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Education Program - Distance Students: Have Books & Articles Sent to You

How can I get library materials?

If you find a book that SMSU owns, you can request that we pull it from the shelf and send it to you. Also, if SMSU doesn't own a book or the full-text of an article that you need, we have a wide network of libraries we can ask to borrow it from -- and then pass it along to you. Here are the essential things to know about this service:

  • Books will be shipped to your home address. 
  • You are responsible for the cost of returning the book to SMSU: we recommend mailing it "media mail." You can also return it to SMSU or most other colleges/universities in the Minnesota State system in person. 
  • Electronic versions of articles will be delivered to your SMSU email and they are yours to keep.
  • The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) office takes care of your requests, so feel free to contact them directly with questions! 

How do I return materials sent to my home?

You must return books to the SMSU Library in person or by mail. If you choose to return materials by mail allow time to ensure receipt at SMSU Library before the due date. Media mail is usually the least expensive option; please ask your post office clerk. Please remember that you are responsible for all return mailing costs.

If you choose to return books by mail, please use the return address labels included in the books when they were delivered to you. Or, mail to:

SMSU Library—Interlibrary Loan
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State Street
Marshall, MN 56258

How long does it take?

If SMSU Library owns the requested item, you will usually get the item within a week. Books and articles from other libraries could be delivered in as little as a week but may take 3-4 weeks.

Materials that can't be borrowed

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

  • entire issues of journals or magazines
  • electronic books
  • reference or reserve materials
  • rare books, original manuscripts, or items in special collections
  • some dissertations and theses
  • bulky or fragile items
  • most Minnesota Historical Society materials

Contact ILL

Office hours: weekdays 8:30a.m. - 4:00p.m.

507-537-6127 (Conni) or
507-537-6165 (Maria)