What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

ILL is a system that allows Thorndike Library patrons to request books, documents and articles from over 50,000 participating libraries in the United States and beyond.

How long does it take to get here?

Books available from a Maine library (check MaineCat) can take as little as three days to receive through ILL. Out of state books usually arrive in seven to ten days. Requested articles can arrive as quickly as one day later, although four days is more likely. If time is an issue, speak with ILL staff.

How long can I keep my ILL?

Books/Videos: These are determined by the lending library. The typical loan period is 2–3 weeks. If you need a renewal, please contact us before the due date noted on the item’s ILL slip.

Journal Articles/Book Chapters: These are generally sent to us electronically and we send them on to you electronically. They are yours to keep for educational purposes.

How do I request an ILL?

ILL request forms are available in paper and electronic form. Paper forms are located in the library lobby. Please fill out as much of the form as possible. You can use the electronic forms by selecting ILL Article Request or ILL Book Request . If you prefer to use e-mail, please send your name, contact information, and a detailed citation to ill@coa.edu. Please also note  the last date the material would still be useful.

Does it cost anything?

COA students, faculty, staff, alumni: We generally borrow from libraries that loan for free. Some libraries do charge to borrow material, so please let us know on our ILL form how much you are willing to pay should there be an additional fee.

Non-COA members: $2.50 per request, plus any charges levied by supplying libraries.