Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Document Delivery

Interlibrary Loan


Logon to the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan system to request materials from our collections and from other libraries.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is based on a general agreement among participating libraries to make certain materials — books, dissertations, journal articles — available to other member libraries upon request. This agreement allows library patrons access to far more materials than any one library could possibly hold. We routinely search the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) database to locate and borrow materials owned by other US, Canadian and European libraries.

We try to borrow almost any item that is requested. Be aware that we may have trouble borrowing:

  • recently published books and articles
  • rare or fragile books
  • multi-volume sets
  • reference books
  • theses and dissertations
  • conferences and proceedings
  • unpublished papers and reports
  • bound or single-issue periodicals
  • computer software
  • audio-visual materials, i.e., videos

Who is eligible for Interlibrary Loan?

Currently enrolled USF students, staff, faculty, emeriti faculty, and Fromm affiliates may use Gleeson Library/Geschke Center's Interlibrary Loan service. However, we are unable to process ILL home delivery requests for those with international addresses — see our Document Delivery page for information about requesting electronic documents.

If you are a USF Law School student, staff member, or faculty member, please use Zief Library's ILL service.

If you are uncertain as to whether you are entitled to ILL services, please contact the ILL Office at or (415) 422-2662. 

How long does it take?

Electronic delivery (i.e. PDFs of articles, book chapters, etc.) is filled within 1-3 business days of your request.

  • Some nursing articles and other electronic documents may turn around in 24 hours.
  • Requests may be filled faster if you provide an ISSN/ISBN.

Most books and other physical items arrive at Gleeson Library within 5-15 business days.

  • In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may take longer to receive physical print materials due to shipping time from the lending library, quarantining of the package at Gleeson Library, and shipping time from Gleeson Library to your home address.

We cannot guarantee the arrival date of any item and suggest that you place your requests well ahead of any deadlines.

We make every effort to obtain resources as soon as possible and at no cost to you. If you have any questions about the status of your request please contact the Gleeson Library Interlibrary Loan office at

How much does Interlibrary Loan cost?

The Interlibrary Loan Office at Gleeson Library/Geshcke Center always tries to obtain ILL materials free of charge. 

However, if we are unable to find a lender who will send your requested material for free, we can request to borrow materials from lending libraries that do charge for Interlibrary Loans. For the foreseeable future, Gleeson Library will continue to cover costs up to $15 per request for currently enrolled USF students and $35 per request for full time and part time faculty.

If you do not want to pay for the material you are requesting, on the ILLiad request form please authorize the maximum amount you are willing to pay as $0. If we are unable to find a lender who will send your requested material for free, we will cancel your request.

If you would like the material, even in the event that a charge is incurred, on the ILLiad request form please authorize the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the material. First, we will look for your request for free. If we are unable to find a lender who will send your requested material for free, we will attempt to fill your request within the cost parameters you provide. 

The below table gives the average lending costs set by libraries who charge for Interlibrary Loans. This table is only a guideline. Lending libraries set their own fees. Gleeson does not add any costs to your requests.

Average Lending Costs

Material: Cost:
Articles $10 to $20
Books $20 to $25
Dissertations $10 to $30

If you’d like an item and are willing to be charged for it regardless of cost, a good strategy is to authorize a high dollar amount (in the $30 range).

The Interlibrary Loan Office assesses ILL charges at the beginning of every month for the prior month. 

Students and Staff:
If a cost is incurred to borrow the ILL materials you requested, and you authorized an ILL charge, expect to receive a bill towards the beginning of the month after your request is filled. You will also see a fee on your Gleeson Library/Geschke Center library record. 

For example. If you select a maximum cost of $15 and we are unable to get the item for free, you will receive an ILL fine on your library account the month after the request is filled.

USF Faculty, Full-time, and Part-time instructors:
Gleeson Library will cover charges up to $35 per request. The library will still seek free loans, however. Please make sure your status as faculty is selected, and that you fill out $35 maximum cost for each transaction.

Student ILL Users: 

If you select a maximum cost over $0, and the request is not filled by the lending institution, you will not be charged. 

If you select a maximum cost over $0, and your request is filled, but you neglect to pick up the material at the Gleeson, the ILL charge will still be applied to your record.

Remember, you can pay library fees and fines online, by logging on to your main library record (not your ILLiad record!). Look for the “Pay Online” button. A bursar hold will be placed on your university record until ILL fees are paid.

What is the Copyright Law?

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright.

What are copyright restrictions?

U.S. Copyright guidelines restrict the photocopying of copyrighted materials. There is an annual limit on the number of current periodical articles we can borrow from each journal title. Requests received after the limit is reached will be returned with instructions to consult the journal at a neighboring library. 

When is the book or dissertation due?

Each lending library sets its own due date. This means that if you pick up several books on the same day, each one may have a different due date. A blue book band noting your name, date the book is due, ILL transaction number, and any special restriction from the lending library is attached to the front of each book. Please return the book with the blue book band intact. A missing blue book band may cause your Circulation Record not to be cleared properly, and you will be held liable for any overdue / lost books charges.

Can I renew a book or dissertation?

It is dependent on the lending library. If you would like to request a renewal, please email at least two days before the due date. If the book band on the book says NO RENEWALS then renewals are not allowed. The due date is determined by the lending library. If you anticipate needing more time, place a new interlibrary loan request for the same title and return the first copy when it is due. Dissertations and materials received in microfilm/microfiche are generally more difficult to obtain the second time around. 

Where do I return books and dissertations?

Reuse the packaging and the prepaid UPS return mailing label enclosed with your items to return them to Gleeson Library. Do not include any additional items in your package other than the books that arrived with this label. Do not remove the blue book band. Take the package to a UPS drop off location. If you need a duplicate label, please contact us.

You are responsible for lost book replacement charges.

What are the fines and replacement charges?

Books borrowed on interlibrary loan are subject to different loan periods than USF owned materials. Be aware of the different due dates listed on each blue book band. Charges for lost or damaged materials are individually based on the lending library's fees, which begin at $130.00.

Students who have unpaid fines are placed on University Hold and do not receive any Student Enrollment Services or Registrar services until their library account is cleared. A borrower is not exempt from any overdue or replacement charges because of a failure to receive a notice from the Library.

How do I contact the Interlibrary Loan Office?

For questions, please provide the following:

  • Your name
  • Your phone number(s)
  • The ILL transaction number, if known
  • Brief title (first five words) of book /dissertation/journal
  • Your question

Contact options:

Special Faculty Proxy Procedures

Please contact the Access Services Department prior to initiating any interlibrary loan requests in ILLiad through a faculty proxy. The Access Services Department may be reached at (415) 422-2662 or at