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Univerity of New Mexico Libraries

Using ILL and Library Express

What is the difference between Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and Library Express?

Interlibrary Loan allows you to obtain materials from other libraries. Books and other returnable materials are picked up at, and should be returned to, the service desk at Centennial, Fine Arts, or Zimmerman Library. Articles are posted to your ILLiad account. Library Express (also known as document delivery) allows you to obtain materials from the UNM Libraries. Books are held for you at the service desk of your preferred library (Centennial, Fine Arts, or Zimmerman). Articles are posted to your ILLiad account.

Who can use ILL and Library Express services?

You must be enrolled or employed at UNM to use ILL and Library Express. Community Borrower cards do not entitle the card holder to ILL and Library Express privileges. We do not provide department or proxy accounts. Each individual is responsible for all items on their account. For legal reasons, including copyright and license agreements, you must be the end user of the item, and it should be used for academic research purposes.

How do I create a username and password?

Your username is your UNM NetID, and your password is the one associated with your UNM NetID. Your logon will be authenticated with the UNM directory. For questions concerning your NetID, including forgotten passwords, please go to

How long does it take for books and articles to arrive?

It depends on where we have to go to obtain them. We are able to fill up to 80% of our article requests within 2 working days. The remaining 20% can take up to several weeks to fill, especially hard-to-locate items. Books take a minimum of 4 working days depending on several factors including the obscurity of the citation, the popularity of the title, and the speed of the mail.

How much does it cost?

Our patrons are not charged for ILL and Library Express services unless they incur fines for overdue, lost, or damaged materials. In a typical year, however, the library pays $30,000 in borrowing fees, $17,000 in copyright fees, and $50,000 for shipping charges. We ask that you please be judicious and keep this in mind when making requests. In particular, please request only what you need, remember to pick up items that are held for you, retrieve and view articles that are delivered to your ILLiad account, and return everything on time. We will cancel duplicate requests; please reply to the cancellation email if your situation warrants more than one copy of the same item.

Request Status Explanations

  • AWAITING REQUEST PROCESSING: We are attempting to locate a source to fill your request.
  • ON ORDER: Your request has been sent to another library asking them to supply it
  • READY TO PICK UP: Your item can be picked up at the service desk of your preferred library, and we have sent you an email with that message. We will hold it for 2 weeks. If you cannot get to the library that soon, please contact us and we will be happy to hold the item longer for you.
  • DELIVERED TO WEB: Your article has been scanned and is stored on the server, ready for you to log on to your ILLiad account and retrieve it. It will remain on the server for 30 days. It is best practice, however, to retrieve it as soon as it is available and then save it somewhere safe so that you do not lose access to it. Due to copyright laws, items cannot be re-requested after the 30 day limit.
  • CHECKED OUT TO CUSTOMER: You have the item.
  • HOLIDAY HOLDING: It is either an intercession or holiday break, and our lending library partners are closed or are not currently filling requests. We will have to wait until they reopen to make the request.
  • 3 DAY NOTICE: We have sent you an email stating that you have 3 more days to pick up your item before we send it back to the lending library. If you cannot get to the library that soon, please contact us and we will be happy to hold the item longer for you.
  • RECALLED PLEASE RETURN: The lending library has requested that the item be returned to them. It is unfortunate. However, the due date has been moved up, and you must bring the item back. You can request it again if you still need it.
  • BLOCKED: Your ILLiad account has been blocked. Please contact us if you have questions about this status.

Copyright and Licensing

Why was my request canceled 'due to copyright restrictions'?

We fully comply with all provisions of Title 17, United States Code (Section 108C). This institution reserves the right to cancel requests that we deem to be in potential violation of copyright law. In addition, we and our lending partners must comply with the licensing agreements that are associated with all electronic resources including journal databases and e-books.

What happened to my articles/chapters?

Electronic articles and chapters are only available for 30 days and then are automatically deleted to comply with copyright requirements concerning electronic storage. It is best to retrieve them as soon as they are available and then save them somewhere safe so that you do not lose access to them. Due to copyright laws, items cannot be re-requested after the 30 day limit.

Required fields and incomplete citations

What does 'unable to verify your request as cited' mean?

