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Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing

Resources sharing services for accessing materials from other institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?  

When the Alfred University Libraries don't have an item that you need, you can use interlibrary loan to obtain a copy. 

What types of materials are available?

We will attempt to borrow whatever material you need, with the exception of textbooks which are not available through interlibrary loan.

Items that are usually easier to borrow:  
Books; articles from journals, magazines, or newspapers; government documents; technical reports.

Items that can be more difficult to borrow:
Books published in the last year; theses and dissertations; reference books; rare books and manuscripts; entire volumes of journals; multi-volume sets; audio-visual material including movies and music; items held by a very small number of libraries; standards; unpublished papers.

Some requests take more time than others. If you have questions about whether the library can obtain the item that you need, please contact  

Is there a charge for Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan is free to current Alfred University students, faculty, and staff. Patrons will be charged for lost or damaged items.

How long does it take?

Article requests typically take a day or two, and book requests typically take seven to ten days. Requests for rare items and requests submitted with incomplete information may take longer to process.

How do I make a request?

Follow these instructions.

How will I know when the materials have arrived?

You will receive an e-mail when your requested item is available.  

How will I access the materials I requested?

If it is a book, you will be asked to pick it up at the Herrick or Scholes front desk, depending on which ILL interface you used (you will need your ID to pick up the book). If it is an article, you will log in to the relevant ILL site where you can view the article electronically.

We are subject to any restriction placed on the item's use by the lending library. For some books the lending library may request that they be used in the library only.

How long can I keep the materials?  

Electronic articles are available in your interlibrary loan account for 30 days (download the PDF if you want to retain access). Loan periods for books may vary depending on the terms of the lending library and can range from two weeks to a whole semester (for SUNY Resource Sharing). Most books can be renewed once by logging on to your interlibrary loan account, although the lending library has the right to deny a renewal request.

How do I renew items?

To view instructions with screen shots, view the document "Renewing Resource Sharing Items" below.

  1.     Log on to your account on Primo.
  2.     Select your account in the upper right hand corner and click "My Loans" from the drop down menu.
  3.     Identify the item you would like to renew, and click "Renew."
  4.     Renewals for resource sharing require approval and you will receive a message letting you know that the approval is pending.

Your request will go directly to the lending library.  You will be notified by e-mail as to the new due date or if the renewal was denied.

What do I do if I received an overdue notice and I still need the item?

If you received an overdue notice, please return the item right away.  

In order to maintain good relationships with our lending libraries, we must return their items on time. If you do not return the item, you will be charged for the cost of replacing it. If you still need the item, we will attempt to borrow a copy from another library.  

We reserve the right to suspend interlibrary loan privileges to patrons who repeatedly ignore interlibrary loan policies and procedures, including consistently returning items late, damaging materials, or not returning items at all.