Interlibrary Loan (ILL)Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library

Faculty, staff and students can borrow materials not available at Gustavus from other libraries. The Library's YouTube channel includes a video tutorial to show you how this process works.

  • Use the WMS Link Resolver or Find It! button from a library database.
  • Use the Request from another library link from Discovery (the catalog).
  • You can also create an ILL request from a blank form.

You'll be notified by email about the status of your request.

  • Articles are usually accessed via a unique link and password.
  • Books and other items can be picked up at the Information Desk.
  • All your requests can be tracked via My Library Account.

For more information about ILLs, see the FAQs section below. 

For help with any ILL related question, please contact the Interlibrary Loan department at 507.933.7564 or

Frequently Asked Questions:

Our continued interlibrary loan privileges with other institutions depend on compliance with their lending policies and restrictions, careful handling and prompt return of their materials. Your cooperation is appreciated!

Who can use Interlibrary Loan?
All current Gustavus students, faculty and staff have Interlibrary Loan privileges. Courtesy card holders are encouraged to use the ILL service at their local public library.
Faculty, staff and student requests are treated equally.
An ILL loan is specific to the person who submitted the request and cannot be transferred between people. Only the requester can pick up and check out an ILL, receive notifications regarding the loan, and manage the loan online via My Account.
Note to faculty borrowers: ILLs should never be placed on reserves at Gustavus. Instead, contact Kate Sonsteby in Acquisitions to inquire about purchasing for our collection.

Are ILLs free?
Yes (almost always)! The library absorbs most costs of ILL. If there are any questions about fees, we'll be in touch with you to discuss the matter.

How long does it take?
The time varies depending on lots of factors, so plan ahead and allow as much time as possible. Currently, articles average about 24 hours, while books and other items average about 5 business days. Requests are always processed immediately, treated equally, and we use local libraries when possible. No need to worry if you're requesting from the library with the fastest response - we make that determination for you.

How will I know it's here?
We send you a notification, most likely an email, though you can opt in for text messages (SMS alerts). Articles are usually accessible by a unique link and password or through the Requests tab once you've logged in to your Library Account. Books and other items will wait for you in the library.

How long can I keep it?

All due dates are determined by the lending library regardless of patron status; it varies widely. In general, you can plan to keep ILLs for 2-3 weeks, often with the possibility of renewals (see the next question).

Can ILL materials be renewed?

Most can; the lending library makes that decision and determines the new due date. Please make your renewal requests close to the due date, but before your ILLs are overdue. You'll get a reminder notice with a convenient link to your account to help you renew, or review the Requests tab in your account anytime. (This 30 second video will show you how.) If you miss the renewal window, contact us as soon as you can! We're happy to request an extension on your behalf.

I got my article and it's [missing pages] [hard to read] [a poor quality scan][not what I requested]. What do I do?
Contact us right away! We'll do our best to get it fixed as soon as possible.

I asked for a renewal but haven't received a response. Now what?
Keep the item until you know for sure. The new due date will appear next to the item under the Requests tab. Call 507.933.7564 or email if you are still unsure. If the renewal is denied, please return the item promptly. Overdue items can jeopardize our ILL privileges with other libraries.
Where do I return ILL materials?
Books and other items should be returned to the library via the book drop or the Information Desk.

I lost or damaged my interlibrary loan item. What do I owe?
First and foremost, don't hesitate to contact us if you lose or damage an item! We will work with you to resolve the situation. The charge for damaged or lost items varies by library and by item (though the average cost is about $110).

What if I lost the paperwork?
Simply give the ILL item to a staff member at the Information Desk in the library to be sure it gets returned correctly.

Materials not available through ILL
  • Gustavus materials that are currently available
  • Some articles published very recently or online ahead of the print issue (example: "Epub ahead of print")
  • Genealogy materials
  • Large multi-volume works
  • Entire issues of magazines or journals
  • Items from Reference, Archives, or Special Collections
  • Rare books and original manuscripts
  • Newly published items or items in high demand
  • E-books have licensing restrictions that make ILL difficult. If you will only be satisfied with the e-book version, add a note to your request. Otherwise, we will substitute the print version where we can.
  • Dissertations, theses, conference proceedings, conference presentations and abstracts can be challenging to obtain. Poster sessions are not available via ILL.
  • Popular movies and books might not be immediately available via ILL. An alternative for obtaining these items is to visit the local public library.
  • Please do not rely on ILL for all textbooks and required readings; due dates are not long enough for an entire semester.

Still have questions?
Call or email the ILL office (507.933.7564 or