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W.I. Dykes Library

Interlibrary Loan

University of Houston-Downtown students, faculty, and staff can use Interlibrary Loan to get materials not available at the location where they attend classes or work. Interlibrary Loan staff will search for publications not owned by the W.I. Dykes Library and borrow those publications from other libraries in our nation-wide network. UHD students and faculty at UHS Cinco Ranch, Cy-Fair College, Kingwood, the University Center, and other UHD off-campus distance sites may also use Interlibrary Loan to get materials from W.I. Dykes Library collections delivered to them at the site where they attend classes. Borrowers who have overdue Interlibrary Loan materials are not eligible for the service until all materials are returned. Materials borrowed on your behalf are for your personal use and cannot be passed on to another person or used in a service such as course reserves.

For assistance, please email or contact Interlibrary Loan staff member Alice Lewis (713-221-8278) or Anne Belk, Interlibrary Loan & Distance Education Librarian (713-221-2760). 

Interlibrary Loan staff from other libraries may wish to see our Interlibrary Loan Lending Policy.

Login to my interlibrary loan

Don't have an interlibrary loan account?

How To Request Items Through Interlibrary Loan

Students, faculty and staff may request interlibrary loans online. You can login to your interlibrary loan account at the top of this page, or by going directly to the ILL login page.

First-time users will need to create an account for interlibrary loan. If this is the first interlibrary loan request you have made since January 19, 2010, or if you have never requested an interlibrary loan, you are considered a first-time user and must create an account.

Please check the Library Catalog to be sure we do not own the book or journal needed. Requests for materials available in the UHD library will not be filled through interlibrary loan. Items owned by other libraries in the UH System should be requested through the library catalog (click the Request button at the top of the record for the item you want to borrow).

All interlibrary loan users are responsible for keeping their account information current, which includes maintaining and updating personal contact information.

How Long Will It Take?

It takes approximately 1-2 weeks for materials to arrive; articles often arrive sooner – sometimes in 4-5 days. Some items may take longer. We are unable to predict actual turnaround time in advance, since there is not a way to determine which library will actually supply the required item. Five potential lenders are chosen with each lender researching or considering the request before filling or passing it to the next lender. Factors that affect turnaround time include: length of time required to find a willing or available lender and the method of delivery chosen by the lender.

There is no limit placed on the number of requests a patron may submit; however, during peak periods, only 5 requests per individual will be processed per day. Requests received by 8 a.m. will be researched the same day.

If you need an item by a specific deadline, please indicate the date after which material cannot be used. If we are unable to fill your request by the need-by date, your request will be cancelled and you will be notified.

How Much Does It Cost?

The W.I. Dykes Library pays the cost of researching, ordering and delivering interlibrary loan materials. To keep the service free for its patrons, our staff first researches free lenders (lending libraries who do not charge a fee). Not all lending libraries offer free loans. Interlibrary Loan staff will research all free lenders until your request is filled. If a free lender is not available, our staff will present you with options.

What May Be Borrowed?

The following materials may be ordered using Interlibrary Loan:

  • anything not owned by the UHD Library which is owned by another library that will agree to lend it.
  • anything owned by the UHD Library that has a status of Missing, At bindery, or Due.

What CANNOT Be Borrowed?

The following materials WILL NOT be ordered using Interlibrary Loan:

  • Textbooks for UHD classes.

    NO TEXTBOOKS! Students please note that you CANNOT request your textbooks via Interlibrary Loan. No exceptions. Sorry!

Materials Usually Not Available through Interlibrary Loan

Lending institutions often have restrictions on what they will loan.

As a result, the following materials may be difficult to obtain:

  • Expensive, rare or archival items.
  • Newly published books or journals.
  • Non-circulating items such as reference books, bound periodicals, entire issues of periodicals, CD-ROMS, and books that are accompanied by electronic media.
  • Videos, CDs and DVDs
  • Theses or dissertations (PhD, MS, MA, BS, BA).

Loan Periods and Renewals

All loan periods are determined by the lending library, not UHD. Most lending libraries offer loan periods between 2 and 4 weeks. Due dates are determined from the date we receive the material from the lending library, not from the date you pick up the materials. If you do not pick up materials as soon as you receive your notice, you will have a shorter loan period.

Some lending libraries will grant one renewal period of 2 weeks. To renew your materials, log into your interlibrary loan account and use the 'renew request' button under the item's record. This must be done at least 3 days before the due date. Please be aware that requests for renewals after the due date will not be considered. If you still need the item after all available time has been given, we ask that you to fill out a new ILL request for the item and we will attempt to obtain a copy from another library.

At the request of the lending library, some materials may be designated "In library use only." These materials will be obtained for you and delivered to UHD but cannot leave our library. You are welcome to use these materials in the library until their due date.

Photocopies of journal articles are yours to keep, unless otherwise specified.

Pick-Up, Use & Return of Borrowed Materials

All patrons will be notified by email when their materials arrive as well as receiving a notification in their interlibrary loan account. It is the responsibility of the patron to pick up books at the Circulation Desk. It is necessary to sign for books. You may not pick up materials on behalf of another person without that person's written consent. If you agreed to borrow from a fee-based lender you must pay for your materials upon pick-up. ILL staff will provide you with payment instructions.

Return all materials (except articles) to the Circulation Desk. Journal articles become the property of the patron and do not need to be returned. DO NOT return to a campus book drop. We are not responsible for items returned to campus book drops.

Some journals may be delivered electronically through your online interlibrary loan account. In these cases the articles will have a window of time in which they can be viewed. Afterwards they will no longer be accessible.

Books borrowed through ILL are the patron's responsibility and if not returned, replacement costs will be charged by the lender.

Material borrowed through Interlibrary Borrowing CANNOT be placed on reserve.

Penalties and Fines

Prompt return of materials ensures continued interlibrary loan privileges from other libraries. Failure to return materials in a timely manner could result in loss of your interlibrary loan privileges. Additionally, other institutions may decide not to loan material to UHD as a whole due to late returns.

Overdue Materials

ILL will block requesters from placing further requests when borrowed material is seven days overdue. If materials are 14 days or more overdue your library account will be blocked and you will be unable to check out any library materials or use Reserves. If you continue to have interlibrary loan materials out and/or if you have been in this status more than once, the library may take further steps, including the suspension interlibrary loan privileges for an extended period of time. Interlibrary loan materials that are excessively overdue will be considered to be lost.

Lost or Damaged Materials

Charges are determined by the lending institution. Material that is not returned by the due date is considered by the lending library to be lost. You will be invoiced for the cost of a replacement copy and you may also be billed a processing fee.


Providing a replacement copy for an interlibrary loan is not permitted.

Refunds cannot be issued after payments have been processed.

Copyright Compliance

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 copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve a violation of copyright law.




W.I. Dykes Library • University of Houston-Downtown
One Main Street • Houston, Texas 77002
Information 713-221-8187 • Circulation 713-221-8186


Page maintained by UHD Library Webmaster

Last updated or reviewed on 1/28/15

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