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Interlibrary Loan: FAQ

Loan Periods

Lending libraries determine loan periods. 

  • most libraries lend books for 3-4 weeks
  • films, CDs, and other media are usually lent for a shorter period of time

You'll see the due date on the label attached to the material you borrow, or you can check your account.

 

How long does it take?

  • Articles usually arrive within 3-5 business days and may be delivered electronically to your SMSU email account or in printed form. You may experience minor delays to article arrival because of COVID-19 safety protocols and service disruptions.
  • Books take longer, between 5-10 business days. Please note that because of COVID-19 safety protocols and service disruptions, book arrival may be significantly delayed.
  • Rare and special materials such as dissertations often take up to a month.

How we contact you

Your SMSU email account will be used for all Interlibrary Loan messages, including notices for pick-up, cancellation notices, and other communication initiated by SMSU Interlibrary Loan staff.

For help with your SMSU email account, please contact the SMSU Technology Resource Center.

If an article is available electronically, you will be notified via your SMSU email.  The subject line will read "Your Requested Library Material."  This email will include a link to the website the article is posted to, along with login information necessary to retrieve the article.  You will be able to view the article 5 times or for 7 days after email notification, whichever comes first.

Where to pick up requests

Once you've received an email notification from SMSU Interlibrary Loan, you may pick up your materials at the Circulation Desk. 

If an article is available electronically, you will be notified via your SMSU email.  The subject line will read, "Your Requested Library Material." This email will include a link to the website the article is posted to along with login information necessary to view the article.  You will be able to view the article 5 times or for 7 days after receiving the email notification, whichever comes first.

Charges

SMSU Library absorbs the cost of obtaining materials through Interlibrary Loan, except in rare cases when a lending library requires payment.  If payment is requested, you will be notified via email.

Replacement and processing charges for lost interlibrary loan material will be enforced.

For distance students, items will be mailed by SMSU Library, but you will be responsible for return postage.

Materials that can't be borrowed

Most books and articles can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.  However, there are some exceptions:

  • items owned by SMSU Library, unless checked out or missing
  • recently published books or DVDs
  • entire issues of journals or magazines
  • reference or reserve materials
  • rare books or original manuscripts
  • some dissertations and theses
  • bulky or fragile items
  • most Minnesota Historical Society materials
  • items in special collections
  • electronic books

Please contact SMSU Interlibrary Loan with any questions.

Contact ILL

Office hours: weekdays 8:30am-4:00pm

Telephone:
507-537-6158 (Liz)
507-537-6165 (Maria)

Email: smsuill@smsu.edu

Mail:
SMSU McFarland Library-Interlibrary Loan
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258

Ask a Librarian

Ask Us a Question!

If an SMSU Librarian isn't available via chat right now, please email 
askref@smsu.edu
or call
507/537-6176