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Interlibrary Loan and Library Express Policies

Interlibrary Loan and Library Express Policies

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

The purpose of interlibrary loan is to obtain materials for your research that are not available at the UNM University Libraries. The ILL Office will attempt to borrow titles from other libraries or arrange for the material to be photocopied when appropriate. ILL makes resources available to eligible UNM users from most of the libraries within the United States.

Library Express

The Library Express service delivers copies of articles and book chapters (less than 50 pages) from the UNM collection. No need to spend hours hunting for books and articles in our stacks and various branches - simply fill out the same ILL form and we will find it for you.


To be eligible, you must be enrolled or employed at UNM.

Visiting colleagues and other affiliated persons are not eligible for our services. An exception might be granted if the faculty sponsor within your department is willing to accept responsibility for overdue fines and other charges. An appropriate status in Banner and a formal letter from the sponsor on department letterhead is required and must be renewed every 6 months. Please contact the ILL Office for details.

Community Borrower cards do not entitle the card holder to interlibrary loan privileges. Patrons from outside the University community are encouraged to contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at the Albuquerque Public Library (768-5141).

Faculty, staff and students from the Health Sciences Center who are requesting medical and related titles must use the Health Sciences Center Library Interlibrary Loan Department. Health Sciences Center patrons may request non-medical titles only through the UNM University Libraries ILL Office.

Authorized Users

Each eligible user may have one account. Do not allow other people to use your account, as you are responsible for all items on your account. We do not provide department or proxy accounts. If you wish to have someone else pick up your items, you must add them in the “Authorized Users” section of your ILLiad account (under “Change User Information”). Authorized users must provide their photo ID in order to pick up your items.

Ordering Information

Requests from UNM collections are usually filled within 3 business days. Items from outside collections will usually take longer. We will notify you by email when the item is available. Articles are scanned and made available electronically through your ILLiad account, which may be accessed from any computer with internet access, a browser, and Adobe Acrobat reader. Books will be available for pickup at the Zimmerman Service Desk.

In order to provide this free and timely service only 20 active requests per person are allowed.

ILL and Library Express services include:

  • Articles from journals, chapters from books, and scans from microforms
  • Electronic articles from full-text sources
  • Books that are not on reserve or from restricted collections
ILL and Library Express services do not include:
  • Textbooks and required readings
  • Articles or chapters from textbooks and required readings
  • Copies on paper
  • Multiple articles from the same journal
  • An article or chapter longer than 50 pages
  • Multiple chapters from the same book
  • Copies of an entire work
  • Any items On Reserve
  • Any items in specialized or restricted collections like CSWR, FADL Media, etc.
  • Any copy request that would violate the Fair Use provisions of Title 17, Section 108-C of the Copyright Act
Cost & Limit

Regular ILL services are provided at no minimum charge to UNM faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and staff members. Please be aware that each Interlibrary Loan costs the Library in staff processing time, computer time, postage, and lending fees. The average cost for an interlibrary loan ranges between $37.50 and $54 for each item. Please use the privilege wisely and only for materials you actually intend to use. Requests should be made only for materials that are for classroom or academic research purposes. Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to ask for help at the Reference Desk when beginning a new project, and to make the most use out of existing resources already available here at the UNM University Libraries.

Interlibrary Loan Request Forms

Interlibrary Loan takes advantage of the powerful ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan Internet accessible database) software. This allows patrons to make their requests electronically, track the progress of their requests, apply for renewals, view a complete history of their requests, and view, print, or download electronically delivered articles.

Citations should be as complete as possible and abbreviations should be avoided. Request forms must be filled out as completely as possible. When requesting books, it is important to supply the author, title, edition, publisher, place, date of publication and the series (if known). When requesting journal articles, it is essential to supply the title of the periodical, volume number, issue number, year, author of the article, title of the article, and the pages on which the article appears.

Difficult Materials

The ILL staff will try to borrow any materials that patrons deem necessary to their research. Please be aware that some material is extremely difficult to borrow. This includes videos, audio tapes, reference books, maps, standardized tests and accompanying manuals, books published prior to 1900, and dissertations from Ivy League and California schools.


Textbooks may not be borrowed. Requests for textbooks (and solution manuals, study guides, kits, copies from textbooks, etc.) will be returned unfilled. Please see our FAQs for more information.


Items on Reserve must be obtained from the Service desk. Requests for Reserve items (or copies from Reserve) will be returned unfilled.

Receipt of Materials

For easy-to-locate titles, it will normally take between several days and two weeks to fill your request. For more difficult titles, it may take longer, especially if materials are requested from public or specialized libraries. Patrons will be notified by email when their requests have arrived. Materials are picked up at the Zimmerman Service Desk. Scanned materials are delivered electronically to your ILLiad account.

Duration of Loans

The loan period is determined by the lending institution and is usually two to three weeks. Renewals of loans are sometimes allowed, and may be requested by using your ILLiad account. Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library. Loans must be returned promptly. Failure to return materials on time jeopardizes the University Libraries' standing with other institutions and makes borrowing much more difficult, since most libraries suspend services because of overdue materials. Once a book is overdue, the patron will receive overdue notices in their UNM email. If a book is overdue by 7 days or more, access to the request forms will be blocked until the overdue material is returned. Any fines and fees assessed by the lending library will be passed along to the patron, along with our own fines. Failure to return books promptly will result in suspension of interlibrary loan privileges including, but not limited to, the ability to use ILL items outside of Zimmerman Library.

Restrictions on Use

The lending institution may impose restrictions on the use of its materials. Such restrictions may include "library use only" or "no photocopying permitted."

Return of Interlibrary Loan Materials

ILL materials should be returned to the Zimmerman Service Desk. Do not place them in the outside book drops. It is extremely important that the ILL book band or label with the barcode is kept on the material at all times.


Lending libraries will assess fines for unreturned and damaged items. We pass those charges along to the patron and also charge a minimum of $25 on top of that. Total fines have been averaging $150-$200 and are not refundable.

Blocked accounts

ILLiad accounts may be blocked for a number of reasons, including:

  • Patron is no longer enrolled or employed at UNM.
  • Overdue ILL or UNM materials.
  • Unpaid ILL or UNM Libraries bills.
  • Incomplete or inaccurate contact information.
  • Violation of ILL/Library Express policy.
Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Photocopies or other reproductions can be furnished only under certain conditions, if they will be used for private study, scholarship, or research. Use of the reproduction for other purposes may make the user liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would involve violation of the copyright law. Interlibrary Loan is a member of the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), and is able to arrange for payment of copyright fees under certain circumstances.