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Interlibrary Loan: Borrowing from Other Libraries

ILL Borrowing

Please make sure to check the Library catalog before making a request.


  • Complete one ILL request form for each item needed. Students may place up to 10 interlibrary loan requests per course each semester.
  • Do not abbreviate titles of books, journals or words in a title.
  • Be sure to include the source of the reference on all requests submitted.

Process Time

  • Requests are processed on a daily basis
  • Articles can take anywhere between 12 hours to 1 week to arrive
  • Books can take between 2 days to 2 weeks to arrive. This can be even longer if the item is hard to find or is at a library that is a farther distance.
  • Please plan ahead. If you feel like you will not need a material in the time it might take, DO NOT REQUEST IT. It costs approximately $20 for each item you request and items that are ordered but not picked up could face fines.

Who may use interlibrary loan?

  • Messiah University students, faculty, staff and administrators
  • Faculty spouses may use it for scholarly materials only
  • Friends of the Library (Contributor level or higher) may place 12 requests per year
  • Retired professors may place 12 requests per year

What types of materials can be requested?

  • Books
  • Articles
  • Book chapters (single chapter per title only)
  • Government documents
  • DVDs and videos
  • CDs and cassettes
  • Microfilm (a reader is available at Murray Library)

What types of materials cannot be requested or are difficult to obtain?

  • Student textbooks
  • Ebooks
  • Streaming videos
  • Dissertations  (please ask if you have a special circumstance)
  • Dissertation abstracts
  • Archival or primary sources

How many items may be requested?

  • Students may request up to 10 items per class, per semester
  • If you find that you need more for the research in a particular course, contact the Interlibrary Loan department or the liaison librarian for that course (click here for a list of departments and liaisons).


  • Patrons are not charged for Interlibrary Loan; however, be aware that the cost of each item ordered is approximately $20, which includes shipping administrative costs, staffing, etc. Please keep this in mind when placing a request.
  • Note to Faculty – please do not require students to place ILL requests simply to get the experience.
  • If an item has additional costs due to its location or scarcity, students will be asked to pay any amount over $20.  Faculty will be asked in advance to pay the difference above a $25 cost per item.
  • The borrower will be charged for material that is lost, damaged or overdue.

When material comes in

  • Articles are usually delivered to your ILLiad user account and you will receive an email notifying you that items have arrived
  • Books and other materials (hardcopy items) will be held at the circulation desk and you will be notified via email when ready for pick-up
  • Please leave all straps, stickers and papers intact during your use.
  • Please note the loan period that is listed on your materials.

Returning Materials

  • All items should be returned to the circulation desk at Murray Library by the due date. Do not use the drop box for Interlibrary Loan items.
  • Overdue books to Interlibrary Loan could cause you to be blocked from using this service. Please return your items on time.


You may ask for a renewal for an additional two weeks, but the lending library must approve the request. Lending libraries may recall their materials at any time. 

To renew an Interlibrary Loan item:

  • Login to your ILLiad account
  • Choose "Checked out items" from the menu on the left under View.
  • Double-click on the transaction number of the book you want to renew.
  • This will bring up all the details of the book.
  • At the top, in red, you will see "Renew Request".
  • Click on that and your renewal request will be processed.
  • You will get an email within a few days if your renewal was rejected and you have to return the book.
  • If you get an error message it is probably because you are trying to renew a book that is past due. If this happens, contact Interlibrary Loan and ask the InterLibrary Loan staff to process the renewal request for you. Be sure to give them your transaction number.

Membership Benefits for Messiah University

Members of ACLCP (Associated College Libraries of Central Pennsylvania) offer reciprocal borrowing arrangements to currently enrolled students, and current faculty and staff of all member institutions.      

  • Messiah members in good standing can use other ACLCP libraries by showing a valid Messiah ID and provide a valid address, phone and email information.
  • Students from other ACLCP institutions can present valid ACLCP IDs and receive the same borrowing privileges as Messiah alumni borrowers.

Each institution may have different borrowing privileges. Please ask the library's circulation desk for their ACLCP member policies.

Member schools include:

  • Albright College
  • Alvernia College
  • Bucknell University
  • Dickinson College
  • Elizabethtown College
  • Franklin & Marshall College
  • Gettysburg College
  • Harrisburg Area Community College
  • Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
  • Juniata College
  • Kutztown University
  • Lebanon Valley College
  • Lycoming College
  • Messiah University
  • Millersville University
  • Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • PSU Harrisburg (Capitol Campus)
  • Shippensburg University
  • State Library of Pennsylvania
  • Susquehanna University
  • U.S. Army War College
  • Wilson College
  • York College of PA

Check the ACLCP membership institutions for the most up-to-date list.

Contact ILL

Have questions?

Kimberly Steiner
Interlibrary Loan Supervisor