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Southworth Library

Interlibrary Loan Guide

When a member of the SUNY Canton community wishes to borrow library materials not owned by the Southworth Library, they are encouraged place an Interlibrary Loan request. The library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department borrows library materials, on the behalf of its patrons, from thousands of other libraries in the continental United States.

ILLiad: is one of the electronic systems you use to request an item through Interlibrary Loan. 

With ILLiad:

  1. You enter your name, address, and other personal information into the system only once, at the time of your first request.
  2. Your request will be handled more rapidly and accurately as problems relating to misinterpretation of hand-written requests are eliminated.
  3. You can get many of your photocopies instantly through Electronic Delivery.
  4. You can get information about the status of your request through the Web at any time from any location without having to call the ILL Department.
  5. Requested items can be renewed online.

What types of “library materials” will ILL borrow?

ILL will obtain books, media, and other items typically loaned out by public and academic libraries. Book chapters and articles from journals and magazines are copied and sent directly to the patron.

What types of “library materials” will ILL NOT borrow?

  1. E-books
  2. Whole journal volume/issues
  3. Unpublished material

Who can use ILL?

ILL services are open to all SUNY Canton students, faculty, and staff only. Community borrowers are encouraged to use their public library to request materials.

How much does the service cost?

ILL service is always free of charge.

How do I use ILL?

Login to the online Interlibrary Loan service. Fill in the form on the "Submit a New Request" menu with as much information as possible.

You will receive an email telling you when the requested item has arrived. Loans will be available for pick-up at the Southworth Library circulation desk. A valid SUNY Canton ID card is required to pick up ILL items.

Book chapters and articles will be available as a .pdf file. You will receive an email with a link to the article.

How long does it take?

Delivery time varies. Your requested material may be here in a few days, but a week to 10 days is typical. Requests for popular and rare items often take much longer. Because it can take considerable time, Interlibrary Loan is not a good choice for research projects due in a few days.

Those who need materials sooner should consider other means. SUNY Canton students, for example, have borrowing privileges at St. Lawrence University, Canton Free Library, Clarkson, SUNY Potsdam, and all other SUNY colleges. It may be faster to go directly to these libraries yourself. Ask at the Research Desk about checking other library catalogs.

Why didn’t I get what I requested?

If the ILL department is unable to borrow an item, the patron is notified by email and the request is “unfilled.” This is done after a reasonable attempt has been made to obtain the item. We try to fill all requests, but all loans are dependent on the willingness of other libraries to supply the materials and we cannot guarantee any request will be filled.

Other reasons a request may be go unfilled:

  1. The patron did not provide enough information in the Request Form
  2. The material could not be found by the patron’s “Material Not Needed After” date
  3. Certain material types are more difficult to borrow, as libraries are often not willing to lend them; these include best-sellers, recently published books, multivolume sets, media, rare books, textbooks, and reference books 

Due Dates?

Copies of book chapters and articles are scanned for the patron — these copies are theirs to keep.

Due dates for loans are determined by the lending library. Similarly, loans may be recalled by lender at any time, and are due upon receipt of a recall notice.

Overdue notices are sent if materials are not returned by their due dates.

Users are financially responsible for Interlibrary Loan material from the time it is picked up at the Southworth Library circulation desk until the time it is returned. If material is lost or damaged, the user is charged a replacement and processing fee, determined by the lending library.


Renewals can be requested and are granted at the discretion of the lending library. To request a renewal, login to your ILL account online or contact the Library. If the lending library does not grant the renewal, the material must be returned by its original due date; all renewals must be requested before the due date occurs.


Questions, comments, and renewal requests may be emailed to the Southworth Library Interlibrary Loan  Department