Interlibrary Loan: Borrowing From Other Libraries (Resource Sharing)

How to obtain books and articles from other libraries, also known as resource sharing.

Finding Books and Articles through Other Libraries

Please contact with any questions about resource sharing (interlibrary loan).

How to Request an Interlibrary Loan

You may request an interlibrary loan directly from the library's "Start Your Research Here" search results page. Just sign into your account using your college username and password.

  • From the library home page, do a search.
    • Or, just click the "Search" button to get to the next screen. 
  • Click the "Interlibrary Loan" link at the top of the blue search box.
    • Log in with your college username/password, and fill in the details.
  • If the request does not go through, please see the interlibrary loan staff member at the circulation desk, or talk to a librarian. (The online request is a new service and still being perfected.)
  • if you request something by accident, you can delete the request.
    • Just go to the Requests section in "My Library Card" and cancel the request.

Or, print and complete the form below. 

  • Clearly write the information, or attach a print-out of a book or article citation to the form if wanted.
  • Give the form to a reference librarian to check and sign. 
  • This service is limited to SUNY Adirondack students, faculty and staff, and SUNY Plattsburgh Branch Campus students at SUNY Adirondack.

If you have questions about this service, email

Copyright and Fair Use

About Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

 • What is this service?
If you would like to use a book or article not owned by the SUNY Adirondack Library for your research, we may be able to obtain the material from another library. Through this interlibrary loan service, we can get access to what is owned by thousands of other libraries.

• Who can use it?
Interlibrary loan service is available to all SUNY Adirondack students, faculty and staff, as well as students taking classes through SUNY Plattsburgh's Branch Campus.

• Is there a cost?
It is a free service. We have arranged reciprocal agreements with many libraries so most materials are lent to us without charge.

• How long does it take?
In most cases, we can obtain articles in a couple of days and books in about a week. Many factors affect this: the lending library's distance, their procedures, the item's availability, staffing, mail or delivery schedules, and the completeness of the information you supply to us. Sometimes it takes longer with those variables.

• What can be borrowed?
Books can be borrowed, usually for three or four weeks. The loan period is set by the lending library.
Articles will be copied by the lending library. You may keep article copies. If available in digital format, you will receive an email with a download link for the article. 

• What cannot usually be borrowed?
Reference books, rare books, popular fiction, microfilm, dissertations, technical reports, videos and many other audiovisual materials are often not lent by libraries. These items might not normally circulate, are fragile, or are in high demand by the lending library's patrons.

• How do I check if the library already owns what I want? 
First, check our library's book database and Periodicals by Title link to make sure this library does not own the book or magazine. A librarian can help you with that.

A librarian can also check to see if an article is full-text in one of our databases, or refer you to a nearby library which may own the item. 
If time is short, check if similar information could be found within our library, eliminating the need to go elsewhere. Ask a reference librarian for assistance.

After investigating those options, ask the reference librarian for an interlibrary loan form. Fill in the information, also noting where you found the item listed. Return the form to the librarian to review and submit. You can also print out a copy of the form on this page.

• How do I know if my material has arrived?
The library staff will contact you when the book or article arrives. It will be kept for you at the Circulation Desk in the library. You may also stop by the Circulation Desk at any time to check if your items have arrived. We will let you know if it is not possible to obtain the item by the time you need it.

• Is there a limit?
So that the largest number of students may be helped, we ask that students request no more than five books or three articles at one time.

• How does the SUNY Adirondack Library discover who owns the material I want?
Our library staff will search a book database listing millions of items owned by thousands of libraries. We will check libraries within the Capital District, New York State and then the United States at large if necessary. We then transmit an electronic request to up to five libraries in turn until we receive a "yes" answer, or until you no longer need the item.

• Does this library lend items to other libraries?
Yes. The library receives requests from many other libraries around the United States asking us to lend our material to their users.

• What else should I know?
Interlibrary loan is a service based on courtesy between libraries. You are responsible for returning books on time. You are also responsible for any overdue fines and book replacement costs that the lending library may charge.

• What if I don't have a full citation?
If you need help verifying the title, author, date or other information about your item, ask a reference librarian. We must provide complete information to the lending libraries.

• Can I renew a book obtained through interlibrary loan?
We abide by the rules of the library that lent us the book. Some allow renewals; many do not. If you think you would like to renew the book, let us know at least three days before the due date so we can send them a message and they can check their records and respond.

• Do you lend materials internationally?
No, we cannot mail items to other countries. 

• What are the library hours?
Library hours vary according to the college calendar. See Library Hours page:

Accessibility Statement