Skip to Main Content

McGraw-Page Library: Interlibrary Loan


Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan is a service available to Randolph-Macon College students, faculty, and staff that allows them to request from libraries nationwide journal article or book chapter copies and  print books (and other physical items) that the library here does not own.

Most Frequently-Asked Questions About ILL:

  1. How do I request research material using ILL?
  2. How quickly can I get my research material through ILL?
  3. What kinds of materials can I request?
  4. How much does ILL cost?
  5. How will I know when my ILL item has arrived?
  6. How long can I keep an ILL item?
  7. How do I return something I borrowed through ILL?


1. How do I request research material using ILL?

  • Check our catalog (WMS) and Journal Title Search to verify that the McGraw-Page Library does not have the materials you need. TIP: You may also be able to find articles in Google Scholar.
  • This short tutorial will walk you through how to place an ILL request.
  • The Library Patron Portal allows you to track the status of all of your pending ILL requests, view a history of your past ILL requests (up to 5 years), cancel or resubmit ILL requests, view due dates for your loaned ILL items,  and submit a due date extension (renewal) request to the lending library for a loaned ILL item. To access the portal, click on the My Library Account button on the Library's home page.

2. How quickly can I get materials through ILL?

The time it takes to receive and process an item through ILL can vary. Articles can usually be obtained within 1-3 business days while physical books typically take longer, often 7-10 business days. Because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, some print materials may take longer than usual to arrive. Please plan accordingly and submit your requests as early as possible.

 3. What kinds of materials can I request? 

Below is a list of items you can request through ILL. Please note that it is at the lending library's discretion as to whether or not they will loan something through ILL.

  • Books (print format) and book chapter copies.
  • Journal article copies.
  • DVDs.
  • Items from special collections.
  • Bound volumes of periodicals.
  • Microfiche/microfilm.
  • Theses/dissertations (these tend to be difficult to get, but we always try our best!). TIP: Try the Dissertations and Theses Global database first, you may find your item there!
  • Other audio-visual materials.

A NOTE REGARDING REQUESTING TEXTBOOKS THROUGH ILL: Due dates for items loaned through ILL are determined by the lender and can vary widely. It is for this reason that ILL is not recommended as a way to obtain textbooks.

A NOTE REGARDING LOAN REQUESTS FOR EBOOKS: Please be aware that, due to restrictions placed by the publisher, we are usually unable to get an e-book through ILL.

 4. How much does ILL cost to use? 

Interlibrary Loan is a free service for R-MC students, faculty and staff. The only time a patron would be billed for an ILL item is if it is lost or damaged and the lending library bills us for it.

  5. How will I know when my ILL item has arrived? 

You will receive a system-generated email to your Randolph-Macon email account when your item has arrived. Please be sure to monitor your spam/junk/quarantine/other folders, as sometimes the notification may land there.

  • ILL loans are placed on the ILL Pickup Shelf near the elevator on the first floor for retrieval when the library is open. Checkout is done when the book comes in as a part of ILL processing, so there is no need to make a separate stop to the Information Desk. #grabandgo
  • Copies of journal articles that arrive electronically will be sent to your inbox (again, please be sure to monitor your spam/junk/quarantine/other folders if you don't see anything in your inbox).  Articles that arrive as paper copies can be picked up from the ILL Pickup Shelf. 

 6. How long can I keep an ILL item?

  • Copies of articles and book chapters are yours to keep. Articles and book chapter copies received electronically are automatically deleted after 30 days, so be sure to save a copy to your U: drive.
  • Many lenders set their ILL loan periods at 8 weeks (but, again, this can vary). If you find that you need some more time with your ILL loan, contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at to have them place an extension request on your behalf.

A NOTE REGARDING DUE DATES FOR ILL ITEMS: Due dates for ILL items are at the discretion of the lending library and are not automatically granted like renewals for books borrowed from the library here.

  7. How do I return something I borrowed through ILL?

Please use the book drop in the Library vestibule to return your ILL books or other physical material borrowed through ILL. Journal article and book chapter copies do not need to be returned.

ILL - TIPASA Account Login

Need to see what ILL items you have? Do you need to ask the lending library for a due date extension (renewal) for an ILL item? Click on the button below to log into your library patron portal.

Library Patron Portal Login

ILL - Questions?

Profile Photo
Judee Showalter