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  Guide to Interlibrary Loan Services at Brown University

The Interlibrary Loan Office is located on the first floor of the Rockefeller Library
Hours: 8:30-5:00, Monday - Friday
Phone: (401) 863-2169

For Brown Faculty, Students, and Staff For other Libraries and Outside Researchers

For Brown Faculty, Students and Staff

Who may use Interlibrary Loan?
All Brown University Faculty, Students, and Staff and other holders of a valid Brown University I.D. card, who are in good standing with Library circulation, are eligible to borrow materials on Interlibrary Loan. If you are not currently affiliated with Brown --including ALUMNI/AE and access card holders-- contact your home institution or local public library's interlibrary loan services department.

What may be borrowed?

In general, most books and photocopies of journal articles can be obtained through interlibrary loan. However, Brown University cannot place interlibrary loan requests for materials to be used for course reserve, class, or other group use.

Moreover, the following kinds of materials are not ordinarily obtainable from other libraries:

  • Complete issues of unbound periodicals;
  • Complete volumes of bound periodicals;
  • Reference books or rare books;

How to Request Materials
You must first register in ILLiad to establish your Interlibrary Loan account. Once you have done this, you need only to log into your account to place and monitor your Interlibrary Loan transactions. Additionally, you may also submit ILL requests directly through the many online databases, including WorldCat. Look for the Find It icon Find It Icon. Finally, there are "Other Options" for obtaining materials from other libraries.

How long does it take?
The average time for delivery of an interlibrary loan item is about ten days. Sometimes Brown must request the material from several libraries before successfully obtaining it. This, of course, takes longer. If you have a deadline beyond which the material will not be useful to you, you may specify that date on the request form. Interlibrary Loan ILLiad is not generally the fastest way to btain materials from other libraries; see "Other Options".

Loan Periods
Loan periods are established by the lending library. In general, loan periods range from two to four weeks. All interlibrary loan items must be returned by the due date, unless other arrangements have been made with the Interlibrary Loan Office. Renewals, if permitted, should be requested three days in advance of the due date. Interlibrary loan items are also subject to recall by the lending library. Some lending libraries may stipulate "in library use only" or "no photocopying" of their materials.

There is no charge for Interlibrary Loan services. Occasionally, some copyright or special purchase fees may be passed on to the person requesting the materials. In these cases, the Interlibrary Loan office will contact the requestor before completing transactions.

ILL materials must be returned to the ILL office by the date marked on their ILL bands; however, you may submit a request for a renewal through your ILLiad account. You will receive three notices through ILLiad: 1st, that your item will soon be due; 2nd, that the item is now overdue; 3rd, that the item is still overdue and that your ILL privileges will be suspended until we receive the item back.

Damage to or Loss of Materials
You, the borrower, are financially responsible for any damage to or loss of interlibrary loan materials, from the time you pick them up until you return them to the Interlibrary Loan Office. Should any damage occur, report it to the Interlibrary Loan Office; do not attempt to repair it yourself.

How to Renew Materials
Most ILL items can be renewed; however, if the book band indicates that renewals are not possible then do not submit renewal requests. Provided that there is no such stipulation on the book band, you may submit renewal requests either through your ILLiad account, or by calling the ILL office 863-2169. We process renewals each day so that if the lending library denies the request you will be notified. You may not request a renewal on an ILL item that is past due.

Access to Other Libraries
Special resource sharing agreements have been established with MIT, the Rhode Island School of Design, and some academic libraries in Rhode Island, to allow Brown University students and faculty on-site access to the facilities. See "Access to Other libraries". Because regulations vary, ask at the Reference Desk in either the Rockefeller or Sciences Library if you wish to visit these or other institutions.

What about Deputy Borrowers?
At this time ILLiad can not be configured to recognize deputy borrowers. Therefore, if you are a Brown card holder, pleast submit any request(s) under your own name. If you are not a Brown card holder, please call the ILL office at 401-863-2554 or email us at

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For Other Libraries and Outside Researchers

Who may use Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary loan is a library-to-library transaction. If you have identified or otherwise have learned that Brown University holds a particular item you wish to view, contact your home institution or local public library's interlibrary loan services department.

What may be borrowed/obtained?
See our OCLC NAD for specific policies; however, generally we can lend just about anything from our circulating collection, including dissertations and theses if we have circulating copies. However there are some notable exceptions:

  • Oversize art books are not available through Interlibrary Loan
  • License agreements prohibit our filling lending requests from online journals
  • Videocassettes are not available through Interlibrary Loan
  • Any item in our online catalog which indicates "Use in Library"

Additionally, materials held in the John Hay library do not circulate and therefore are unavailable through Interlibrary Loan. If you have searched our online catalog and have found such an item you may contact the John Hay Library, as copies may be obtainable. Any inquiries related to items held in one of the John Hay collections should be directed to To request a photocopy, send an ALA form to John Hay Library Box A Providence, RI. 02912 or fax to 401-863-2093. The $15.00 minimum fee applies. Please review the policies and procedures for obtaining copies of items held in these collections at

How does one submit requests?
Our preferred method for processing requests from other libraries is through OCLC (Brown University is RBN) or Docline (Brown University is RIUBRN); however, we can accept ALA forms faxed to 401-863-2753 or sent via ARIEL ( or through email at We can not process requests from individuals, only from libraries.

What are Brown's charges?
Brown charges $15.00 for OCLC and for ALA requests, with IFM a preferred method of payment. We charge a flat rate of 11.00 in Docline with EFTS the preferred method of payment. We will invoice however. When sending ALA requests, please include a phone number, contact name and your agreement to pay the 15.00 charge.

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