Books
  • Journal articles
  • Musical scores
  • Microfilm or microfiche

Some libraries will lend:

  • Audio recordings (CDs)
  • Video recordings (VHS, DVDs)
  • Dissertations (see below)

Libraries rarely or never lend:

  • E-books
  • Rare or valuable materials
  • Fragile materials
  • Reference books
  • Manuscripts
  • Materials from special collections
  • Complete issues of journals and periodicals

Obtaining Dissertations

The ILL Department will attempt to obtain copies of dissertations and theses whenever possible. However, dissertations can be difficult to obtain through ILL because they may be owned only by the institution where they were written, and many schools do not circulate their dissertations.

Submit dissertation requests to the ILL Department, which will contact you if we are unable to borrow the item. If the item cannot be borrowed, patrons must purchase the dissertation or thesis.

Students must purchase dissertations and theses on their own through Dissertation Express. The Library does not purchase dissertations for students.

Faculty and staff can order dissertations through ILL. Dissertation and thesis purchases will be charged back to the appropriate department.

If you choose to purchase a dissertation through Dissertation Express, the dissertations will take about two weeks to arrive and will be yours to keep.

Renewing ILL Materials

A renewal must be requested at least 5 days before the item’s due date. Renewal requests are subject to the policies and discretion of the lending library and are not guaranteed. Request your renewal through the Interlibrary Loan system.

Loan Periods

PDF copies of articles are yours to keep. Lending libraries determine the due date of books and other materials loaned through ILL. The loan period is usually two to four weeks. If you need to use a book past its due date and your renewal request was denied, contact the ILL department regarding a possible extension. Overdue fines of $1.00 per day are applied to all ILL materials for all users.

Recalls and Conditions

Items borrowed through ILL are loaned through the courtesy of other libraries and governed by their loan rules. The lending library may set conditions on use or recall items at any time. Conditions, such as “no renewal” or “in library use only,” are indicated on the identification band around each item.

Cost to Request

Students do not pay fees for requesting or using ILL items.

Current Faculty and Staff do not pay fees for requesting or using ILL items that cost the library under $30 to obtain. If filling a request costs over $30, we will double check that you still want the item, but the library will subsidize the cost.

Emeriti Faculty who do not have access to ILL services through another library may use Kalamazoo College ILL services for items that are free for us to obtain. If filling a request may incur a fee, the fee must be paid by the emeriti faculty member personally.

Overdues and Fines

Overdue fines of $1.00 per day are applied to all interlibrary loan items. The Library may charge a faculty or staff member’s department for the amount billed by the lending library.

Fines accumulate until the item is returned, renewed, or declared lost.

ILL privileges are suspended if a borrower owes more than $20.00 in ILL fines, replacement costs, or billing fees. Borrowers must pay ILL fines or fees in excess of $20 in order to reinstate ILL borrowing privileges. Fines and fees may be paid at the library Circulation Desk. Cash or checks are accepted.

When an item is more that 30 days overdue, the library will declare it as lost and bill as follows:

  • Replacement Cost: $45 or higher, depending on the replacement cost of the item
  • Fines and Billing Fees: $15

The library attempts to notify borrowers of overdue materials. Failure to receive notification does not absolve borrowers of accrued obligations.

Patrons are responsible for all costs associated with lost or damaged materials. Charges for lost or damaged items are assessed by the lending library. Patrons are responsible for payment of these charges. If materials are lost in transit or after they have been returned to the Kalamazoo College library, the ILL Department will reimburse the lending library.