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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Interlibrary Loan

Information about and instructions for using Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan is a free service that allows you to borrow items (books, articles, book chapters, DVDs, and more) from other libraries around the world if UT does not own the item.

Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks

Tips to make your experience better.

1. Add an ISBN or OCLC number to speed up your request.

If you add an ISBN/ISSN number or an OCLC number, your request will be processed much more quickly because our system can detect that number and make the request for us. An OCLC number is a unique identifier found on Worldcat.

*NOTE*: Be sure to only include the numbers in the ISBN, not the letters "ISBN", as the letters interfere with the system's ability to read the numbers. For example, in the ISBN field, you could put "9780737724448" but do not put "ISBN: 9780737724448".

These fields can be found near the bottom of the request form under Advanced Options.

Image of the ISBN and OCLC number fields on the request form.

You can find the OCLC number on the Worldcat record under the details section.

Image of the OCLC number in the details section of a worldcat record.


2. Make sure the options on your request are what you want.

There are some options listed under Advanced Options in the loan request form. Please be sure those options are set to what you want.

Image of the options under advanced options including edition, ebook, and language options.

As pictured above, the options available are "Can you use another edition?", "Can you accept this as an Ebook?", and "Will you accept in another language?". Make sure you have selected the option you prefer or you may get the book in an edition, format, or language you cannot use.


3. Add notes when appropriate.

You may choose to add a note to your request for a number of reasons. The note can be anything--a citation, a request, more information, etc. For example, if the item you are looking to borrow is rare, if may help to include the full citation or where you obtained the citation. Alternately, you may want to indicate to our staff additional information about your request, such as that you do not want microfilm or that you are looking for a physical copy of a serial. 

An image of the notes field.


4. Include as much information as possible in your request.

The more information you include in your request, the faster we will be able to process the request and the more accurate we will be. 


5. Check your imported citations.

If you import as citation by clicking "Get a Scan" on a record on our catalog, please check to make sure the imported information is correct and that it contains as much information as possible. 


6. Where to find resources.

One great place to find books and other loans is WorldCat. WorldCat is a database with almost every book, journal, movie, dissertation, etc. that libraries around the world own. It is not as good at finding articles, but books and other physical items are available through this database. 

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