Interlibrary Loan Frequently Asked Questions

Interlibrary Loan Basics

Questions about our interlibrary loan services, eligibility, costs, and more.

Who is eligible to use interlibrary loan services?

We extend Interlibrary Loan privileges to all currently enrolled students, faculty members, and staff of Indiana University of Pennsylvania campuses.

Interlibrary loan privileges are not extended to Community Library Card, Friends of the Library, or Alumni Library Cardholders. These individuals may seek ILL services at their local public library.

How do I submit requests?

We use two systems to locate and deliver items requested via interlibrary loan. Which one you use depends on the type of material you're requesting:

For book requests, use the PALCI EZ-Borrow system. PALCI (Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc.) is a consortium of libraries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that works together to streamline the process of borrowing books via interlibrary loan. Please note that PALCI is limited to requests for print books.

For articles or other non-book items, use the ILLIAD system. ILLIAD (Interlibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database) is a resource-sharing system that connects the IUP Libraries to other libraries to send, receive, and process interlibrary loan requests. ILLIAD allows us to provide expedited services to our users and allows users to track the progress of their requests online.

How long does it take?

There is no set time period for filling an ILL request; the speed of completion depends on the school or institution that is fulfilling the request.

We recommend that you allow between seven and 15 days for an ILL request (either via PALCI or via ILLIAD), although in most cases the actual time to completion is much shorter.

How can I speed up the process?

  1. Make sure that IUP does not own the item being requested. Be sure to check our Library Search, as well as the list of Electronic Journals before submitting any ILL request.
  2. Complete a separate request for each item. Please do not attempt to submit multiple items at once (for instance, pasting in a bibliography or list of citations). Copyright regulations require a separate request to be made for each item, even if they are articles in the same journal.
  3. Provide as much information about each item as possible (in general, a complete citation is the best place to start with an ILL request).

Note: If we own some issues of a journal, but not the issue needed, or if the necessary pages are missing from the journal we own, please make a note of this in the comments field in ILLIAD.

How much does it cost?

Generally, ILL requests incur no charge to the requester. In very rare cases there may be costs associated; you will be notified if that is the case. All avenues for no-cost loans and copies are pursued first.

How will I be notified?

Both PALCI and ILLIAD provide email notification to people when their materials arrive. PALCI notifications are directed to your IUP email address.

Please note: when registering for ILLIAD for the first time, you are given the option to choose either email or telephone notification. We strongly recommend selecting email notification as it eliminates the problem of messages being lost.

Delivery, Loan Periods and Renewals, and Restrictions

Questions about item delivery, loans and renewals, and restrictions on the kind of materials that can be obtained via interlibrary loan.

Is it possible to have items delivered to my home address?

Note: due to operational changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, this service is temporarily unavailable.

We offer residential delivery to active students who:

  • Are not enrolled in courses that meet on any IUP campus, and
  • Live further than 30 miles from any IUP campus

Visit the Residential Delivery for Distance Learners page to learn more about the program and how to apply.

How long may I keep materials borrowed via ILL?

The loan period for borrowed materials is determined by the library that sends us the item(s). You usually will have the item for three to four weeks from the time of receipt.

Please observe the due date on the book sticker (and please do not remove this sticker). While your library card might entitle you to longer loans for books owned by IUP, these loan periods do not apply to materials borrowed from other libraries.

Finally, special requests by the lending institution—for example, "Fourteen-day Loan" or "In-Library Use Only"—must be honored.

May I renew materials borrowed via ILL?

Materials borrowed from other libraries may only be renewed with the permission of the lending library; the IUP Libraries can't change the due date. If you would like a renewal of an ILL book, follow these steps.

Books requested through ILLIAD

  1. Log in to your ILLIAD account within 10 days of the original due date and select View/Renew checked out items.
  2. Select the item you'd like to renew and select the Request Renewal button (you cannot request a renewal if the material is already overdue).
  3. Check your account in two to three days to see if the item has been renewed and what the new due date is or if the request has been denied.

Books requested through PALCI

PALCI does not offer self-mediated renewal requests; however, you can contact Bobbie Zapor (bzapor@iup.edu) in the Interlibrary Loan department to request renewals of a title. She will let you know if the renewal is successful.

What types of materials will ILL not order?

The ILL Department will not order any of the following:

  • Items available in the IUP Libraries collections in any format, including microform or electronic formats
  • Items available on course reserve in the IUP Libraries
  • Standardized test preparation books (e.g., LSAT, GRE, MCAT, etc.)
  • Items that the lender is charging to borrow and would cost more than the IUP Libraries are willing to pay

Exceptions to the above are made for:

  • Books that we own, but are currently checked out
  • Books listed as "Lost" or "Missing" in our Library Search
  • Photocopies of articles that are torn out of or otherwise missing from IUP's copy of a journal or book (unless the item is also available electronically)
  • Photocopies of articles from IUP-owned journals which are currently at the bindery

If an item is not found on the shelf and is not checked out, complete a Book Search request form at the Circulation desk, and we will attempt to locate the missing item. If we can't find it, we will forward your request on to the ILL Department.

What types of materials are difficult to obtain via ILL?

The following categories of materials may be difficult or impossible to obtain. We will make every effort to obtain items in these categories, but they may simply be unavailable.

If we can locate the item and it is available to borrow, keep in mind it will often be subject to more restrictive lending policies.

  • Noncirculating materials (e.g., reference books, rare books, special collections items)
  • Very new books and current bestsellers
  • Entire issues of periodicals
  • Noncirculating theses and dissertations
  • Standard textbooks

Technical Questions

Technical and troubleshooting questions about our specific interlibrary loan systems.

How do I log in to PALCI? It's asking for my library barcode.

Your library "barcode" is the 16-digit number located on your I-Card. Enter that number to log in to the PALCI system. PALCI will ask you for this number when you submit a request (it will first prompt you to select your institution, and then provide a field to enter your barcode).

What do I do if I've forgotten my ILLiad username or password?

The username and password you use to log in to ILLIAD and place requests are not necessarily the same credentials you use to log in to MyIUP or D2L. So if you've forgotten it, we understand!