Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about ILL services and Library Express

Using ILL and Library Express

You must be enrolled or employed at UNM to use our services. Visiting colleagues, and other affiliated persons** are not eligible for our services. Community Borrower cards do not entitle the card holder to interlibrary loan privileges. Each patron must open and maintain their own account within ILLiad. We do not allow department or proxy accounts. Each individual may have one account. Duplicate accounts will be merged and the older account deleted. Do not allow other people to use your account, as you alone are responsible for all items on your account. For legal reasons, including copyright and license agreements, you must be the end user of the item for academic or educational research purposes.

Your logon will be authenticated with the UNM directory. Your username is your UNM NetID, and your password is the one for your UNM NetId. If you forget your password or NetID you must contact Campus ITS, not the ILL department.

How long does it take for your book/article to arrive? It depends on where we have to go to obtain it. We are able to fill up to 80% of our article requests within 2 working days from our Rapid system partners. The remaining 20% can take up to several weeks to fill, especially if it is a hard-to-locate item. Books take a minimum of 4 working days (from our GWLA partners) to several weeks, depending on the speed of the mail.

While there is no cost to you for the service, please be aware that this material does cost the library directly. We paid over $36,000 last year in invoices, an additional $17,000 in copyright fees, and over $52,000 in postage. We ask that you please be judicious and keep this in mind when making a request.

**Please see the ILL office for details. An exception may be granted if the faculty sponsor within your department is willing to accept responsibility for overdue fines and other charges. A formal letter from the sponsor on department letterhead stating this is required and must be renewed each semester.

Request status

  1. REQUEST SENT means your request has been sent to another library asking them to supply it.
  2. CUSTOMER NOTIFIED BY EMAIL means your book is here at Zimmerman to be picked up, and we have sent you an email with that message.
  3. AWAITING CUSTOMER CONTACT means that the material has arrived and is being processed. It is usually about 2 hours until you are notified that the material is ready for pickup. Please do not call and ask if you may pickup the material early, as this only slows down the process for everyone.
  4. DELIVERED TO WEB means your article has been scanned and is stored on the server, ready for you to logon to your ILLiad account and retrieve it.
  5. CHECKED OUT TO CUSTOMER means that you have the book.
  6. HOLIDAY HOLDING means that it is either an intercession or holiday break, and the libraries we will send the request to are closed. We will have to wait until they reopen to make the request.


We fully comply with all provisions of Title 17, United States Code (Section 108C). This means that you may request individual, specific articles from specific journals, one at a time, and must provide us with a full and traceable citation including page numbers. Multiple requests from the same source submitted at the same time are not allowed. We reserve the right to protect the University, the Library, and you from charges of copyright infringement by not accepting those types of requests.

Please remember that electronic articles are only available for 30 days, and then are automatically deleted to comply with copyright requirements concerning electronic storage.

Required fields

When making a request, be sure to fill in all of the required fields on the form. These boxes are marked with a red asterisk. For books these fields include Author, Title, Publisher, and Date. For articles these fields include Journal Title, Volume, Issue number, Date, Page numbers, Author of article, and Title of Article. Requests that do not include the requried information will be returned. If your ciation does not include these items, please ask for help at the Reference Desk. Given the volume of requests that all libraries must handle (we process between 400 and 500 requests on a typical mid-semester day) they will not have the staff or time to hunt for an article that is missing vital information.

How to Renew a book

Lending libraries will only renew approximately 40% of the books we borrow. If the book band is labeled "No Renewals" then it cannot be renewed. If it is not labeled that way, you may attempt to ask for a renewal 1 to 2 days prior to the due date. Once a book is overdue, it may not be renewed. The optimum time to ask for a renewal is 2 days prior to the due date.

Detailed instructions for renewal are located on the purple band, inside the book cover.

Logon to your ILLiad account. On the left side of the screen under View, click on "Check out items." From this list, click on the transaction number of the book. If a renewal is allowed, a red "Renew Request" will appear above the transaction information. Click on this red link. The message "Item renewed with a due date of xx/xx/2010" will appear. The book is temporarily renewed for one week, while we wait for the lending library to respond. Hopefully they will respond within that week and set a new due date. This will be emailed to you. Doing this 1 to 2 days prior to the due date will ensure the maximum time allowed.


