Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan

Before you proceed, check the LIBRARY CATALOG or the Journal  Search to see if we already own the item you need. A Reference Librarian is glad to help you find materials.

For physical items: Due to the USPS increasing transit time, some mailed items will take longer to arrive.  On average, mailed materials take 5-14 days to arrive. Please keep this in mind when making an ILL request.

Request item


Kimberly Steiner
Interlibrary Loan Supervisor


Kimberly Steiner
Interlibrary Loan Supervisor 717-691-6006 (x7242)

Interlibrary Loan Borrowing

Please make sure to check the Library catalog before making a request.


  • Complete one ILL request form for each item needed. Students may place up to 10 interlibrary loan requests per course each semester.
  • Do not abbreviate titles of books, journals or words in a title.
  • Be sure to include the source of the reference on all requests submitted.


Who may use interlibrary loan?

  • Messiah University students, faculty, staff and administrators
  • Faculty spouses may use it for scholarly materials only
  • Friends of the Library (Contributor level or higher) may place 12 requests per year
  • Retired professors may place 12 requests per year

What types of materials can be requested?

  • Books
  • Articles
  • Book chapters (single chapter per title only)
  • Government documents
  • DVDs and videos
  • CDs and cassettes
  • Microfilm (a reader is available at Murray Library)

What types of materials cannot be requested or are difficult to obtain?

  • Student textbooks
  • Ebooks
  • Streaming videos
  • Dissertations  (please ask if you have a special circumstance)
  • Dissertation abstracts
  • Archival or primary sources

How many items may be requested?

  • Students may request up to 10 items per class, per semester
  • If you find that you need more for the research in a particular course, contact the Interlibrary Loan department or the liaison librarian for that course (click here for a list of departments and liaisons).


  • Patrons are not charged for Interlibrary Loan; however, be aware that the cost of each item ordered is approximately $20, which includes shipping administrative costs, staffing, etc. Please keep this in mind when placing a request.
  • Note to Faculty – please do not require students to place ILL requests simply to get the experience.
  • If an item has additional costs due to its location or scarcity, students will be asked to pay any amount over $20.  Faculty will be asked in advance to pay the difference above a $25 cost per item.
  • The borrower will be charged for material that is lost, damaged or overdue.

Process Time

  • Requests are processed on a daily basis
  • Articles can take anywhere between 12 hours to 1 week to arrive
  • Books can take between 2 days to 2 weeks to arrive. This can be even longer if the item is hard to find or is at a library that is a farther distance.
  • Please plan ahead. If you feel like you will not need a material in the time it might take, DO NOT REQUEST IT. It costs approximately $20 for each item you request and items that are ordered but not picked up could face fines.

When material comes in

  • Articles are usually delivered to your ILLiad user account and you will receive an email notifying you that items have arrived
  • Books and other materials (hardcopy items) will be held at the circulation desk and you will be notified via email when ready for pick-up
  • Please leave all straps, stickers and papers intact during your use.
  • Please note the loan period that is listed on your materials.


You may ask for a renewal for an additional two weeks, but the lending library must approve the request. Lending libraries may recall their materials at any time. 

To renew an Interlibrary Loan item:

  • Login to your ILLiad account
  • Choose "Checked out items" from the menu on the left under View.
  • Double-click on the transaction number of the book you want to renew.
  • This will bring up all the details of the book.
  • At the top, in red, you will see "Renew Request".
  • Click on that and your renewal request will be processed.
  • You will get an email within a few days if your renewal was rejected and you have to return the book.
  • If you get an error message it is probably because you are trying to renew a book that is past due. If this happens, contact Interlibrary Loan and ask the InterLibrary Loan staff to process the renewal request for you. Be sure to give them your transaction number.

Returning Materials

  • All items should be returned to the circulation desk at Murray Library by the due date. Do not use the drop box for Interlibrary Loan items.
  • Overdue books to Interlibrary Loan could cause you to be blocked from using this service. Please return your items on time.







Interlibrary Loan Lending

We are happy to lend our materials to other libraries (not individuals).  If your library is interested in borrowing an item from our collection, please send a request through OCLC.  (We also accept ALA forms through the mail or email.)

Loan Policies

  • Sixteen-week loan for books, music CDs and musical scores with no renewals permitted.
  • Three-week loan for VHS/DVD with no renewal permitted.
  • All items are subject to recall for Messiah University patrons.
  • We are not an international lender at this time.


  • We do not lend issues or volumes but will photocopy articles from journals or electronically send items from online databases within the guidelines of copyright law.
  • Transmission of articles will be through Odyssey, Article Exchange or email.
  • Charges are the same as for loans (see “Lending charges” below).

Lending Charges

  • PA libraries, LVIS, reciprocal libraries and those libraries that do not charge: No charge.
  • Non-reciprocal libraries and those libraries that charge:  $10.00 per request.
  • Special requests may require different charges.

Non-circulation items include:

  • Serials
  • Reference
  • Teaching Resources
  • ESL Materials
  • Artists' Books


  • We ship UPS, unless otherwise borrower requests another arrangement.
  • Materials may be returned via USPS Library Rate, FedEx or UPS.


  • Currently, our preferred billing method is OCLC IFM
  • Those institutions that do not use IFM will receive a copy of an invoice through email or US Mail, which would be payable by check to “Messiah University”.
  • Outstanding charges may result in a block being placed on the account

Special Instructions for Distance Learners

  • Make sure to have a current address registered on your ILLiad account
  • For Interlibrary Loan links and instructions, view the “Interlibrary Loan Borrowing” link.
  • Journal articles requested by online students will be sent electronically via e-mail.
  • Books will be mailed to your home via UPS with the exception of students with a home mailing address of Dillsburg or Mechanicsburg (17019, 17055, 17050).  A box and postage paid return shipping will be provided. Be sure to include your home address in your ILLiad personal profile.  Unfortunately, we cannot mail internationally.
  • Each time you place a request, please include a note under "Special Requests" at the bottom of the form that you are an online student.
  • The borrower is responsible for returning the loaned items to the Interlibrary Loan department of Murray Library by the due date.
  • Please leave all straps/stickers/papers in tact when returning.