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What's so special about the winter break for Interlibrary Loan?
Interlibrary Loan only works when there are libraries to borrow from, and from the middle of December through the first weeks of January, the overwhelming majority of academic libraries close down. Many public libraries remain open but refuse to send their material through the busy postal service. ILL supply lines are cut off.
The Sherrod Library stops accepting ILL requests mid-December until the University reopens in January. This is usually 7-10 days before the University closes. This cut-off date keeps books from sitting in a mailroom somewhere over the holidays. We put out notices in early December to let our patrons know this downtime is coming and continue to issue alerts as the final date is imminent.
Can I request ILLs when I'm not enrolled?
Interlibrary Loan is one of those services that the University reserves for people who have paid fees. Even when a student is registered for classes, we can only get ILL material after the student has paid all fees. Part of this is because the University is responsible for the property of other libraries and can only borrow for those who have a current relationship with it. The other reason is that tuition dollars support no-fee ILL service.
But I really need to do research, even though I'm not enrolled!
The University offers 5900 Readings and Research in each graduate department just for those students who have finished class work but are working on a thesis, dissertation, or other capstone project. Enrollment in this 1-3 hour class is specifically designed to give you access to the University services you need, including Interlibrary Loan. If this option is not for you, try these suggestions that have worked for students in the past: ask a professor with whom you have a good relationship to request material for you; ask a friend who really trusts you and who is currently enrolled; use your local library's ILL service.