We do not request textbooks. It does not matter if the textbook is used at UNM for a class or not. The problem is that most academic libraries do not purchase or collect textbooks, as they are expensive and quickly outdated. If a library does own them, they are almost always checked out or on reserve for their own students. Textbooks are also excluded from our purchase profile. Thus, the only way for us to obtain them was to beg an out-of-state public or smaller academic library for an older edition, which could take 4 to 8 weeks to obtain. By that time the semester is usually over, or would be of little value at that point. The check out period was always short, usually 1-2 weeks with no renewal. Addtionally, the loan copies we could find were generally missing pages or profusely highlighted. Added to all of these problems was the additional cost of borrowing these, sometimes as much as the book was worth. The best way to obtain textbooks is to purchase them from an online source.

For the same reasons, this also applies to solution manuals, tests, study guides, kits, activity books, etc. Publishers do not allow copying from textbooks, and those requests would be returned as well.


Requests for popular videos and dvds may be returned unfilled. Remember that requests may only be made for materials necessary for your academic and educational research purposes, and not for personal entertainment. The same problems we have with textbooks apply to most videos and dvds. Most academic libraries do not actively collect popular videos and dvds. Even when a library does purchase these, they are usually on a short loan period (3 days to one week) and are generally not loaned on ILL. We have some better luck with documentaries and foreign films, since academic libraries do purchase those. Still, our fill rate for media materials is only around 30%, compared with a fill rate of over 90% for books and articles. We can not guarantee if or when a video or dvd may arrive, and the loan period is usually only one week or less. Many that we are able to borrow are restricted to In Library Use only, and so must remain in Zimmerman. The best way to obtain a video or dvd for showing to a class would be to purchase it yourself. Instructors and faculty should consult their library liason for assistance.

Loan Periods, Overdue books, and Blocked accounts

The loan period for borrowed books is determined by the lending library. Sometimes the book may be loaned for one week, sometimes up to eight weeks, it simply depends on where it comes from and their current policy. It is extremely important that ILL books be returned on time. While some libraries are forgiving, many are not and will not fill requests for us once their books are overdue. An example is the Library of Congress, who will cut off service to us for books even one day late. Some libraries will charge us fines and late fees. An example of this is the Smithsonian, who will charge us $5 per book per day. We simply cannot absorb these costs, and so they will be sent to your cashiers account when this happens.

Overdue notices are sent by email once a book is overdue. First, second, and third notices are sent individually. When a book is one week overdue your account becomes blocked. At ten days late a recall notice is sent. After 10 days late an invoice for full replacement cost and all associated fines and fees is generated. This will be a minimum of $75, and includes a non-refundable fee of $25, plus any charges from the lending library. The average invoice is around $150. Some libraries, like University of Colorado, charge us a minimum of $250 per book. Yes, this gets expensive, and will inhibit your ability to register for classes, receive transcripts, and use any library services on campus. We stongly suggest you return all materials by the due date and not place yourself in this position.

Once the material goes to the third notice, your ILLiad account is blocked. All open requests will be cancelled and books already on hold will be returned. It is only reopened when all overdue materials are returned, all fines are paid at cashiers, and you contact us asking for the block to be removed. At that point we will need to verify all your current contact information and make sure you understand the importance of returning your books on time. Continued abuse will result in suspension of ILL priviledges.

Instructions for other libraries

Libraries that wish to place an ILL request with us should use the OCLC system. Our symbol is IQU. If they do not have access to the OCLC system, they should send us a email request with a full citation and a full mailing address. A pdf of an ALA form sent by email is also accepted. We do not handle phone requests. We do not do "rush" requests, as all items are processed withing 24 hours of receipt during regular business hours. We do not charge, but be aware that services are extended only on a reciprocal basis. Our email address is

Who do I contact if I have problems with or questions about ILL services?

System Problems or InterLibrary Loan Questions: InterLibrary Loan office at (505) 277-5617 or e-mail to the ILL office
Technical Support Questions: E-mail anytime to the ILL office.