While the Gordon Library provides a wealth of rich resources that are geared towards the curriculum at WPI, in order to be a true #ResearchGenius, you may need access to information and resources beyond what the library can provide. To do this, the library offers a service called interlibrary loan: the ability of our library to borrow and receive materials from other libraries so that you can use them. To ensure that we can obtain the best materials for the WPI community, we also loan our own books and materials to other libraries that request them. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about interlibrary loan that will explain a little bit about value of the service and the process for obtaining items.
What can you borrow from interlibrary loan?
Just about anything including non-traditional materials like conference proceedings, dissertations, DVDs, leisurely reading books, etc. The only things that we cannot borrow are textbooks and course materials that can be purchased in the book store.
Where do the items come from?
We borrow a lot of items from the colleges in the Worcester, MA area but we often have to look elsewhere in the United States as well as worldwide to obtain materials for you.
How long does it take for items to arrive?
It depends on where the items are coming from as well as the type of material. Standard non-returnable items (articles, book chapters, etc.) usually take from 1-3 business days to arrive while books can take 5-7 business days.
Does it cost money to use interlibrary loan?
No. This service is completely free to all current members of the WPI community. There may be times when we might have to purchase something instead of borrowing it, but the library will pay for it.
What if I need the material really quickly?
You have a few options. When you submit a request, you can change the “not wanted after” date to your specifications and we will do our best to get the material to you by your deadline. This works well with articles. For books and other returnable items, you may be able to find them at participating Academic and Research Collaborative schools by borrowing them directly from that particular library.
How do I submit requests?
The library uses interlibrary loan software called ILLiad to handle interlibrary loan requests. Navigating and using ILLiad will be featured in next week’s #ResearchGenius post. In the meantime, you can get started here by creating an account and submit requests and browse additional interlibrary loan-related questions and answers.