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Interlibrary Loan

Request a Book 

Request an Article

Interlibrary loan is a service that allows students, faculty and staff of the college to request books, articles and other materials from other libraries. The materials are sent to McCain Library. After you have been notified of their arrival, ILL materials can be picked up at the Circulation desk. Electronic materials, including book chapters and articles, will be emailed to your Agnes email account.

The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Photocopies or reproductions are not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law. Interlibrary loan material is restricted from use in Canvas, course reserves, and/or distribution to anyone other than the requester.  

NOTE: Because it is both a McCain Library expense and a privilege for us to borrow on your behalf from lending libraries, you may request the same title no more than twice in an academic year. Please make full use of the materials while you have them on loan. Thank you for your cooperation.


The WorldCat catalog includes an interlibrary loan link that allows patrons to place a request for needed materials. Visit this link for directions. Alternately, patrons can complete a Request a Book or Request an Article form. Be sure to fill out the forms completely - missing information will lead to delays in the processing of your request.

Before filling out the request, be sure that McCain Library does not own the materials. Check WorldCat for books; check Find Journals to see if we have access to the journal in print or microfilm, or in full-text online.

Note for faculty members: items requested through interlibrary loan, such as books or videos, cannot be placed on reserve for courses. This violates copyright laws.

Note for students: you may only have 10 active book requests at one time. There is no limit on article requests. If you have overdue items, new ILL requests will not be processed until the overdue items are renewed or returned. 

Material that ordinarily cannot be requested:

  • periodical issues or volumes
  • audiovisual material
  • software
  • materials for class, reserve, or group use
  • fragile, rare or valuable materials
  • reference books
  • textbooks
  • theses or dissertations
Material usually takes 3 days to 10 days to arrive, but may take longer. The status of requests can be seen by viewing your library account. They can then be picked up at the Circulation Desk on Floor 1. Books will be sent back to the lending library if not picked up within 10 days.
This service is free to users, but each transaction does incur a cost for McCain Library.  Please use ILL judiciously. Overdue items accrue a fine of $1 per day for students.

ILL books are typically loaned for three weeks. Some loan periods may be shorter as determined by the lending library. Renewal requests must be submitted by email ( at least 3 days before the book is due. Renewal is at the discretion of the lending library. To process a renewal request it is necessary to supply both the title and the ILL number for each book.

Books borrowed through interlibrary loan are subject to recall by their owning institution at any time.

Agnes Scott College students, faculty, and staff are able to check out books from local colleges and universities that participate in the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE).  Stop by the McCain Library Reference Desk to apply for an Interlibrary Use (ILU) card to any of the following libraries:

How to Apply for an Interlibrary Use Card
McCain Library resources must be fully utilized before an ILU Card is issued. Ask a reference librarian to assist you - they will search the catalog, key databases relating to the topic, as well as the catalog of the library you intend to visit. You must be in good standing to receive an ILU Card (no high fines or outstanding billed books). Fill out a short application form - this allows us to track subject areas and courses for which students need supplemental material.

Access Books, Movies, and More from Dekalb County Public Library
Agnes Scott students are also eligible for a Dekalb County Library card.  This provides access to Decatur Public Library (in downtown Decatur), additional library databases, and downloadable audio and ebook collections. To obtain a Dekalb County Public Library card just bring a piece of mail sent to your Agnes Scott College address and your Agnes Scott College id to the Circulation Desk at any Dekalb County Public Library location.

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