Using Interlibrary Loan to Request Library Materials from a Distance

Penn State students have access to a wealth of library resources, encompassing a wide range of materials in assorted formats. Many of these resources are available online, but physical copies of some materials can also be provided to registered Penn State World Campus students located in North America, even if they aren’t near a Penn State campus.

“If they live in North America and have a street address, we can physically mail items to them at their request,” says Meg Massey, Interlibrary Loan Manager at Penn State University Libraries. “For items owned here at the library that they want to borrow, they would click ‘I Want It’ in the catalog and select ‘World’ as their pickup location. We can also provide scans of book chapters, articles, and other resources that we own here in the library. This includes items that are on course reserves. Students can request those materials by submitting the request in their Interlibrary Loan account.”

One of the services that can be especially helpful to Penn State World Campus students is the Interlibrary Loan. This gives World Campus students the ability to request virtually any type of materials — within the Penn State library system and elsewhere — from sources all around the world.

“If we don’t own materials that users are looking for, we can request those materials through Interlibrary Loan,” says Massey. “Through our Interlibrary Loan system, we can borrow materials from all around the world. For example, if a student is looking for an article and they can’t find it in our resources, they can use our ILLiad request form to request the material, and we will work to find it and fill it for them. Basically, any time that a user needs an article, they would request it through Interlibrary loan, whether it’s owned by the library or not.”

You must have both a My Library Account and an ILLiad account to borrow materials. It’s important to keep a current address in both accounts and choose World Campus as your campus and pickup location.

Materials will be shipped via UPS. Sign up for UPS My Choice if you want to track UPS shipments. You can return your items at any Penn State library or by mail to the ILL department at University Park. You are responsible for the shipping costs and for returning borrowed materials by the due date.

Learn more about Penn State’s Interlibrary Loan program.

Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash