Interlibrary Loan Policy


Interlibrary loan allows current faculty, staff, and enrolled students (hereafter referred to as library patrons) to access journal articles, books, and videos – for academic purposes or university business – that are not owned by City University of Seattle.

Interlibrary loan of material that can be scanned for e-delivery such as periodical articles is available to all CityU library patrons. Materials that are not available for e-delivery (such as books) are available for CityU library patrons in the U.S. and Canada.

The average time needed for an interlibrary loan transaction is normally 7-10 days; however, due to reduced on-site staffing in libraries worldwide in response to COVID-19, requests may take longer than usual — and may not be possible at present. Requests for chapters or portions of a book may be available more readily.

Patrons are responsible for:

  • Maintaining current contact information in the CityU portal, including email and mailing address, to ensure that notices and materials are sent to the correct location;
  • All material checked out in their names;
  • Knowing and adhering to due dates;
  • Returning physical materials within the loan period set by the lending library;
  • Returning items in good condition.

Interlibrary loans are subject to U.S. Copyright Law, the CONTU Guidelines and CityU’s copyright policy.


How can I request an interlibrary loan?

  • Enter your article request(s) directly in CityU Library’s Request Central

What can be requested?

  • Copies of periodical articles;
  • Books and videos for patrons within the U.S. and Canada.

What can’t be requested?

  • Textbooks that are commonly adopted as required course resources cannot be provided through interlibrary loan. Most libraries do not own or lend textbooks, and use of interlibrary loan to avoid the purchase of course resources may be a copyright infringement.

Items that may be difficult to obtain include:

  • Recently published books or journals;
  • Rare books or journals;
  • Dissertations;
  • Items not available from U.S. libraries;
  • More than two articles or chapters from a particular journal issue, journal, or book.

How much does it cost?

  • CityU Library does not charge patrons for the fees paid to other libraries to borrow materials;
  • Library patrons are responsible for the cost of return postage via book rate or other shipping method of their own selection.

How do I pick up my ILL materials?
You will be notified through your CityU email account when:

  • E-delivery materials are available, with instructions on how to access them;
  • Materials are mailed to your address;
  • Materials are not available for lending by other libraries.

How do I return my ILL materials?
Return materials that are mailed to you by the due date set by the lending library either in person to the CityU Library in Seattle or by mail at your expense. It is not necessary to return items sent to you via e-delivery.

Renewing Items

Interlibrary loan materials may be renewed at the discretion of the lending library. Renewals should be requested through CityU Library at least five (5) days before the due date. Submit your request through the Ask a Librarian service or by phone at 206-239-4560 (toll free 800.526.4269).

Overdue, Lost, or Damaged Items

Overdue Items
Interlibrary loan materials are overdue if not returned by the due date. Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy two weeks after an item’s due date. Patrons are responsible for returning or replacing materials whether or not an overdue notice has been received. The library does not charge daily fines for overdue materials.

Lost or Damaged Items
A Library Materials Invoice is sent four weeks after the item’s due date, listing the replacement cost for the item. An item is considered lost if it has not been returned by the time an invoice is sent.

Upon receipt of an invoice, a patron must do one of the following:

  • Return the item;
  • Pay the default replacement cost for interlibrary loan materials of $80.

CityU Library reserves the right not to accept the return of items once it has paid replacement costs to the lending library.

Materials are to be returned in the same condition they left the library, except for normal wear and tear. If an item becomes damaged, a patron will pay the default replacement cost of $80 for the item.

Suspension of Borrowing Privileges
When a Library Materials Invoice is issued, borrowing privileges are suspended until the item is returned, a suitable copy has been provided, or the invoice is paid in full. In the event of an outstanding balance for library materials, City University of Seattle will hold school transcripts or diplomas, or refuse to accept registration for future classes. In the event of repeated disregard of due dates, borrowing privileges may be suspended for an extended period of time.

Payment for invoices should be sent to the following address:

City University of Seattle, Business Office
Library Materials Invoice
521 Wall Street
Seattle, WA 98121

Patrons are to indicate on their payment that it is for library materials.

Confidentiality of Library Resources
Circulation records are confidential. Confidentiality extends to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, and acquired. Library staff will not disclose who has borrowed an item or which items have been borrowed, except for library administration purposes, or unless required to do so by a court order.