Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Online ILL Request

What is ILL?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a courtesy arrangement through which one library system lends its materials to another library system.  Interlibrary loan practices are based on the National Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association, the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) Interlibrary Loan Guidelines,  the Copyright Laws of the United States and the policies of the member libraries of the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education.

Who can borrow through ILL?

The purpose of interlibrary loan is to provide materials that are not available in the TNCC library, in any format, to currently enrolled TNCC students, faculty, and staff to support research needs.  Community patrons are referred to their local public library.  Patrons wishing to borrow through the interlibrary loan service must have a valid TNCC library card, and their account must be in good standing.  It is a privilege, not a right, to borrow materials from other libraries through interlibrary loan.

How do I request an item though ILL?

To request an item through this service, a patron must fill out a request form, preferably online.  A paper form is also available at the TNCC Hampton or Williamsburg library circulation desk.  A valid email address is required to facilitate electronic document delivery.

Is there a cost for ILL service?

TNCC Library does not charge for interlibrary loan service.  However, if a lending library charges a book loan fee (sometimes as much as $50) or a photocopy fee (up to $50 or per page), the TNCC library will pass that charge on to the patron.  Patrons are required to pay the fees at the time the material is picked up.  Payment must be by personal check made out to the lending library.

The TNCC interlibrary loan form provides an opportunity for patrons to indicate the maximum amount the patron is willing to pay.  It is acceptable to place a zero on the form indicating that the patron is not willing to pay anything.  In that case, the TNCC library will attempt to obtain the item at no cost, usually within the state of Virginia.  However, if the item is not available free, no attempt will be made to obtain it through a fee-charging institution.

How many items may I request through ILL?

There is no limit to the number of requests a patron may submit, however the interlibrary loan librarian will establish priorities in instances where a large number of requests from one patron might adversely affect the service offered to others.   Copyright law forbids any library from requesting, in any one year, more than five articles from the same journal published within the last five years.

What kinds of items are not available through ILL?

Some types of items are difficult or impossible to obtain through interlibrary loan.  These include: reference books, textbooks, rare books, very recently published books, bestsellers, and international books, entire issues of periodicals and audio-visual material.  Dissertations are rarely available for loan, but the TNCC library subscribes to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Full Text Database where most dissertations can be accessed.   Requests for textbooks that are currently being used in TNCC classes or in classes at other VCCS institutions are not accepted.

How long does it take for my item to arrive?

Patrons should allow sufficient lead time for interlibrary loan request processing and delivery.  Requests are submitted electronically by the TNCC interlibrary loan librarian to the lending library usually within one business day of receipt.  Based on the availability of the item in other libraries, the length of time involved in obtaining a loan or photocopy can vary considerably.  About half of all articles are received in 2 days or less; about half of all books arrive in 5 days or less.  Delivery may take as long as 3 weeks, however, or the item may not be available at all.

Where do I pick up my item and how long will it be held for me?

Materials in electronic format will be emailed to the TNCC patron at the email address provided on the interlibrary loan form.  Other materials will be placed on the hold shelf at the TNCC Library circulation desk at either the Hampton or Williamsburg campus, depending on where the request originated.  Patrons will be notified by email or phone that the material has been received.   If returnable items, such as books, are not picked up by the patron within two weeks, they will be returned to the lending library.  A second request for the same item will not be accepted.  Photocopies will be held at the circulation desk for two weeks and then discarded.

How long can I keep my item?

The lending library determines the loan period and renewal policy for its materials.  Patrons can expect to keep most materials for two to four weeks.  Virginia libraries often grant extended loan periods of six to eight weeks but do not allow renewals.  Occasionally lending libraries loan an item under the condition that it will not leave the TNCC library.  These items are often rare or fragile and must be used in the library for their protection.

Can I renew my item?

Renewals of interlibrary loan materials should be requested only in exceptional cases.  If a renewal is needed, the interlibrary loan librarian should be contacted at least four days before the due date.  The interlibrary loan department must receive permission from the lending library before granting a renewal.  Only one renewal per item is allowed.  Second requests for that item are not accepted.

Where do I return my item?

Patrons are responsible for returning the item to the TNCC Hampton or Williamsburg library circulation desk by the due date.

What happens if my item becomes overdue?

If the book becomes overdue, the patron is responsible for paying all fines charged by the TNCC library and/or the lending library.   The patron is responsible for paying the replacement fee for a lost or damaged item.  The replacement fee will be levied when a patron reports the book lost or when the book becomes two weeks overdue.  At that point, the TNCC library has the right to reject the book and require that the patron pay the replacement fee.

What sanctions will be placed against me if I do not meet my ILL obligations?

Because a patron’s failure to comply with the conditions of a loan can jeopardize the borrowing privileges of TNCC library extended by other libraries, and thereby affect the services provided to other patrons, the TNCC library takes misuse of the interlibrary loan service very seriously.  Therefore, the library places sanctions against patrons who have not met their obligations.  These sanctions may include official grades not being issued, the denial of official transcripts, the blocking of re-registration, and the withholding of diplomas, degrees and certificates.  Interlibrary loan borrowing privileges will be suspended for patrons who keep materials past the due date or fail to pay fees or fines.  In addition, consortium borrowing privileges at all member libraries will be suspended.

If you have questions not answered in this document, please contact Corey Buttram ( or 757-825-2878) for questions regarding ILL requests; or Vonda Robinson ( or 757-825-3532) for questions regarding ILL processing.


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