Skip to main content
Banner Image
ESR & Bethany Resources
Science & Technology Commons
Friends Collection & College Archives
Facilities & Services
Library Home

InterLibrary Loan: Home

ILL Alerts

NOTICE TO ALL USERS:  Due to the COVID-19 related closure of Earlham College, the Libraries continue to be unable to provide ILL services. Currently we do not know when the campus will reopen for regular operations. Until such a time, the following statements remain in effect:

  • Users will not be able to place new requests.
  • If you currently have InterLibrary Loan materials that you are unable to return, please do not worry. Many libraries are granting renewals or have already closed. No fines will be charged, and if you receive an overdue notice, please ignore it. If you have questions, please email us at  Please see our web page on Library Services during COVID-19 for additional details about returning items. 

Updates on InterLibrary Loan services will be posted here as developments occur. 

Thank you for your patience as we do our best to serve you during this challenging time. 


Upcoming changes in InterLibrary Loan:

While ILL services are down, our staff are working to implement new InterLibrary Loan software that will replace ILLiad. This new software will allow integration of our ILL services with our current circulation system, and users will eventually be able to see all of their circulation and interlibrary loan activity in the same interface. When ILL services return, it will be in this new system. We will provide more information about the new system on this page soon. We should be able to resume ILL services in this new system later this summer.

ILL Office Hours

Office hours for ILL are:

M-F 8am-12pm & 1-5pm

Please ask at the Circulation Desk if you need assistance with ILL.

ILL staff can also be reached by email at, or by phone at 765.983.1241

How do I ask for items?

To submit an ILL request, you can use the ILL (Interlibrary Loan) request button available in:


you can log into ILLiad and create a new request. 

Traci Johnson

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL), and ILLiad?

ILL helps Earlham, ESR, and Bethany community members gain access to materials owned by other libraries that are not otherwise held on campus. ILL service is provided free of charge to all students, faculty and staff of Earlham, Bethany, and ESR, as long as materials are returned on time and in the condition they were received. Library patrons not currently enrolled or employed at the College, ESR, or Bethany are not eligible to use Earlham’s ILL services.

ILLiad is the software used to manage ILL functions. ILLiad allows users to perform the following tasks online:

  • View the status of their ILL requests
  • Request renewals for items
  • Receive electronic articles
  • View request history and make changes to requests

Using ILLiad

ILLiad can be accessed through the links on this page, or by going directly to
Use your Earlham username (your email address, without the '') and password to log in.

New users must fill out a registration form in ILLiad (a one-time task). Once this is done, ILLiad will remember your contact information for future requests.

Once you are logged in, you will see navigation menus on the left side of your screen. Use the buttons provided to create a new request (click on the type of item you wish to request), view different aspects of your account (request renewals, check request status, retrieve articles delivered electronically), and update personal information.

If you have questions, please see a reference librarian or ILL staff member for assistance.

ILL Policies and FAQ

It typically takes 2-4 business days to receive an article and about 6-7 days for a book or other loan. However, the time needed to fill a request depends upon several factors, including the difficulty of the request, the location and policies of the lending library, and the volume of requests received. Hard to find items may take as long as several weeks to arrive. ILL is typically slower during certain times of the academic year, including breaks, mid-terms, and final exams. Please take this factor into account when planning for research projects.

You may have up to 15 active requests at any one time.
Once a book request has been placed, it remains active until it is returned to the lending library.
An article request remains active until the article has been received by you.

If you know in advance that you will require more than 15 items at one time, please consult a librarian, who will be happy to help you explore other options.

Process for ILL article requests with typical timeframes

Submitted by CustomerAwaiting Copyright Clearance (< 1 day) → Awaiting Processing by ILL Staff (<1 hour) → Request in Processing (<1 hour) → Awaiting Lender Review (articles are typically delivered in 2-4 business days)


If a request is filled:

Awaiting Electronic Delivery (usually <1 day) → In Electronic Delivery Processing (<5 minutes) → Odyssey Document Received (~1 minute) → Article Delivered Electronically (available for 30 days)


Request Finished (automatic 30 days after you are notified the article is available for download)


If request is unfilled or a lender asks for additional information you may see statuses:

  • Unfilled Request Under Review by ILL Staff (after 1-2 days you will be notified or see a status of Cloned to New Request)
  • Lender Requested More Information (1-3 days)




Process for loan requests with typical timeframes

After a loan request is submitted, it will either be sent automatically by the ILL system or require staff processing depending on the completeness the request form and/or the type and availability of the item:

Automatic Awaiting Direct Request Sending (< 5 minutes) → Awaiting Direct Request Lenders (< 5 minutes) → Awaiting Lender Review (it typically takes a little over a week for a lending library to ship the loan to Earlham)



