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Southworth Library Learning Commons

Interlibrary Loan Policies

What is Interlibrary Loan?

When a member of the SUNY Canton community wishes to borrow library materials not owned by the Southworth Library Learning Commons, 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.

What is ILLiad?

ILLiad is the electronic system you use to request an item through Interlibrary Loan. The name ILLiad can be thought of as an acronym for InterLibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database.

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.
  6. Library personnel are able to serve you better because all data about your request and its handling is stored in a searchable database. We are able to respond quickly to your inquiries about your request. We are also able to gather statistical information about the performance of the libraries that lend to us, enabling us to make better decisions when choosing a lender to supply an item.

What types of “library materials” will ILL borrow?

ILL will obtain books, audiobooks, videos, 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. Materials owned by, and available in, Southworth Library Learning Commons
  2. E-books
  3. Whole journal volume/issues
  4. Articles freely available online
  5. Unpublished material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 ILL materials.

How much does the service cost?

ILL service is always free of charge.

Although ILL service is free to users, the average cost to the library for each completed interlibrary loan transaction is approximately $30.00. Users are encouraged to use the service judiciously to avoid unnecessary expense for the college, and to inform ILL staff if a previously requested item is no longer needed.

How do I use ILL?

Before placing an ILL request, you should check for the material in Southworth Library’s catalog for loans and journal articles. For articles, try the library’s other resources. You should also look elsewhere online, such as with a “Google Scholar” search. Finally, users are encouraged to seek assistance at one of the library’s Research Help Desks when choosing to use Interlibrary Loan services.

Login to the ILLiad 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 in order 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 material is owned by and is available at the Southworth Library Learning Commons
  2. a free electronic version of a requested item is available
  3. the patron did not provide enough information in the Request form
  4. the material could not be found by the patron’s “Material Not Needed After” date
  5. 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, microfilm, DVDs, LPs, rare books, textbooks, workbooks, reference books, genealogical materials, and archival materials


See also the list of materials ILL will not attempt to borrow, above.

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 — SUNY Canton has no control over due dates. Similarly, loans may be recalled by lender at any time, and are due upon receipt of a recall notice.

Some materials — such as microfilm, DVDs, LPs, rare books, and archival materials — may be limited to in-house use only, and cannot be taken out of the Learning Commons building.

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 Learning Commons Circulation Desk until the time it is returned to the Circulation Desk. If material is lost or damaged, the user is charged a replacement and processing fee, determined by the lending library.


Renewals can be requested, but are granted at the discretion of the lending library. To request a renewal, login to your ILL account online or contact the Interlibrary Loan office (see below). 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 that due date occurs.


Questions, comments, and renewal requests may be directed to the Southworth Library Interlibrary Loan staff:

By email: By phone: Glen Bogardus, Interlibrary Loan Specialist at (315) 386-7078

General information about ILL services and help finding/requesting materials may also be found at one of the library’s Reference Desks.