Frequently Asked Questions About Interlibrary Loan

  • Interlibrary Loan, also known as "ILL," is a service that borrows materials from other libraries.
  • It relies on the cooperative efforts and good will of thousands of libraries.

  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service is available to:
    • Montana Tech faculty and staff
    • Currently registered Montana Tech students

  • Materials Interlibrary Loan can obtain for you include:
    • Books not owned by the Tech Library.   
    • Books that are owned by the Tech Library but are missing, at the bindery, or checked out.
    • Periodical articles that are not available at the Montana Tech Library.
    • Sound recordings, scores, videos, DVDs, and books on tape/CD.
  • Materials Interlibrary loan cannot obtain for you include:
    • Reference materials (with some exceptions).    
    • Bestsellers and books that have not yet been published.
    • Textbooks.
    • Popular films.
    • Entire issues or volumes of periodicals or newspapers (with some exceptions).
      • If you need an entire issue or volume, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Department.

  • The average length of time needed to receive materials via interlibrary loan is 5-10 business days.
    • Journal articles often arrive much more quickly.
    • Plan ahead to get materials you need in time to actually read them.

  • Books are generally loaned for two to four weeks at the discretion of the lending institutions. Always check the due date on the label. Renewals are not always granted by the lending library.
  • Photocopies obtained through interlibrary loan will be delivered to you electronically whenever possible. If you receive a hard copy, it is yours to keep.

  • Many libraries will send an invoice for the replacement cost plus substantial charges for overdue books. In addition, many will suspend our borrowing privileges if we fail to return books on time. Please be careful to return interlibrary loan materials on time to keep the system working for you.

  • Fill out the Interlibrary Loan request form for First Time Users and you’re on your way to getting help with the resources that you need.
Library Resources

We can answer your questions and point you in the right direction.

Information Desk: (406)496-4281
Reference Questions: (406)496-4282