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Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

A step-by-step guide to using interlibrary loan at Kirkwood.

Interlibrary Loan Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will it take to receive my ILL request?
  • Article requests usually arrive within 3 days, but may take as long as 2 weeks for rare sources.
  • Books and other physical items usually arrive in 5 to 10 days on average, but may take up to 3 weeks, depending on item availability and distance from the lending library. 
Q: Is there a "rush" service?
  • Unfortunately there is no rush service. If you need materials quickly, contact a reference librarian for help in finding similar resources available from Kirkwood Library Services.
Q: How many ILL requests can I make? Is there a limit?
  • You can have up to 12 physical ILL items out at any one time. This number includes ILL items checked out and requested. 
  • You may make more requests, but they won't be processed until you return ILL items that are checked out.
  • There is no limit to the number of articles that you may request. However, the library may only process 5 requests per day, per user. 

Interlibrary Loan Policies

Interlibrary Loan Material Usage

Materials received through interlibrary loan are intended for personal use only. It is a violation of copyright law's First Sale Doctrine to make copies of any material obtained through interlibrary loan. This means that interlibrary loaned media (such as DVDs) cannot be copied to our VOD repository, nor can books be photocopied for classroom use or reserves. If you are a faculty member and need classroom material, please use the library's Purchase Request Form or contact a librarian by email at or phone (319) 398-5697 to discuss purchase options.

Interlibrary Loan Charges

Generally, there is no charge for the interlibrary loan service. However, some libraries may charge a lending or copyright fee for certain materials. If you request an item with associated fees, we will contact you to confirm that you are willing to pay any applicable fees.

Returning Interlibrary Loan Material

Electronic and hardcopy articles are yours to keep. All other interlibrary loan materials should be returned to the library or county center where you picked them up. Please return any accompanying paperwork or book straps with your items.

Overdue Interlibrary Loans

You will receive 3 overdue notices. If after the third notice you have not returned the item(s), your interlibrary loan borrowing privileges will be suspended. If the item is still not returned, your Kirkwood Library borrowing privileges may be suspended. Finally, a stop may be placed on your student account until the overdue and/or recalled item is returned.
Please note that late returns of interlibrary loan materials jeopardize Kirkwood's ability to borrow from the libraries who lent us those materials.

Interlibrary Loan Recalls

It may happen that an interlibrary loan item in your possession is recalled. This usually means that a patron from the lending library needs it as well. Recalls due dates replace the original due date of the item and every effort should be made by the borrower (you) to return it as quickly as possible.
Quick return of recalled materials helps Kirkwood Library Services maintain good relationships with other libraries and helps ensure that these libraries will continue to lend us their items.

Local Availability

If material you need is held by a Cedar Rapids Metro Area Library, you can expect to receive your material faster by visiting any of these locations than receiving it through our Interlibrary Loan service. If you would like to check availability at any of these locations, you can visit their catalog here:


Interlibrary loan requests for renewals cannot be placed once the item becomes overdue. For more information on renewals, see the page here.




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