How do I borrow an item from another library?

If you need a book, journal article, or any other kind of material that Wallace Library (or our HELIN partners) does not own or subscribe to, you can request to borrow it from another library, via interlibrary loan (ILL). Depending on the kind of material you are looking for and where beyond Wheaton it is available, you will receive it relatively quickly, in many cases within a few business days in the case of articles and within 1-2 weeks in the case of books.

If you found the item you would like to obtain through the library catalog or one of the library's databases, you will usually see a request button ("Request through ILL"). When you click on that button, you can access the ILL request system (called Tipasa) immediately—if you are not already logged into your library account, you will need to authenticate with your WID and e-mail password. The bibliographic information for the item you need will in most cases be automatically filled in the request form. All you need to do is to verify that everything was transmitted correctly, add any additional comments that might be helpful, and submit your request.

If you found the item you would like to obtain from another source—for example, if you simply found a citation for it—you can also fill out a request form directly. To do that, click on the button above ("ILL Login"), log in with your WID and e-mail password if prompted, and select the appropriate form (article or book chapter; book; other). Enter the bibliographic information you have for the item (the more detailed, the better) and submit your request.

You will be notified by e-mail (or by text message, if you so choose) once we have received the item you requested; we may also contact you by e-mail if we need more information to process your request. You can check the status of all of your ILL requests, see due dates, request renewals, and view copies of articles or book chapters you've requested in your ILL account, which you can access directly through the ILL Login button above—or from your general library account by clicking on the dropdown menu in the top right corner (it should have your name on it) and selecting "My ILL Requests."

Who can use ILL?

All current Wheaton students, faculty, and staff with a valid Wallace Library account may request items through interlibrary loan. Emeriti may also be granted interlibrary loan privileges on a case-by-case basis.

ILL transaction data is saved for one year for your convenience. Identifying data is scrubbed for use in analytics, but your privacy is important to us. Please contact us if you would like to know about options for using ILL anonymously.

What about copyright?

The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. 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 copy order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve a violation of the copyright law.

What does it cost?

There is no charge for ILL requests for Wheaton community members. Some libraries from whom we need to request especially rare items may charge a fee, however. If that is the case, we will contact you, and you will still have the option of canceling the request if you do not wish to pay the other library's fee. In certain circumstances, an ILL request for a journal article may incur a copyright fee; again, we will contact you if that is the case, and you will still have the option of canceling the request before you are charged.

Contact Information

Located on the Main Level of Wallace Library, the Interlibrary Loan Office borrows materials not owned by Wheaton from other libraries for Wheaton faculty, staff, and students to use. For questions, please call us at (508) 286 8224 or e-mail

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