Interlibrary Loan Policies

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) allows us to provide access to materials not owned by Adams State University. Using ILL, we are able to borrow books and journal articles from other libraries on your behalf.

Who can request an Interlibrary Loan?  

All enrolled students and any registered patrons of the Nielsen Library in good standing may submit an ILL request. In good standing means that you have no outstanding fines or overdue materials and that no restrictions have been placed on your account.

How long does Interlibrary Loan take?

Requests are processed within 2 business days during the semester but delivery of articles and loans varies. Turnaround time for delivery may be as short as 24 hours for articles or as long as several weeks. Books and other returnables may take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks depending on the lending library. Turnaround time may be affected by incomplete and/or incorrect information, holidays and weekends, and staff outages. There is no rush option available for ILL materials; please plan accordingly.

What is the cost for Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan is typically available to patrons at no charge. However, the library will pay a fee to borrow obscure or hard-to-find items. Students, faculty, and staff are given an "allowance" at the beginning of each semester as follows:

   Graduate students: $20 per semester

   Undergraduates: $15 per semester

   Faculty and staff: $20 per semester

   Community: $0 per semester

We will always attempt to obtain requests for free before borrowing from a library that charges for their services. However, some items may only be able to be obtained by paying a fee. Once a patron exceeds their allowance for the semester, they will be given the option to pay for an item before the library attempts to borrow it.  

How will I be notified when my Interlibrary Loan comes in?

Journal articles will be emailed to you and do not need to be checked out or returned.

For physical items (returnables), you will be notified via email when your item is ready for pickup. We will send one more courtesy notice after a week to notify you that your item has arrived. ILL returnables are often difficult and costly to obtain and require much staff intervention to make available for use. Failure to pick up any ILL returnables will result in the loss of your ILL returnables borrowing privileges for the remainder of the semester and the semester following. If you wish to cancel a request, please notify the ILL office.

When are my items due?

Books and videos will have varying due dates. The due date will appear on the book band on the front of your item.  In most cases, you will be able to keep the item for 2-3 weeks. Videos usually have a shorter loan period.  

Journal articles do not need to be returned and so do not have a due date.

Can I renew Interlibrary Loan materials?

Unless noted, most interlibrary loan items may be renewed one time. If you need to renew your item, you must notify us before the due date. We need to request a renewal from the other library and allow time to receive a response. Renewals are approved at the lending library's discretion. We are unable to request renewals for materials that are already overdue. Failure to return materials on time will result in the suspension of your ILL borrowing privileges for the remainder of the semester and the semester following. Patrons with overdue ILL items will be charged a $20 initial fee and $5 each day thereafter. 

What are the limits for using Interlibrary Loan?

The library will do its best to obtain all interlibrary loan requests for Adams State students, faculty, and staff. However, during high volume periods or staff outages the library may limit the number of requests it will process to 5 items per week per student, faculty, or staff patron. Community patrons are limited to 3 requests per semester.

We will attempt to borrow an interlibrary loan request twice unless the item is obscure (fewer  than 30 lending libraries available in the United States), out of print, or otherwise difficult to obtain.

ILL does not entitle users to any of the following:

  • Textbooks
  • Copies on paper
  • An article or chapter longer than 50 pages
  • Copies of an entire work
  • Microform loans
  • Archival or special collections materials

The library will attempt to borrow new and popular materials, videos, and dissertations. However, these items may be difficult to obtain. We will make two attempts to borrow such materials unless the item is deemed out-of-print or obscure (fewer than 30 owning institutions in the United States). The library does not borrow recent textbooks. Most libraries have a policy not to buy textbooks for the general collection; therefore it could take weeks or months to locate an available copy.

The library will scan and electronically deliver articles from items we own in print (books, journals, microfilm, etc.) to all distance students. The library also provides this service to on-campus students and faculty when time and staffing permit. If the library is especially busy or understaffed, we may respond to such requests by informing the patron we own the item in print with instructions on how to obtain it.

Information for Distance Students

Distance students may borrow up to 5 physical items from the Nielsen Library's circulating collection and may request books the library does not own. The library will consider purchasing titles for all students according to the following criteria:

  • The item must cost less than $100.
  • We purchase electronic titles whenever possible.
  • We only purchase academic titles.
  • We will catalog physical items before sending them to patrons.
  • We will limit each patron to 2 purchases per semester.
  • We will not purchase textbooks.
  • We will not send print books or other physical items to international students (though we will attempt to purchase ebook titles for such students).

Items check out for 11 weeks to allow for turnaround time and a similar checkout period as on-campus students. Eligible Colorado students may also use Prospector to request items but need to use their local library as a home base. These students cannot use Adams State as their home library as the items will be delivered to whichever library they initiate the request from. Distance students are responsible for any lost or damaged items and for return postage on returnable items.

Copyright Restrictions

All ILL requests must comply with copyright guidelines:

Users may not borrow more than one chapter (not to be confused with a "part") per non-periodical item (eg. books).

A single user may not borrow more than one article per journal issue

The Nielsen Library may refuse any requests that exceed CONTU guidelines, which state that  a library may request no more than 5 articles in a calendar year from a single title published in the last 60 calendar months.

The library will refuse any request that would violate the Fair Use provisions of Title 17, Section 108-C of the Copyright Act

For items that exceed CONTU guidelines, we will make one purchase from the publisher per student or faculty patron per semester. Community patrons are not eligible for CONTU compliance purchases. This potential purchase does not count toward a patron's purchase allowance for the semester.

Contact the Interlibrary Loan Office:

By Phone


By Email

In Person

Stop by the circulation desk on the first floor of the Nielsen Library.

 Request Forms