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Waidner-Spahr Library

Interlibrary Loan Services and Guidelines: FAQ

Understand how to borrow research materials through ILL.


Who can use ILL?

 Students, Faculty, Staff, Emeriti, Alumni, and Retirees.

What can I checkout?

Books, DVDs, CDs, scores, book chapters, journal articles, microforms

Items owned by Dickinson that are currently checked out

How long does it take?
  • Articles usually arrive in 1-5 days.
  • Books and other materials requested for loan arrive in about 5-10 days and are held at the circulation desk for two weeks.
  • Items that are rare take longer and sometimes we are unable to get those items through interlibrary loan.
How do I find out when my request is ready to pick up?
You will be notified by email when your loan arrives or when your article is ready to be viewed electronically from your Illiad account.
Is there a limit to how many items I can request?

Dickinson does not limit your requests. However, If you are a student and put in multiple requests in a single day we may reach out and offer librarian assistance.

Is there a charge for this service?

We do not charge for this service but if an item is lost or damaged, the lending library may charge you a replacement fee.

My request was cancelled - why?

Requests are cancelled for many different reasons.  The item you are requesting may be rare or non-circulating and no libraries are willing to loan it. If your request is cancelled, you will be notified by email with the reason for the cancellation.

How do I cancel my request?

Please contact us and let us know what you've requested, and we'll cancel it for you.

How will I know when my item is due?
  • Due dates can be checked within your library account 
  • Courtesy notices are sent by email
  • Due date is also listed on the bookband
I've forgotten my username and/or password!

If you forget your username and/or password, please contact us ASAP. We can provide you with your username and easily reset your password. Just email us at Each patron is allowed to have ONE active ILL account, so please do not register for a new ILL account.

I tried to log in, but it says I've been Disavowed.

Usually, this message means that you have created more than one ILL account. Patrons are only allowed ONE account and any extra accounts will be closed. Please contact us if you are unsure about your account status.

Where do I go to return an ILL book? Can I drop it off in the Book Drop?

Yes you can! The bookdrop is on the outside of the building to the left of the main entrance. You can also return it to the circulation desk.

Dickinson has an ebook but I wanted a physical book.

If we own a copy of the book in electronic format we will not fill it. If you need special accommodations, we are happy to work with you. Please email us at