Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan - FAQs

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a courtesy arrangement through which one library system lends its materials to another. Interlibrary loan practices are based on the National Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association, the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) Interlibrary Loan Guidelines, and the Copyright Laws of the United States.

Who can borrow through ILL?

The purpose of interlibrary loan is to provide materials unavailable in the SVCC library, in any format, to currently enrolled SVCC students, faculty, and staff to support research needs.Community patrons are referred to their local public library. Patrons wishing to borrow through the interlibrary loan service must have a valid SVCC student I.D. card, and their accounts must be in good standing. It is a privilege, not a right, to borrow materials from other libraries through interlibrary loan.

How do I request an item through ILL?

To request an item through this service, a patron must complete the online ILL request form. In-person assistance with this form is available at both campuses' service desks and libraries. A valid email address is required to facilitate electronic document delivery.

Is there a cost for ILL service?

SVCC Library does not charge for interlibrary loan service. The library will attempt to obtain the item at no cost. However, if the item is not available for free, no attempt will be made to obtain it through a fee-charging institution.

How many items may I request through ILL?

There is no limit to the number of requests a patron may submit; however, the interlibrary loan librarian will establish priorities when many requests from one patron might adversely affect the service offered to others.

Copyright law forbids any library from requesting, in any one year, more than five articles from the same journal published within the last five years.

What kinds of items are not available through ILL?

Some items are difficult or impossible to obtain through interlibrary loan. These include reference books, textbooks, rare books, recently published books, bestsellers, international books, entire issues of periodicals, and audiovisual material. Dissertations are rarely available for loan, but the SVCC library subscribes to the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Database, where most dissertations can be accessed.

Requests for textbooks currently used in SVCC classes or other institutions are not accepted.

Items available in the SVCC collection will not be requested in additional formats. For example, a print book will not be requested if the electronic version is available in the SVCC collection. Exceptions to this may be made for students with disabilities.

How long does it take for my item to arrive?

Patrons should allow sufficient lead time for interlibrary loan request processing and delivery. The SVCC interlibrary loan librarian submits requests electronically to the lending library, usually within one business day of receipt. Book requests usually arrive at least a week (seven business days), but could take longer. Please submit the request in enough time to receive your needed information.

How long can I keep my item?

The lending library determines the loan period and renewal policy for its materials. Patrons can expect to keep most materials for two to four weeks. Virginia libraries often grant extended loan periods of six to eight weeks but do not allow renewals. Occasionally, lending libraries loan an item under the condition that it will not leave the SVCC library. These items are often rare or fragile and must be used in the library for protection.

Can I renew my item?

Renewals of interlibrary loan materials should be requested only in exceptional cases. If a renewal is needed, the interlibrary loan librarian should be contacted at least four business days before the due date. The interlibrary loan department must receive permission from the lending library before granting a renewal.

Where do I return my item?

Patrons are responsible for returning the item to the SVCC Library circulation desk by the due date. Please return the item to a librarian to ensure it is checked in.

What happens if my item becomes overdue or if I've damaged or lost the item?

Please notify the SVCC Library immediately if you have lost or damaged your ILL items.

Because a patron’s failure to comply with the conditions of a loan can jeopardize the borrowing privileges of SVCC Library extended by other libraries and thereby affect the services provided to other patrons, the SVCC Library takes misuse of the interlibrary loan service very seriously. Future ILL borrowing privileges may be suspended if patrons do not fulfill their ILL obligations.

Still have questions?

If you have questions not answered in this document, please contact

Christanna Campus
Mary Winfield

Daniel Campus
Judith Vaughan 



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