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Interlibrary Loan: FAQ

Interlibrary loan (ILL) services may be used when research materials (books, journal articles, etc.) are not owned by EMU Hartzler Library. EMU provides ILL services for EMU faculty, staff and students.


What kinds of materials may I request?

  • You may request all kinds of materials: books, journal articles, videos, etc.  We may not be able to get some items.  Some libraries do not lend current books, reference works, or audiovisual materials.  It all depends on the lending library's policies.  We generally don't request materials owned by EMU.  If an item is checked out, you may place a hold on it through Sadie.  Please check to see if EMU owns materials before requesting them, using Sadie for books and the A to Z (EMU Periodicals) link for articles. 

How soon will I get my materials after I request them?

  • Items that must be mailed will take longer than items that can be sent electronically.  We generally say items can arrive in as little as 2 days or up to a couple of weeks.  Please plan accordingly.

Do I have to pay for interlibrary loan?

  • No.  We don't ask EMU patrons to pay for ILL.  The staff does their best to get materials only from libraries that lend without charging.  At times materials are only available from libraries that charge.  The library staff will work with you in these cases.  

How long can I keep materials I request?

  • This depends on the lending library's policy.  For returnables such as books and videos, the due date is listed on the ILL book strap.  EMU patrons are expected to return these items when they are due.  There is a $5 per day fine for overdue ILLs.  Most libraries do not renew ILL books.  Journal articles are yours to keep.  Students at EMU Lancaster should return items to the Lancaster office for shipping back to Harrisonburg.

How will I know when materials are here?

  • You will receive an email when materials have been received by the ILL staff.  For books, videos and other returnables, students at the EMU main campus may pick them up at the main desk of the Hartzler Library.  Students in Lancaster will need to wait until materials are shipped up to EMU Lancaster.  These materials may be sent via courier or UPS.  You will need to check in with the EMU Lancaster staff to see if the material has arrived.  You will access any items sent electronically through your EMUshare account.