Awaiting Processing by ILL Staff (< 1 day) → Request in Processing (< 1 hour) → Awaiting Lender Review (it typically takes a little over a week for a lending library to ship the loan to Earlham)


Awaiting Post Receipt Processing In Transit to Circulation (~20 minutes) → Awaiting Customer Contact (~5 minutes) → Loan Available for Checkout (patron receives email saying that the book is ready to be checked out at the circulation desk) → Checked out to Customer


After a loan is returned at the circulation desk:

Item Returned (patron will no longer receive overdue notices) → Item Checked InAwaiting Return Label PrintingRequest Finished


If request is unfilled or a lender asks for additional information:

  • Unfilled Request Under Review by ILL Staff (after 1-2 days you will be notified or see a status of Cloned to New Request)
  • Lender Requested More Information (1-3 days)

Placing a request does not guarantee that an item can be obtained. Several factors, such as the policies of the lending library, the rareness of an item, and copyright restrictions can prevent us from fulfilling a request.

The items most difficult to obtain are:

  • Theses and dissertations
  • Videos and audio recordings
  • Reference books
  • Newly-published books
  • Rare items held by only a few libraries
  • Archival or genealogy materials
  • Newspaper articles

The following material may not be requested:

  • Duplicates of materials available* in Earlham College Libraries (including materials currently on reserve)
  • Some assigned course materials (for more details, see the FAQ on requesting textbooks)
  • Computer software
  • E-books

* If Earlham’s copy of an item is lost or missing, it may be possible to request the item through ILL.

If the item you want belongs to one of these categories, please consult a librarian

ILL requests may be denied for several reasons. The most common reasons are that Earlham College already provides access to the requested item, in print or electronic form, or that the requested item is available freely via the internet. 

The text of the denial message will include the reason that the request was canceled and a note about where to find the item. If the item is available online, a link will be provided; if the item is physically available in the library (on reserve or in one of our other print collections), information will be provided to let you know where to find the item. 

If your book request was denied because the item was available as an ebook but you prefer to use the print version, please clone your request and add a note that you prefer print to electronic. We will process your request and make every effort possible to obtain a print copy for your use. 

While the ILL department will attempt to fill requests for textbooks/required course readings, we recommend against borrowing these items through interlibrary loan for a number of reasons. Please note that we will not fill requests for textbooks that are available in the library collection, or for items that are already on reserve.

It is difficult to borrow textbooks through ILL. Few libraries purchase textbooks and even fewer have the most recent editions. Because of this, the edition that you need may not be available. When libraries do purchase textbooks, they usually keep them for use on their campus and do not lend them to other libraries.

If you do get a textbook through ILL, you will not be able to keep the book for the whole semester. Due dates are set by the lending library and loans are typically 3-6 weeks long. ILL materials may only be renewed once. Additionally, ILL books are subject to immediate recall, so you could have to give the book back at any time.

We recommend buying or renting your textbooks when possible. You can also ask your instructor to place a copy on reserve in Lilly Library or the Science and Technology Commons.

PLEASE NOTE: Online access codes cannot be provided through ILL. If you request a textbook through ILL that has an access code, you may get the book, but the code will be removed/disabled. This is because the codes are restricted to 1 user per code. Since multiple users can't use the online code, libraries cannot use this information or loan it through ILL.

If you need an online access code for your textbook, you will have to purchase it.

ILL users receive several types of emails, including notices when items are available for pickup, due date reminders, and overdue notices. If you have requested materials through ILL and are not receiving emails, these may be getting caught in your spam filters. This problem occurs most frequently with Gmail.

These emails can be viewed from your ILL account. Once you have logged in to ILLiad, click on Notifications under the View menu at the left side of the screen to see your most recent messages.

If you are using Gmail, please follow the steps listed below to be sure that you are receiving all of your ILL emails. [If you are using a different email client, but have experienced this problem anyway, please contact for assistance.]

To add to your Gmail account:
1. Open your Contacts list by clicking Gmail in the top-left corner of your Gmail page, then choose Contacts. If you're a Google Apps user, click Mail and then Contacts. Contacts are also available at

2. In the top-left corner, click New Contact.
3. Enter in the appropriate fields. Any information you add will save automatically.

Note: These instructions only work with the standard view of Gmail. If they don't match what you see, upgrade to a supported browser or go to the standard view by clicking standard at the bottom of your Gmail page.

The circulation time for books and other items is dependent upon the policy of the lending library, but typically ranges from 4-6 weeks. Articles are delivered electronically and may be kept. Articles will expire from your ILL account after a set time period (usually 1 month), so you must download them if you want to keep them longer. 