Incomplete citations make it difficult for us to provide what you need. Every form has required fields that are the minimum needed in order to research your request. It is best to fill in all of the fields. Please note: the auto-population of data fields by the library's catalog into the ILLiad request forms does not always work. Sometimes data is missing or in the wrong fields. Please check every field for accuracy before submitting the request. Your ability to provide a full, complete citation will directly affect our chances of finding a source to fill your request. Requests that contain incomplete or incorrect citations may be canceled.

May I renew my ILL item?

Our ILL department has no control over the ability to renew an item. Most of our lending libraries do not allow renewals. Please check your book band. If it says 'Yes' in the 'Renewals considered'? field, this simply means that we can ask on your behalf. It does not guarantee a renewal. The optimal time to ask for a renewal is 2 days prior to the due date. Once a book is overdue, it may not be renewed.

How do I request a renewal?

Log on to your ILLiad account. Review "Checked out items" to locate the item you wish to renew. Select the "Renew" button for that item. If the "Renew" button is not accessible, the lending library does not grant renewals.

Why was my textbook request canceled?

ILL cannot serve as a source of required class material. We do not request textbooks, required readings, solution manuals, tests, study guides, kits, activity books, etc. We reference a list provided to us by the UNM Bookstore when determining if a title falls into one of these categories. We also do not provide copies of chapters from these resources.


Requests for popular videos, DVDs and CDs can be difficult to source and may be returned unfilled. Remember that requests may only be made for materials necessary for your academic research purposes and not for personal entertainment. Keep in mind that the loan period is usually one week or less, and these materials are often restricted by the lending library to remain inside the library during use.

How do I obtain newspapers and articles from newspapers?

Many newspapers are online or in databases for which the library has subscriptions. Please check there first. If not, we can try to obtain what you need. Please use the 'media' request form and use the notes field to indicate the dates you would like. Most newspaper loans arrive on microfilm and cannot be taken out of Zimmerman Library. The library has microfilm readers/scanners for you to use. Lending libraries often don't carry all publication dates, so they will send what they have (and often only a few reels at a time). We can then try for unfilled dates in a new, separate request. If you are looking for a particular article or obituary from a newspaper, provide us with the exact date (month, day, year). Please understand that many libraries will not search for and scan the article. They will send the entire reel instead.

Loan Periods, Overdue Books, and Blocked Accounts

How long may I keep my ILL items?

The loan period for borrowed books and other items is determined by the lending library. It varies from library to library and for types of requests. Your due date can be found in the transaction record in your ILLiad account and on the book band.

What if my item is overdue?

It is extremely important that ILL items are returned on time. Overdue notices are sent to your UNM email account. First, second, and third notices are sent individually. On the third notice, your ILLiad account is automatically blocked, open requests are canceled and books already on hold are returned. Similarly, many of our lending partners will block us from borrowing from them again until all overdue items have been returned and fines have been paid. This is detrimental to our ability to serve our campus.
Once an item is overdue, you are subject to nonrefundable fines. These fines are assessed by both the lending library and our ILL department. They tend to run between $150 and $250, and will be applied to your UNM Bursar's account. This will inhibit your ability to register for classes, receive transcripts, and use any library services on campus. A pattern of having overdue items may result in the inability to utilize ILL materials outside of the library or the suspension of ILL privileges altogether.

Why is my ILLiad account blocked

Accounts are blocked for a number of reasons. Most often, they are blocked because of overdue items. Accounts are blocked if a patron is no longer enrolled or employed at UNM. We also block accounts that have incorrect or incomplete patron information or if we are unable to contact a patron to resolve an issue. Please contact us if you have questions concerning your blocked account.

Instructions for Other Libraries

Libraries that wish to place an ILL request with us should use the OCLC system. Our symbol is IQU. Libraries that do not have access to the OCLC system should contact us by email at We do not handle phone requests. All items are processed within 24 hours of receipt during regular business hours. We do not charge, but be aware that services are extended only on a reciprocal basis. We do loan microfilm, including newspapers, up to 4 reels at a time. Please request these as a loan and indicate the dates you need in the borrowing notes field. Dates should include month, day, and year.

Whom do I contact if I have problems with, or questions about, ILL/Library Express services?

Call the Interlibrary Loan office at (505) 277-5617 or e-mail
Refer to additional ILL/Library Express policies.