What is Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary Loan is a free service provided to eligible library patrons (see Who is Eligible below). When patrons need to use books or journals that Vanderbilt does not own, or that are missing from the collection, these materials may possibly be borrowed from libraries that do own them. Many libraries in this country and around the world participate in Interlibrary Loan. Vanderbilt not only borrows materials for our own patrons, but also lends materials to other libraries for their patrons' use.
The Interlibrary Loan service for all libraries at Vanderbilt is coordinated by the Interlibrary Loan Department at the Central Library. Refer any questions to Jim Toplon at 615-322-2408.
Requests made at the Peabody Library are received by the Circulation Department and then passed along to the ILL office at the Central Library.
You may fill out an Interlibrary Loan request form online. If your browser does not support forms, send an e-mail request directly to the Central Library at email@example.com. For all e-mail requests please provide the following information for each request:
- Full name
- Phone number and/or e-mail address
- Status - faculty, doctoral/masters student, staff, etc.
Bibliographic citation of books or articles as complete and accurate as possible including:
- Title of article, dissertation or book
- Issue number
- Place of publication (for books and dissertations)
- Page numbers of article
- Source of loan request(where you found the information for your request)
Many library catalogs and research databases offered through the Heard Library also provide links to interlibrary loan request forms. These forms let you place requests without rekeying bibliographic information.
Who Is Eligible?
This service is offered only to Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff. Persons with library use cards or alumni are not eligible. Persons not eligible for ILL at Vanderbilt are instead referred to their primary college or public library. Graduate students enrolled at Vanderbilt, but living out of town are eligible.
What Can Be Borrowed?
The library can only request Interlibrary Loans for materials that are not owned in any format by Vanderbilt. Materials owned in a format that the patron does not prefer (such as microfiche) may not be requested from ILL in another format. Items owned by Vanderbilt can be requested only if they are missing from the collection. If the item you wish to obtain is missing, please note this on your request.
Because of copyright laws, a restriction applies on the number of articles that can be requested from the same journal. Five articles from the same journal within a five-year time range of each other may be requested. Sometimes exceptions occur, so check with Central ILL when in doubt. ILL does not charge for photocopies. The only other restrictions are those imposed by the libraries from which Vanderbilt borrows. For example, no library will lend reference books or entire issues of journals (originals or photocopies), and several universities will not lend their dissertations.
Receiving Interlibrary Loans
Photocopies will be mailed to the address on the request form. Photocopies do not normally come to the Peabody Library. Books and dissertations will be received at the library. Some materials have "in library use only" status which means they may not be taken out of the library. Dissertations often fall into this category.
The timeframe for the arrival of materials varies. Photocopies of articles generally arrive within two to three weeks. Books and dissertations may take three to four weeks. Sometimes things arrive more quickly, but you cannot count on ILL for speedy service. Remember, it is a free service based on the cooperative efforts of many different universities and public libraries and the transfers between libraries are made by U.S. Mail.
Alternatives to Interlibrary Loan
As an alternative to traditional interlibrary loan, you may wish to try one of the commercial document delivery companies that specialize in delivery of full-text journal articles for a fee.
Note: Commercial vendors can be expensive, as they may charge for a copyright royalty fee as well as for the basic service.
However, these services tend to be faster than traditional interlibrary loan. Here are some links to several document delivery services:
- Infotrieve (http://www4.infotrieve.com)
- Ingenta (http://www.ingenta.com) (free e-journal table of contents alerts also available from Ingenta for Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff; see the Heard Library Research Databases page [under Ingenta Reveal] for more details)
- British Library (http://blpc.bl.uk)
With regard to dissertations: Sometimes dissertations are not available because the library that owns the item will not lend or the item is in use. In these instances it may be possible for the patron to purchase a copy. There are two options: 1) order direct from UMI--by phone (1-800-521-3042) or on the web (find the dissertation that you want, click on the Order Now button, and follow the instructions). Have your credit card and dissertation citation ready (you may also send a check). There are a variety of formats and prices available for some dissertations; 2) order through ILL at Central Library. You must pay by check or departmental requisition. The price for this service is $24.50 for a digitally printed, shrink-wrapped 8 1/2"x11" unbound copy that normally will arrive in 4-10 days.