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Frequently Asked Questions

Who may use Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?
Is my myWCU account the same as ILL account?
Is there a charge to use this service?
How do I request materials?
What kind of materials may I request?
How many requests can I make?
How long does it take for me to receive my requests?
How will I know that my requests have arrived?
How long may I keep ILL materials?
May I renew an ILL item?
Where do I return ILL materials?
How can I cancel a request?
What are the meanings of the statuses under Outstanding Request when I log into my account?
What if I need an item now?


Who may use the Interlibrary Loan service?

If you are a WCU student (both graduate and undergraduate), a faculty or staff member, you are eligible to use Interlibrary Loan.

Is my myWCU account the same as my ILL account?

Yes! 

Be sure to keep your contact information up-to-date. You can update your address by logging into myWCU and Quick Links selecting "Personal Services, select Personal Information, then choose "Update Address/Phone."  If Hunter Library ILL ships your materials to an out-of-date or inccorect address, you will be responsible for replacement costs if the materials are lost. 

Is there a charge to use this service?

There is no fee for WCU students, faculty, or staff to use this service. However, lending libraries may charge fees to Hunter Library that have an impact on whether we are able to obtain materials for you.

How do I request materials?

Log into ILL and fill out an online order form.
         You must provide complete citations:

  • Processing requests takes longer when vital information such as: author, title (journal, book, article), publication date, or ISBN is missing.
  • Spell out a journal title instead of abbreviating it, e.g. "Advances in Damage Mechanics" rather than "Adv. Damage Mech".

What kind of materials may I request?

You can request the following: Books, book chapters, journal articles. We will try to get anything you need, but some items are harder to get.

Recently published books (within the past six months) may not be available via ILL. Often libraries don’t own or lend new books.
The following are difficult to borrow:

  • Textbooks
  • Dissertations/Theses
  • Videos/DVDs
  • Video Games
  • Other Non-Print Media

How many requests can I make?

 There is no limit on the number of items you can request from ILL.

  • ILL requests are processed in the order they are submitted, so if you have many requests, submit them in prioritized order. 
  • If you are working on a big project, we want to help! If you will need to place a large number of requests for your research, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at 828-227-3412.

How long does it take for me to receive my requests?

You should plan ahead when you need to obtain materials through interlibrary loan, because the wait time can be unpredictable. Once we submit a request for your materials, it depends upon how rare an item is, how quickly the lending library processes your request, and shipping times.

  • Articles are generally delivered electronically and may take as little as 1 or 2 days, but can take considerably longer.
  • Books: usually 1-2 weeks

How will I know that my requests have arrived?

Once the requested item gets to WCU you will receive notification to your WCU email account. You can also opt-in to receive text message notifications in your account under Communication Preferences.

How long may I keep ILL materials?

This is determined by the library that lends us the item. Due dates are printed clearly on the yellow ILL slip attached to your item. Please request renewals in a timely manner, or return your materials by the due date.

Patrons who do not return the materials we borrow from other libraries on their behalf in a timely manner may have their ILL privileges suspended or revoked.

May I renew an ILL item?

You may request renewal of an Interlibrary Loan item one time so long as the library that lent it to us did not designate the item "non-renewable." To do this, log in to ILL, find your request and click the renewal button. You will receive an email letting you know if the renewal was approved or denied.

Where do I return ILL materials?

Return them to the Circulation Desk on or before the due date. Please DO NOT return ILL books in the library’s outside book drop.

How can I cancel a request? 

You can cancel a request that has not yet been shipped from your ILL account. Or you can contact ILL staff to it do for you.  Please contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at 828-227-3412.

What are the meanings of the request statuses?

  • Submitted = Your request is being reviewed by ILL staff
  • Considering = Other libraries are considering whether they can fill the request
  • In transit = The lending library has indicated that they have shipped your request to us
  • Available to view = Your article/book chapter has been delivered electronically. Follow the link in your account to view it.
  • Complete
  • Check your email - more information needed = We need a better citation or more information to process your request. Please respond to the email sent to you by ILL staff.
  • This item available through ABC Express (UNCA/ASU) = The item you requested is available from one of the other Western North Carolina Library Network schools. You could have requested this item yourself via the library catalog.

What if I need an item now?

Getting materials through interlibrary loan takes time. If you are in a hurry, contact the Reference Desk at 828-227-7465 (or 866-928-5424 toll free). They may be able to help you find materials free through one of Hunter Library's online databases

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