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How To Search the Library Collections

A guide to basic research skills, and how to access the Library Collections at CityU

Interlibrary Loan Policy

Interlibrary loan allows current City University of Seattle faculty, staff, and enrolled students (hereafter referred to as 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 materials that can be scanned for e-delivery (e.g. periodical articles, book chapters) is available to all patrons. Interlibrary loan of materials not available for e-delivery (e.g. physical books) is available to patrons only in the U.S. and Canada.

The average time needed to deliver an interlibrary loan request is 5-7 days. Time to delivery (and whether we can obtain the item at all) is dependent on a number of factors. Requests for articles published in popular journals are often electronically delivered in only 2-3 days. Requests for physical items that must be shipped (e.g. print books) may take 2 weeks or more for delivery.

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

Our standard circulation policy applies to all materials borrowed through interlibrary loan. The following policy points are specific to interlibrary loan and supersede the circulation policy.

Circulation Period

Physical items borrowed through interlibrary loan have a due date set by the lending library.

Returning Items

Interlibrary loan items delivered electronically do not need to be returned.

Physical items borrowed through interlibrary loan must be returned to CityU Library (Seattle campus) as usual. DO NOT return materials directly to the lending library.

Renewing Items

Interlibrary loan materials may be renewed at the discretion of the lending library. Renewals should be requested through CityU Library at least 5 days before the due date. Submit your request through Ask a Librarian.

Lost or Damaged Items

Upon receipt of a library materials invoice for an interlibrary loan item, a patron has only two choices:

  • Return the item (if undamaged)
  • Pay the default replacement cost for interlibrary loan materials (currently $80)

If an interlibrary loan item is damaged while in the borrower's care, the patron must pay the default replacement cost.

Since we do not own interlibrary loan items, we cannot accept substitutes for them when lost or damaged.

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

How can I request an interlibrary loan?

Enter your request in the CityU library request system. This can also be reached from library records with a Request link.

What can be requested?

  • Periodical articles
  • Book chapters
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Print books (patrons in U.S. and Canada only)
  • Videos on physical formats (e.g. DVDs) (patrons in U.S. and Canada only)

What cannot be requested?

  • Textbooks adopted as required course resources
  • Workbooks
  • Assessment instruments (e.g. psychological tests)

Using interlibrary loan to avoid purchase of required resources is copyright infringement.

Assessment instruments are not usually owned by libraries. Some instruments may only be available from the publisher for purchase.

What materials are difficult to obtain?

  • Recently published books or articles
  • Rare books
  • Some dissertations
  • Items not available in U.S. libraries
  • More than two articles from a particular journal issue
  • More than two chapters from a book

How much does it cost?

The library covers any fees paid to other libraries for borrowing materials.

Library patrons are responsible for the cost of return shipping to the CityU Seattle site. Library patrons are also responsible for replacement costs if they lose an interlibrary loan item.

How do I pick up my interlibrary loan materials?

You will be notified through your CityU email account when an an e-delivery is made or when a physical item is mailed to you. For e-delivered items, this email will explain how to access the item. Most e-delivered items can be accessed in the request system.