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Interlibrary Loan

General Policies

  1. Interlibrary loan services are available to currently enrolled UM students, faculty, and staff only.
  2. ILL books are available to pick up at the circulation desk located on the first floor of the Library.  A photo ID is required to pick up items.
  3. Patrons can request books, copies of articles, and audiovisual items.
  4. A patron may have a maximum of 25 active requests at one time.
  5. The Interlibrary Loan office cannot order textbooks required for class.
  6. Due to copyright law, no more than 10% or one chapter of a book (whichever is less) can be copied for interlibrary loan patrons.
  7. In most cases, this standard also applies to e-books. Chapters or specific pages following the 10% rule may be requested, but not the entire e-book.
  8. If a patron loses an interlibrary loan item, they will be responsible to pay for the item based on the amount the lending library charges.
  9. Please provide as much information as possible when placing a request.  The more information you provide, the faster the lending library can locate the item.
  10. Due to the varying amount of time items can take to arrive, please try to request items ahead of time when possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click each question to see its answer.

UM staff, faculty, and currently enrolled students are able to use ILL. Alumni, former employees, and community members are not eligible. 

For Borrowing: We do our best to borrow from other free resource sharing groups and universities within the state of Alabama.  Carmichael will pay up to $30.00 for a request.  Instances where the cost to borrow materials exceeds $30.00 will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and you may be asked to pay a portion, or all, of that cost.  (Rarely do we have to ask patrons to pay for their loans!) 

For Lost Items: If a loan is lost, you are required to pay the fine/processing fee/ cost of the item.  The school lending the material determines how much you will owe.  A hold will be placed on your student account until the fine is cleared.

Please allow up to four weeks when specifying your "needed by" day on the request forms. The "needed by" date does not affect the speed in which we process your request(s), but a generous window prevents your request from expiring while it is being considered by potential lender libraries.  Each potential lender has a short time frame to consider the request, and so it may take some time to move through the chain. We tend to receive most of our items within 2-3 weeks of the request initiation.

This happens quite a bit, especially if you are working on a large project (e.g., McNair Scholarships, Undergraduate Research, Senior Seminars, Graduate Thesis, articles for publication, etc.).  Place a renewal request through your ILL account. If you are denied a renewal, you will need to return that item by the due date. You can place a new request for the same item, and we will try to get a copy from another library. 

Regardless of whether you are finished with the material, you are obligated to abide by the due dates set by the lending library. Failure to do so will result in a block on your account.

When you set up an account, you will need to provide your UM email address and a phone number for account verification. You can manage whether you receive SMS messages or email updates, but you will need to choose one to ensure that you receive notifications from your ILL account. If you prefer to receive updates through a different contact method, you will need to specify that on the ILL request forms. Please be aware that once you initiate an ILL request, you must be sure to check your emails or SMS messages or your ILL account regularly so you do not miss the arrival of your items before they are due. 


UM participates in the NAAL (Network of Alabama Academic Libraries) Library Access Program which allows currently enrolled students and currently employed faculty and staff to access the library buildings and services of other participating academic institutions. This partnership allows UM students, faculty and staff to check out materials, in person, with your student ID. 

If Carmichael doesn't have what you are looking or if you are nearby, you can visit a NAAL participating library and check out what you need. 

Before making the trek up I-65, it's a good idea to call the institution and ask them to place the items on hold for you.  This way, you avoid getting there only to find that the book is checked out or missing from the shelf.  If you want help with this, stop by the ILL office on the main floor of Carmichael by calling 665-6100 or by e-mailing 

The most common reasons ILL requests are canceled:

  • Carmichael owns the material either in print (books, periodicals) or subscribes to the material through databases (journals, articles).  If Carmichael owns the material the request will be canceled and you will be provided with information as to where to locate the information you need. 
  • You already have placed a request for the item. 
  • You have requested a textbook.
  • We were unable to obtain the item you requested through the ILL process.
  • You have one or more overdue ILL items which has generated a block on your account.

If you are ever unsure as to why your request was canceled, or you feel your request was canceled by mistake, please contact the ILL Coordinator ASAP.