Tip of the Week: Interlibrary Loan Requests

ILL form header.jpg


Even though the UCLA library system contains over nine million books and 70,000 journals, sometimes the one you want just isn’t here. Fortunately, our relationship with the University of California system and other universities enables us to expand our selection of resources available to you. If we don’t have access to a particular book or journal article, you can use our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system to get your hands on the perfect resource. Here’s how!


  1. Go to Melvyl (more information on Melvyl here), and find your resource.

  2. Make sure that your book isn’t listed as being available at UCLA. If we have a copy that someone else has checked out, you won’t be able to ILL it — you can recall the book instead. If there’s a copy in the UCLA catalog that doesn’t seem to be on the shelf, please contact a library staff member to help you fill out a search request, or fill out the Find a Missing Item online form. If the book is already marked missing or lost in the UCLA catalog, you can still order it through ILL.

  3. Click on the yellow “Request” button in the top-right corner of the “Find a copy in the library” box.

  4. A new tab will open with a form for the ILL request. Your library card number is your BOL account number plus the number on the bottom right corner of the back of your card. If the resource you’re ordering is available in electronic form, you can use the Optional Note box to request it to be delivered in electronic form — licensing requirements restrict us to providing only a small number of pages, however. If your request is time-sensitive, you can specify a period after which it will expire with the “I will no longer need the item(s) after:” drop down box. Press “Continue” when you’re done filling out the form.

  5. If your item is a journal article, you’ll fill out another form with more detailed information about the article you’re ordering.

  6. On the next page, make sure that all the information in your request is correct, then read the copyright notice and check the box. Press “Process my request now” if everything looks good.

  7. That’s it — you’re done! You can enter your email address to send yourself a copy of the page as a receipt. You’ll get an email when your book has arrived, and you can pick it up at the location you specified. If you want to check on the status of your request, visit the UC My ILL Requests page. It usually takes one to two weeks to fulfill an ILL request, but can take longer in some cases.


As always, if you would like more help with library resources, you can contact a Science and Engineering Librarian.

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