Interlibrary Loan


Interlibrary loan (ILL) allows Tulane students, faculty, and staff to borrow physical items like books or DVDs, or receive scans of articles or book chapters, that are owned by another library or supplier.  At Tulane University Libraries, ILL is offered at Howard-Tilton Memorial Library and the Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences.

Tulane University Libraries use an automated system called ILLiad to process and track ILL requests. Users create accounts in ILLiad that they can use to request books, articles or other materials not owned locally. 

Login: To use ILLiad, users login with their Tulane username and password using either of the links below depending on their campus affiliation. Law school affiliates should request interlibrary loans through the Tulane Law Library.

Items available through interlibrary loan typically include: books; journal articles; microfilm; dissertations and theses; and government documents.  Items usually not available through interlibrary loan include whole issues of journals and periodicals (except for items held at the Matal Library); rare materials including manuscripts; reference materials; genealogical and heraldic materials; many dissertations, especially those printed prior to 1970; books published within the last year, including current fiction; and current textbooks. For questions regarding the availability of an item, contact the Interlibrary Loan office at or (504) 865-5610 for assistance.

Interlibrary loan services are provided only to individuals affiliated with Tulane University. Those not affiliated with the University should seek assistance from their local public library. Materials obtained through Interlibrary Loan are for the library user's exclusive use. The user of the service is responsible for any late fees, replacement costs for lost materials, and costs for damages.

Delivery Time:  During most of the year, it takes several business days to obtain an article and 1-2 weeks to obtain a book through interlibrary loan. Many libraries do not lend at all during the winter holidays extending from mid-December through early January.  Time in transit depends on the method chosen for shipping by the lending library. Louisiana and the KUDZU consortium libraries ship loans using an express courier service such as FedEx or UPS, which supplies faster service. Many other libraries ship books by U. S. Postal Service library book rate, a slow alternative. When there is an emergency need for a document or book, contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at (504) 865-5610 for assistance.

Electronic Delivery:  Most libraries now send articles via electronic formats, which can be delivered to the library user the same way. Files may be viewed on ILLiad using the "View | Electronically Delivered Articles" link. Files are in PDF format and may be saved, printed or read on the monitor. Articles are posted electronically only when the library receives them in that format. Howard-Tilton Memorial Library offers a Scan and Deliver service for Tulane Uptown campus faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students (not including the Law school). The service includes scanning journal articles or a book chapter or less from the library’s circulating print collections and delivering electronically to the faculty’s or student's interlibrary loan account within two business days. Special Collections materials are not included in the service. Submit a request using the Article or Book Chapter form on the Interlibrary Loan web page. To comply with U.S. copyright law, only one book chapter or less or one article from a periodical issue is allowed per request. 

Loan Durations and Restrictions: The duration of the loan and any restrictions on using the item are determined by the lending library. Howard-Tilton Memorial Library honors all rules established by lenders. Lending libraries sometimes place special restrictions on the use of loaned items, such as:

  • Library Use Only: This means the library user may still check the item out from interlibrary loan, but cannot remove the item from the Library. The library holds the user's picture ID while the material is in use. 
  • No Renewals:  In this case, the lending library will not allow renewals and the item returned by the original due date.
  • No Photocopying:  The lending library prohibits the item to be photocopied either because of copyright restrictions or the item may be vulnerable to damage during photocopying. 

Renewal of Interlibrary Loan Materials:  Interlibrary loan users general may request one renewal for each item they borrow, unless the lending library stipulates that no renewals will be accepted. Use ILLiad to request a loan renewal by viewing active requests and clicking the Renew Item button. Requests should be made at least two days before the item is due.  

Loan request cancellations: Cancellation occurs most commonly when it turns out that the requested item was available at Tulane. When a request is cancelled, ILLiad will send the requester an e-mail message explaining the reason for cancellation. Some kinds of materials may be difficult to find in the library catalog. it is often helpful to consult a subject specialist librarian about an item before requesting it through interlibrary loan.

Loss of or Damage to Interlibrary Loan Items:  Failure to return materials on time will jeopardize the relationship between Howard-Tilton Memorial Library and other lending libraries, and may prevent the library from borrowing items from those libraries again.  When an ILL item is lost or damaged, the ILL user should contact the Interlibrary Loan Department immediately at or (504) 865-5610.  As with regular library books, the ILL user is financially responsible for any damage to or loss of interlibrary loan materials from the time they are picked them up until they are returned. Should damage occur, the user should not attempt to repair it and the item should be returned as is. Abuse of the interlibrary loan service may result in the loss of your interlibrary loan borrowing privileges, and may result in a suspension of a user's general circulation privileges.

Copyright: Tulane University Libraries complies with US Federal Copyright Law.  These guidelines allow academic libraries to borrow five (5) articles published in the last five (5) years per journal title in a calendar year. In addition, only two (2) articles per journal issue published in the last five (5) years can be borrowed per calendar year. Articles requested in excess of these Guidelines can result in copyright and/or royalty fees. 

Library Account vs Off Campus Login vs Interlibrary Loan: Read detailed information about the difference between off campus access and Library Account and Interlibrary Loan accounts in this Library Logins guide.

Center for Research Libraries

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries.  Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is a member of this consortium and as a result Tulane students and faculty can utilize interlibrary loan to borrow from the CRL's approximately five million newspapers, journals, dissertations, archives, government publications, and other specialized resources for research and teaching.

To find materials held by the Center for Research Libraries search the CRL catalog. To borrow CRL materials, Tulane students and faculty may request CRL materials through Howard-Tilton Memorial Library's interlibrary loan service.