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What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan is a service that allows you to obtain materials not available at the three Alfred libraries. You may request that Scholes Library borrows these materials, on your behalf, from other libraries.

Who is eligible for interlibrary loan?

All Alfred University students, faculty, and staff are eligible.

What types of materials are available?

Items that are usually easy to borrow:
Most books; articles from journals; and technical reports.

Items that can be more difficult to borrow:
New books; theses or dissertations; standards, rare books and manuscripts; journal volumes; multi-volume sets; items held by a very small number of libraries; and unpublished papers.

Items that cannot be borrowed:

Is there a charge for interlibrary loan?

We will try to obtain materials free of charge for our campus patrons. You will be notified if the only availability incurs a charge.  If you wish to continue with the loan, the fee may be paid by cash, check made out to Alfred University, or charged against a research account. There are two reasons why an item may incur a charge:

  1. The item may only be available from libraries that charge a fee.
  2. Under the 1976 Copyright Law guidelines, there are certain limitations on what a library may obtain through Interlibrary Loan. We may not request from the last five years a) more than one article from any single journal ISSUE, or b) more than five articles from any single journal TITLE. Any articles requested beyond these guidelines must pays copyright fees. The cost per article can vary from $15 to $50 plus; depending on the publisher, the vendor, the method of document transmission, and copyright fee.  

How do I make a request?

Before you make a request, check to see if the item is available at Scholes, Herrick, or Hinkle (at Alfred State College) libraries. If you need help determining if the item is available through an Alfred library, see a librarian or contact the Interlibrary Loan department. Logon to your Interlibrary Loan account and submit a request for each item that you need.  Submit a request through Journal Locator or one of our licensed databases to have the request form populated for you (see How To's).  Provide as much information as possible since this will speed your request.  If you have a deadline, indicate the date by which you need the materials. Please limit your book requests to three at a time.  If you need more please request in order of priority.  If you request a large number of articles at once, we reserve the right to process ten requests per patron per week. If this happens, you will be notified. You can prioritize your requests by submitting them in the order that you wish to receive them.

How long does it take?

Article requests take an average of two days; book requests take an average of four days.  Books from long distances will take at least seven days.

How will I know when the materials have arrived?

You will receive an e-mail notice. If it is a book, you will be asked to pick it up at the library's Circulation desk.  We are subject to any restriction placed on the item's use by the lending library. They may request that it be used in the library only. For electronic articles, you will receive an email with the logon address.  When you access your account you can view the article online.  Articles in print will be sent to you through campus mail.

How long can I keep the materials?

The average loan time for a book is three weeks. Books needed for the entire semester should not be requested through interlibrary loan. Electronic articles are available in your Interlibrary Loan account for 30 days.  If you want to keep a copy of the article, you should download it to your desktop. Copyright law specifies that copies may not be "used for any purpose other than personal study, scholarship, or research."  They may not be distributed in any form to anyone else.

How do I renew items?

To extend the amount of time you keep a book: Logon to your interlibrary loan account. Click: "Checked Out Items" located under the View heading, then "Transaction Number" of the item you wish to renew, then "Renew Request" located in red at the top of the request. Your request will go directly to the lending library.  You will be notified by e-mail if the renewal was denied.

Why did I receive a notice that the item was “recalled” and that I would have to return it right away?

Occasionally, a lending library recalls an item because it is needed by one of its own patrons.

The book is overdue, but I still need the item.

If you received an overdue notice, please return the item right away. We count on you to help us maintain good relationships with our lending libraries. We must return items on time in order to continue borrowing. You may submit another request for the book, and we'll borrow from another library. If you do not return the item, you will be charged for the cost of replacing it.  We reserve the right to suspend interlibrary loan privileges to patrons who ignore interlibrary loan policies.

The article is not clear?  

We check over most articles before sending notification, but some images or scientific figures may need a finer resolution.  Let us know and we will request another copy of higher quality.

Interlibrary Loan Department
Scholes Library
2 Pine St.
Alfred, NY 14802-1205
Tel: 607-871-2947
Fax: 607-871-2349
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Staff: Sandra Jones, Information Delivery Services Assistant

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