Some items may be loaned with additional restrictions, such as for use inside the library only, or without the option of renewal. Please see the Renewals section, below, for more information about renewals.

If you know in advance that you will require materials for a period longer than 4-6 weeks, please consult with a librarian.

Please see the ILL renewal instructions document linked above for details on how to renew your ILL requests in ILLiad.

Approval for renewal depends upon the policy of the library that owns the item. We cannot renew ILL items without the other library’s permission.

Renewal requests should be submitted at least three days before the item is due. This will give you a chance to return an item on time, even in the event that the lender is unwilling to renew it. ILL staff sends due date reminder emails three days prior to the due date.  

If you will still need an item after its due date, and the item cannot be renewed, it is sometimes possible to obtain the item again, from a different library.

Log into ILLiad to request renewal of items borrowed through ILL. Renewal requests can also be submitted by email to, or by visiting the ILL office in Lilly Library.

What is PALShare?
PALShare is a service provided through Earlham's membership in
PALNI, the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana, comprised of 23 libraries throughout the state.  Currently, registered students, faculty, and staff from all 23 schools have the ability to check out materials from any of the 22 other schools. If Earlham doesn't own an item, but another PALNI school does, you can now request a hold on the item from the library catalog and have it delivered to Earlham.  Items will be ready for pick up at your local library in approximately 5 business days. You may only request physical books and media items from PALShare (no articles or electronic materials).

How is PALShare different than ILL?
Longer loan period: 60 days for books; 14 days for media - no renewals (ILL loan periods are usually 4-5 weeks or less)
Transit time: Because items only come from Indiana libraries, books may come faster than ILL.
Manage your items: PALShare items are listed in your regular library account. You don't need to use ILLiad.
Labels: PALShare items are marked with a sticker on the cover. Please do not remove this sticker; it is needed for processing when you return the item.

How is PALShare the same as ILL?
Pick up location: Materials are still picked up and dropped off at the Lilly Library Circulation Desk.
User notification: Users will receive an email when their item is available for pick up. [Notices are sent from a may be caught in your spam filter; if you think your item should have arrived and you haven't seen an email, please check your spam filter.]

How do I request an item through PALShare?
Details for placing requests can be found in our FAQ section.

Is PALShare better than ILL? Is ILL better than PALShare?
This is a personal preference. Speed of service should be similar, unless ILL materials come from another state/country. Try out both services, and let us know what you think.

Will I be charged fines for items received through PALShare?
If you return PALShare items late, it is up to the library who owns the items to decide if fines are charged. If an item received through PALShare is lost or damaged, fees will be assessed based on the policies of the library who owns the item. 

After you have done a search in WorldCat Local, if your library does not own the item, but another PALNI library does, you can request it via PALShare. Start by clicking on the title of the item you'd like to request. Then, look for the button that says "Request PALNI item."


Login to your account, and click the Submit button on the next screen.

Unless you get an error message, the hold has been placed, and should be available at your local library in approximately 5 business days.You will receive an e-mail when the item is available for pickup. Books will be loaned for 60 days and media items will be loaned for 14. Items cannot be renewed. Please speak with a librarian if you have any issues or receive an error message while using this new beta service.

You will be notified by email when your ILL materials arrive. Books should be picked up at the Lilly Library circulation desk. If an article you requested is not attached to the notification email you receive, you can retrieve it online by logging into your ILLiad account and selecting Electronically Received Articles from the menu on the left.

Materials owned by other libraries may not be placed on reserve.

Please talk to a librarian if you would like a copy of something you have obtained through ILL ordered for the Earlham College Library collection and placed on reserve for one of your courses.

Document Delivery provides access to materials that are part of Earlham’s collection, whereas ILL is for materials that must be obtained from other libraries. Remote students submit requests for Earlham materials in the same manner as requests for regular ILL materials, via the ILLiad interface. For more information about Document Delivery services, please visit Earlham’s Document Delivery web page.

Seminary students living at a significant distance from campus (50 miles or more) are welcome to request articles from other libraries through ILL at Earlham, using ILLiad. When the requested articles arrive, they will be delivered electronically to the student’s ILLiad account or to their email address. Although we cannot deliver other libraries’ books and media (such as DVDs) to Access and Connections students’ homes*, we are happy to send books from Earlham's own library collections through Document Delivery.

Additional information on can be found on Earlham School of Religion & Bethany Theological Seminary: Document Delivery web page. 

* Books and media items may be requested via ILL from your local library.

ILL is a process that depends on reciprocity. It is very important for Earlham to return ILL materials on time to the institutions that have shared them with us. All libraries reserve the right to deny ILL privileges to institutions that do not return materials on time and in good condition.

