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Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery


How long does it take to get Interlibrary Loan materials?

On average, articles typically arrive within 24 hours and books arrive within 6-10 days.  A good rule of thumb: allow three days for articles and two weeks for books.  Arrival time depends on the lending libraries that own the requested item and the postal service.

What can I request through ILL?

Books, book chapters, journal articles, items on microform, theses/dissertations, scholarly video, and audio recordings.

We do have to have an accurate citation with enough information for a potential lender to find your article or book chapter.  Providing an accurate citation with ISSN/ISBN included means your request can be processed without staff intervention, resulting in quicker turn-around times to receive your material. is a great website to verify your citation is correct and find missing information such as page numbers or ISSN/ISBN.

Is there anything I can't get through ILL?

The purpose of ILL is to support scholarship and academic research, so please ask for leisure reading material, popular films, or genealogy research from your local public library. 

Can I request really old books or articles?

Yes! We can find a library to lend old or rare items surprisingly often. It may come as microfilm or microfiche, though, or be restricted to library-only use. Sherrod Library has the equipment and helpful staff to assist with using microforms.

How do I view the article?

You will receive an email with a link to download the PDF.  You can also download the PDF from your library account under the 'Requests' tab.  You do need to have a PDF viewer on your computer to open the file; the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded at

Help! The article I got last month is gone!

To keep within copyright guidelines, articles are kept on the server for 30 days, then automatically deleted.  Please print out or save your articles during these four weeks.

My article has missing pages!  Who do I talk to so I can get the missing pages?

The one drawback to electronic delivery is that we ILLers don't get to see the article and check it for legibility and completeness before it's delivered.  You can call us at (423) 439-6997 or send an e-mail to

I lost the cover wrapper from my ILL book. Is this a problem?

We place the wrapper on there for a reason, so please do not remove it. If you do lose it, bring the book to the Ask Us desk and speak with a staff member.

What if I lose an ILL book?

Let us know as early as possible to protect our relationship with the library that loaned the book. The lending library sets the replacement cost, which we will then charge you. 

My account is blocked. Have I been banned from using ILL?

We have never permanently banned anyone, but access to ILL might be blocked for unpaid fees. If you rack up a lot of lost books, you might be restricted to using ILL material here in the Library.  Another common reason an account is blocked is if you are a member of the Quillen College of Medicine.  CoM has its own interlibrary loan system.  You can submit an ILL request to the medical library at this link: Contact the Access Services Supervisor at 423-439-6997 if your account is blocked.

Is ILL the best way to get dissertations and theses?

The full text of many dissertations from 1997 to the present is available to current ETSU students, faculty, faculty emeriti, and staff through ProQuest's Dissertations and Theses Full-Text. For older theses and dissertations, submit an ILL request and be aware that it may take longer than average in mailing time, especially if the thesis was submitted to a university on the West Coast or overseas. 

My professor asked me to get this book for her through ILL. How can I do that?

If you are a Graduate Assistant or a student worker, we strongly recommend that you get your professor's login information and use his/her library account. If you use your account, you will be responsible for fines if the professor loses the book.