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Have questions about interlibrary loan at CU Boulder? See below for answers.

If your question is not answered here, please contact us at cu-ill@colorado.edu or 303-492-1617. Currently, voicemail is checked at least once daily.

Who can use ILL?

Currently enrolled students, including Continuing Education students, and currently employed faculty and staff at CU Boulder can use ILL services.

If you are in one of these categories and cannot register for ILL, please contact us by email or by phone at 303-492-1617.

Who can’t use ILL?
  • CU Boulder Law students, faculty and staff -- ILL is available by contacting the CU Boulder Law Library 
  • Public patrons
  • Faculty/Staff spouses not affiliated with CU Boulder
  • Institute workshop participants
  • Other CU campus students and faculty (UCCS, UCHS & UCD)
  • Friends of the Libraries (Silver, Gold and Platinum)
  • Senior auditors
  • Most alumni
  • Colorado Alliance library patrons

Visiting scholars may be eligible for ILL. Please contact us by email or by phone at 303-492-1617.

How do I renew an ILL?

Remote services update:

All University Libraries facilities are closed.
Latest updates and information about remote and virtual services, loan periods and returns. 

All ILLs that are currently checked out are due 8/31/2020.

All renewal requests for ILLs should be placed through your ILLiad dashboard, not your Chinook account. Once you place the renewal request, it is then sent to the lending library, who will approve or deny the renewal. We’ll let you know if the renewal was approved or denied as soon as we hear back from the lending library.

The renewal option will only be available if the lending library allows renewal requests, and only for a specific time window. Whether or not the lending library allows renewals will be indicated on the band attached to the item and on the item page in your ILLiad account.

To place a renewal in ILLiad, go to the left sidebar and look for "View," "Checked out Items." Click on the blue transaction number for the request, then on the red “Renew Request” button. If the button is not present, you will need to return the item according to its due date. If you still need the item, you can use the “Clone Request” option to submit a new request for a copy.

How do I request materials?

To make a request, log on to ILLiad and enter your IdentiKey username and password. Once logged on, place a new request by first choosing the format type (book, media, article, thesis, etc.). Fill out the request form with as much information as possible. The more information provided, the greater the likelihood it will be filled quickly. A lack of information may necessitate cancelling the request.

Where can I pick up my ILL?

Remote services update:

All University Libraries facilities are closed and we are temporarily unable to deliver physical materials to patrons.
Latest updates and information about remote and virtual services, loan periods and returns. 

ILLs can be picked up at Norlin Library, the Earth Sciences & Map Library, the Music Library, or at Gemmill Library. The Business Library will also offer pickup when their library reopens later in 2020.

To select delivery at one of these locations, simply select that location from the "Delivery Method" drop down box on the ILLiad request form.


What can I request?

You can request books, DVDs, CDs, dissertations, microforms and other materials held by lenders worldwide. In addition to physical materials you can also request scans of articles and book chapters. ILL staff are able to fulfill the vast majority of materials requested no matter the format. 

Do my requests have to be for research materials?

ILL should be used to support your academic and research purposes. If you wish to request materials for personal use, please try Prospector or your local public library first. All requests for non-research related materials will be accepted at the discretion of the ILL staff.

Can I request an e-book?

Yes! Although not all ebooks can be borrowed from other libraries, it is sometimes possible to do so.

Can I request textbooks?

If the textbook is required for one of your classes, please place your request through Course Reserves.

How is interlibrary loan (ILL) different from Prospector?

Both ILL and Prospector are used to fill requests for physical materials that CU Boulder doesn’t have. While Prospector only locates materials within select libraries in Colorado and Wyoming, ILL locates and fills requests for materials held worldwide.

Due to the proximity of and speedy delivery from Prospector libraries, it’s always best to search for an item in Prospector prior to using ILL. If ILL staff identify that an item requested is available at a Prospector library, they will fulfill the request through Prospector.

Do I have to sign up for ILLiad using my colorado.edu email?

Yes. To ensure that our emails get to you, we need to use your colorado.edu email for all communications. We also strongly advise using the first and last name that is associated with your Identikey when signing up, since loans will be delivered to you under that name.

Does ILL cost me anything?

ILL is free to CU-Boulder students and employees. The cost for borrowing materials, as well as shipping, is paid for by the Library. We would ask you to please remember this and request materials that you truly need for your research.

How can I check on the status of my request?

Log on to your ILLiad account and you’ll be able to view all the requests that you have made. Requests that have not yet arrived or are in processing will appear on the main page. Materials that have arrived or are currently checked out are listed in “Checked out Items”. To view any article or book chapter request that you’ve had filled within the last 30 days, click on the “Articles Received” link.

Why is my ILLiad account blocked?

If your account is blocked, you may have overdue items or be a patron type that doesn’t receive ILL privileges. Please contact the ILL staff at cu-ill@colorado.edu for more information. 

I can't log in to ILLiad. What should I do?

If you cannot log in to ILLiad:

  • Make sure you are using the correct ILLiad link
  • Clear your browser's cache. 

If neither of these suggestions works, there may be a problem with your Libraries Proxy Server access, especially if your status with CU has recently changed. Contact us at cu-ill@colorado.edu or 303-492-1617 for help.

Why haven’t I received my ILL yet?

Some requests are harder to fill than others. If an item requested is new and popular, it may take several weeks to find a lender with a copy available. If the item requested is difficult to find, it may take time to locate a lender. Processing and shipping may also be time consuming. Some libraries, such as Library of Congress, require 20 working days to process a request. 

What happens if my ILL materials are overdue?

If you have materials that are two weeks overdue, your Chinook account will be blocked. At 28 days overdue, you’ll be billed a lost item fee of $400 plus a billing fee of $10. The billing fee covers the cost of processing the lost book invoice that is automatically generated.

I lost or damaged my ILL material. Can I replace it?

If you have lost or damaged your ILL material, please contact us right away.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Borrowing

Lending libraries set their own individual policies for lost or damaged ILLs. Some may accept replacements. In certain cases, you may receive a bill for lost or damaged items. 

I am not a CU Boulder student or employee, but I would like to borrow something from the library. How can I do that?

If you’re a local resident, please contact the Norlin Circulation Desk about public patron privileges. If you’re not a local resident and you wish to borrow an item through ILL, please contact your local library about their ILL policies and place a request through them. While the University Libraries do lend out the majority of their collections, these materials are lent only to other institutions and not to individuals.