Please pay close attention to the due dates printed on your ILL items. You can also view any active due dates by logging into ILLiad. As stated above, loan periods often vary from one item to the next and not all ILL items are eligible for renewal. Please see the relevant section above for more information. Due date reminder emails are sent 7 days prior to the due date, followed by additional notification emails for items not returned on time. 

Patrons whose ILL books are lost or damaged will be responsible for the payment of replacement costs, repair costs, and any related fees that may be charged by the lending library.

These policies apply equally to all faculty, staff, and students of Earlham, Bethany, and ESR.

If you tried to create a new request in ILLiad and were not able to, you may see a message at the top of the screen stating "You have been blocked and cannot submit any new requests."

This means that your account has been blocked, most likely because at least one of your ILL items is extremely overdue. Users are automatically blocked if an item checked out to them is 14 days overdue*. To see what item(s) are overdue, log into your ILLiad account and look at the Checked Out Items screen. You should also have an email mesage from ILL with the subject “Overdue ILL Item <#ILLNumber> - Final notice” stating that your items are extremely overdue.**

Users are still able to monitor outstanding requests and receive materials that are in process, but they are not able to create new requests. Once you return the overdue item(s), the block will be automatically removed from your account and you will be able to create new ILL requests.

If you are sure that you have lost the item, please visit the ILL window to begin the replacement billing process and remove the block from your account.


*Interlibrary Loan operations depend upon the good will of other libraries who are willing to lend us their materials. When we don’t return materials promptly, this impacts our relationships with other libraries and their willingness to lend us materials in the future. Please help us by returning your materials promptly.

**If you are not receiving due date reminders and overdue notices, please see the FAQ tab "Why am I not getting emails about my ILL materials?" for more assistance.

ILLiad Request Status Definitions

Once you have placed an interlibrary loan request, you can see the progress of your request by going to View → Outstanding Requests. Definitions of ILLiad statuses are provided below:

Additional ILL Staff Review Required: The request requires extra time to process. This can happen for a number of reasons, e.g. if the patron requested a rare item, if the request form was not filled out adequately, etc.

Article Delivered Electronically: The item has been received and is available for viewing or downloading in your Electronically Received Articles list. Articles remain available for 30 days.

Awaiting Copyright Clearance: ILL is reviewing your request to determine the item’s copyright status.

Awaiting Direct Request Sending: ILLiad is automatically processing your loan request. If the system cannot find sufficient lending libraries for your request, it will be routed to Awaiting Processing by ILL Staff for review.

Awaiting Electronic Delivery: The article/scan has been sent and is awaiting ILL staff review and shipment to the patron.

Awaiting Lender Review: Your request has been sent to potential lending libraries. ILL is waiting for responses from these libraries indicating if they will fill your request.

Awaiting Processing by ILL Staff: Your request has been submitted to ILL. ILL staff will review your request for any problems and submit it to potential lending libraries. Requests are processed in the order in which they are received.

Cancelled by Customer: You have cancelled the request. Cancelled requests can be found and resubmitted at a later time at View Cancelled Requests.

Cancelled by ILL Staff: ILL has cancelled your request and informed you of the reason for the cancellation by email, e.g. it was a duplicate request, the item is held by Earlham, etc.

Checked Out to Customer: The item has been checked out to the patron.

Cloned to New Request: When a request is returned unfilled, ILL staff often creates a new request for the same item and submits it to new potential lending libraries. The original request is then routed to a status of Cloned to New Request. You should see a new request for the same item in your Outstanding Requests list.

In transit to Circulation: The item has arrived at Lilly Library and is in processing. You will receive an email notifying you that the item is available for pick up at the circulation desk soon.

Item Returned: The item was returned to the Lilly Library circulation desk and is awaiting final check in by the ILL staff.

Item Checked In: The loan has been checked in by ILL staff and is being returned to the lender.

Lender Requested More Information: A potential lending library has responded to the request and asked ILL to clarify part of the request or to comply with special conditions before they will lend the item, e.g. specifying a volume in a set, agreeing to in-library use only, accepting special shipping requirements for rare or fragile items. Sometimes we need to contact a patron for more information, other times we handle conditions internally.

Loan Available for Checkout: The ILL item has arrived and is awaiting check out at the Lilly Library circulation desk

Request Finished: The loan item has been checked back in and returned to the lending library or 30 days have lapsed since an article was delivered electronically.

Request in Processing: Your request is actively being processed by ILL staff.

Unfilled Request in Review by ILL Staff: Your request has been sent to potential lending libraries. However, these libraries have been unable to fill your request. ILL is trying other sources. This process may take several days.

If the status you are looking for is not listed, please contact the ILL office at or call 765-983-1241 for more information.

(Revised 1/6/2016)

Earlham College • 801 National Road West • Richmond, Indiana 47374-4095