Interlibrary Loan FAQ

General Questions 

What is interlibrary loan (ILL)?

A Torreyson Library service that:

  • Provides UCA patrons with library resources that are not currently available at Torreyson Library.
  • Works with participating libraries to access those resources, whether by borrowing physical items or delivering digital copies of items.*

*Commonly requested resources include books, digital copies of book chapters, and articles.

Who may use UCA Interlibrary Loan Services, and during what times of the year?

  • Current students: only when classes are in session for the semester you are currently enrolled*
  • UCA faculty or staff: any time during your employment

*Check the ILL website to see important dates for students, including the final date in the semester that students can submit requests for physical items. 

How long does it take to receive requested materials?

On average:

  • Articles: 3-4 days
  • Books: 7-10 days

It can sometimes take longer due to availability, shipping, and the location of the lending library. If you’d like a status update on your request, please contact the ILL Office.

How much does it cost?

Unless the lending library charges a fee, there is no cost to you.*

*We will ask you beforehand if you want to pay the fee or cancel the request.

Are there any restrictions on the use of interlibrary loan materials?

Yes, the copyright law of the United States (Title 17.  United States Code) notes that the photocopy/reproduction is not to be ‘used for any purposes 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.

Requesting Materials

What materials may be requested through interlibrary loan?

All types of library materials except:

  • Textbooks
  • Complete ebooks (chapters may be requested)
  • Items available for checkout at Torreyson Library
  • Items available for checkout at Hendrix College Library*

*UCA students, faculty, and staff can borrow up to 3 Hendrix Library books with a BearCard.

How do I make a request? What is URSA?

Submit ILL requests through URSA (UCA Resource Sharing Application), a secure, password-protected/encrypted site. To establish/access your URSA account or reset your ILL password, visit our ILL website and follow the instructions.

You can additionally use URSA to:

  • Check the status of requests
  • View and download requested articles
  • Renew loaned items
  • View your request history
  • Copy and re-submit a request

Note: Click on each request ID for full details, including ILL Office notes and links to articles/books.

How do I request a book chapter?

When submitting a request for a book chapter:

  1. Change the Service Type to COPY
  2. Include the Title of Chapter/Page Numbers in the book request

Note: If the requested number of pages exceed copyright, a physical loan or a reduced number of pages may be requested.

How do I request a preferred book edition/format, or provide specific  information?

Add notes to the Patron Comments at the bottom of the book request form.

What if I request an item available at the Torreyson Library or the Hendrix College Library?

  • Items located in the Torreyson Library’s Periodicals, Bound Journals and Microforms collections are digitally scanned and electronically delivered if condition and format allow.
  • All other requests for items available through Torreyson Library or for checkout at Hendrix Library will be canceled, and you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the items.

What if the item(s) requested would result in excessive copyright fees for Torreyson Library?

The ILL Department may explore more cost-effective ways to access the material in the case of excessive copyright fees.

Note: Copyright restricts the amount of copying/electronic transmission of newer resources. If requests exceed those restrictions, the ILL Department is required to pay copyright fees. For more information about the copyright fees associated with interlibrary loan, please contact the ILL Department and/or view the full UCA Interlibrary Loan Policy Statement.

Receiving, Renewing, and Returning Requested Materials

How will I be notified when an ILL item is available?

URSA will send an email to your UCA email to indicate that an item is available digitally, a loan has arrived,  for payment/fee information, etc. Users can choose to opt out of URSA communications but are strongly encouraged to allow email communications, which contain essential information.

How do I pick up “physical” ILL materials borrowed from other libraries, such as books?

  • The Interlibrary Loan Office is open from 7:30 am-4:00 pm Monday through Friday.
  • If the ILL Office is closed, pick up books from the Circulation Desk.

Note: Items not picked up within five working days of email notification may be returned by the ILL Office. Please reply to the pickup email or call us to arrange a different pickup date. 

In rare cases, the lending library designates the item as “Library Use Only,” which means it may not leave the building. We will hold onto these items until you ask us to return these items or until the due date marked on the book. In the rare case that an item requires payment, it will be held in the ILL Office for pickup.

How do I receive any electronic materials, such as articles or book chapters?

  • Requested articles will be sent as a PDF/TIFF to your URSA account where they can be viewed/downloaded up to 5 times and for 30 days, or emailed to your UCA email.
  • You will be notified by email when the article is posted on your URSA account.
  • OCR conversion of articles is available in the ILL Office upon request.

How do I request renewal of an ILL book?

Renewal requests can be made through URSA or by contacting the ILL Department. Please keep in mind:

  • Renewal requests need to be made before the due date.
  • The lending library must approve the renewal.
  • If the renewal is not granted by the lending library, you must return the item by the original due date.
  • If the renewal is granted, you must return it by the newly-assigned due date and no other requests for renewals will be accepted on that item.

How do I return ILL books/other physical items?

  • Return ILL items by the due date marked on the item.
  • Hand the items to ILL Staff, place them in the ILL Book Return crate outside the ILL Office, or if the library is closed drop them in the box outside the front entrance.
  • Items will be returned in URSA by the next working day.
  • If you’d like to make sure a book was returned, check URSA or contact the ILL Office.

For further information, please view the full UCA ILL Policy Statement 2019 or contact the ILL Office.