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Interlibrary Loan (ILL) at Davidson College

All you need to know about Interlibrary Loan (ILL)



An old library book

Welcome to the ILL Guide!

The Davidson College Library has thousands of resources. With ILL, you can obtain any resource you need! It's easy and we're here to help! 


ILL Basics

What Is ILL?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is free to current students, faculty, and staff at Davidson College. ILL allows you to electronically request and receive articles, book chapters, reports, or other resources. You can request any item, even those owned by the Davidson College Library 

  • Physical items, such as books and DVDs, will be sent to our library and be available for you to pick up.
  • Scanned items, such as articles and book chapters, will be sent to your email account as PDFs.

Requesting ILLs

ILL Request Flowchart

What resources can I request through ILL?

The resources students can request include: 

  • Books (both owned and not owned by the Davidson library)
  • Book chapters 
  • Scholarly Articles
  • Journal Articles
  • Magazine Articles
  • Scientific Research
  • Microfilm 
  • And much more! 

Any item can be requested in any format!

Is there anything I can't request? 

You can (and should) request anything through ILL! However, lending libraries only loan circulating items. Therefore, libraries may not be able to fill requests for: 

  • Archival Materials
  • Reference Books
  • Items Held in "Special Collections' 
Can I request E-Books?

Yes! However, you may receive a physical copy of the E-Book you request. Due to "Digital Rights Management," E-Books are seldom distributed electronically or shared between libraries. However, you should still request an E-Book if you need one. Libraries are becoming more accustomed to loaning out E-books through ILL. If the book's format is important to you, please include your preference in your ILL request. 

Can I request Textbooks and Periodicals?

You can certainly request textbooks and other periodical publications! Some libraries will not lend these items. However, many libraries are becoming more lenient with ILL requests. If you request periodicals, don't request too many issues. Small requests are more likely to be approved than "large requests" containing many issues. 

How can I access my ILL account?
  • First-time users of ILL will have to create a new profile
  • Once created, log into your ILL account with your Davidson credentials:
    • Username: Use your email (without the
    • Password: Use your Davidson password
  • Please contact if you have trouble accessing your ILL account
What if my ILL request gets declined? 

Most "declined requests" have insufficient information. Make sure you've provided the librarians with enough information to locate your desired item. If you're looking for a book or article, make sure to include the DOI, ISBN, or ISSN.  If you've provided sufficient information and your request still gets denied, you can email us at Alternatively:

  • You can meet with a research librarian to find a similar available source. 
  • You can contact the library's acquisitions team at acquisitions@ The library may purchase your requested item. However, the acquisitions team cannot guarantee to purchase any specific item. 
  • You can provide us with a link to the website where you find the item. 

Using and Returning ILLs

How long does it take to receive an ILL? 

Books typically take a few days to arrive. However, they may take longer (up to a week or so). Digital items typically arrive within 24 hours during business days. However, they can occasionally arrive within minutes. 

For this reason, it's often best to request a "book chapter" if you're in a time crunch. Alongside this request, you can submit a separate request for the full book. This tactic may enable you to start reading the book before the physical copy arrives. 

How can I check the status of my ILL?

You can log in to your Interlibrary Loan account to check the status of your pending ILLs. When logging into ILL, only use the prefix of your Davidson email address. For a more detailed status update, you can also email

Where do I pick up ILLs?

If you've requested a physical book (owned or not owned by the Davidson College Library), you can retrieve it at the Library's front desk. If a library employee is staffing the desk, he/she can retrieve your book for you. If nobody is staffing the desk, you can manually retrieve your book from the "ILL pickup shelf" directly behind the information desk. If you've requested an ebook (or another digital item), it will be emailed to you. 

How long can I use ILLs? 

Usage time varies depending on the item you're requesting. 

  • The lending library decides the "due date" of loaned items. You will usually have 3-4 weeks with your item. However, semester-long loans are becoming increasingly popular. 
    • Your book's specific "due date" will be emailed to you, and attached to the book when you receive it.
  • Digitized ILLs remain on Davidson's server for 30 days. However, they can be downloaded and viewed indefinitely. 
  • Some ILLs can be renewed in the ILL portal. Renewal requests are sent to the lending library.
What If I can't renew an ILL?

If you can't renew your ILL, you can always order another copy of the material. To avoid "downtime," be sure to request the second copy a week before the first copy is due to be returned. To re-order an ILL, view your past request in the ILL portal by clicking on its "transaction number."

The Davidson ILL portal, with a book's "transaction number" highlighted

Then, click the "clone request" button. 

The Davidson ILL portal, with the "close request" button highlighted


For more information about accessing ILL, see Accessing the ILL Portal


We're here to help! 

Contact the ILL team at

Davidson College Library Research Guides are licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Mailing Address: Davidson College - E.H. Little Library, 209 Ridge Road, Box 5000, Davidson, NC 28035