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Interlibrary Loan (ILL) at ACU

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is ILLiad?

A: ILLiad is the system ACU uses to process your Interlibrary Loan requests. You can visit your ILLiad page by logging in with your myACU username and password. From here, you can view the status and history of your requests. You can also submit requests manually and download articles that have been delivered electronically. 

ACU began using ILLiad in 2013. (You will not see request history from before then.) 

Q: How quickly will I get my resources?

A: Officially, we ask that you allow two to four weeks for processing and shipping of Interlibrary Loan requests. 

We always try to get your resources to you as quickly as possible, but there are many factors which can slow processing and shipping.

Often, we can get widely available books from other libraries in Texas within a week, but when books are rare or have to be borrowed from out of state, processing and shipping will take longer.

Journal articles are usually delivered electronically and can, therefore, be obtained more quickly.

Q: I'm experiencing technical issues when attempting to access ILL resources.

A: There are occasional technical errors that can cause you to be unable to access ILL resources. If you cannot submit a request, log into your ILLiad account, or access electronically received articles, please try the following solutions:

  • Open the ILL link in a different browser
  • Open the ILL link in an incognito window in Chrome or private window in Firefox
  • Clear cache and cookies from your browser

If none of these solutions work, please email the ILL department ( with a description of the issue and the citation information of the resource you need.

For more assistance with accessing library resources off campus, please click here.

Q: Can I use ILL to get Textbooks?

A: Interlibrary Loan is not a textbook rental service. Students are expected to purchase required textbooks for their courses, and we ask that students not request textbooks through ILL.

If you are waiting for a textbook you ordered to arrive, please contact your advisor or professor. We are not able to provide chapters of ordered textbooks for all students.

Q: Can I get Ebooks through ILL?


A: Unfortunately, no. Copyright law requires that works borrowed in full be returnable. Ebooks are digital resources, and therefore cannot be returned, so we are not allowed to loan or borrow them, as per Copyright law.  We can borrow single chapters of Ebooks, as long as the request complies with copyright law. 


If you are a distance education student who needs help accessing electronic resources, please visit the Distance Learning Portal or contact Avery Weems (, Distance and Online Services Librarian.

Q: Why was my request canceled?

A: Interlibrary Loan requests may be canceled for a variety of reasons, most commonly, because the resource is available either online or in print from the ACU library. Read the notes in the cancellation email for instructions on how to access the resources and contact a librarian if you have any trouble. 

Requests may also be canceled for other reasons, such as a lack of citation information. Read the cancellation email carefully to identify the reason the request was canceled and contact ILL staff if you are confused. 

Some materials, including those published within the last year, textbooks, and rare books, cannot be borrowedContact a librarian for help finding similar resources on your topic. 

Always read the cancellation email to find your next step in accessing the resources you need. If you still do not understand why your request was canceled, or if you believe it should not have been canceled, please email for help.

Q: How do I renew an ILL book?

A: Request a renewal by contacting ILL staff directly. It's convenient and efficient to send your renewal request by replying to any email notifications regarding that book. 

Renewals are always at the discretion of the lending library. When you ask ILL staff for a renewal, we submit that request to the library which owns the book, and they make the final decision about whether or not to renew a book and what the new due date will be. Talk to ILL staff about your options when renewals are not allowed. 

It is best to request renewals four to seven days before the due date. 

Q: Why can't I renew my book?

A: Some interlibrary loans include a "No Renewals" message on the blue band. It is never ACU's policy to disallow renewals; this always reflects the policy of the library which owns the book. 

Libraries tend to adhere to one of the following philosophies:

  1. Short Loan Period, Renewals Allowed
    • These libraries allow you to keep their book for approximately the same amount of time you would be able to check out a book at a local library and will typically let you renew books if you still need them. Renewals are always at the lending library's discretion, however, as patrons at that library may be waiting to use the materials. You can request a renewal before the due date by contacting ILL staff directly.
  2. Extended Loan Period, No Renewals Allowed
    • Some libraries avoid the process of renewal by extending their base loan period as if you had already been granted a renewal. In most cases, you will notice that books that say "No Renewals" have a later due date when you pick them up than books that do not. If you know you will need a book that says "No Renewals" longer than the loan period, you should contact ILL staff directly for options. (See bottom of the page for contact information.) 

Q: Where Did My Article Go?

A: Articles delivered through ILLiad remain available online for 30 days. After that time, they are deleted from the system. It is highly recommended that you download and save electronic documents like articles and book chapters when they become available. 

Q: What is the "Not Wanted After" Date?

A: The "Not Wanted After" date is a field on the ILL request form.

This is the date on which we will stop trying to obtain a resource because it will be too late for you to make use of it. By default, this date is set about a month after the request is made. If you do not change the "Not Wanted After" date manually, your request will be canceled if we have not been able to fill it by that date.

The "Not Wanted After" date has no bearing on our efforts to fill your request quickly. Regardless of this date, we will do our best to fill your request as soon as possible.

Q: What does "In-House Use Only" mean?

A: You may see in an email or on an orange band around your ILL book that it is "In-House Use Only." This means that the item is rare, fragile, old, or otherwise valuable. The library that loaned us the item has decided that the book may not leave the library. This means that while you are welcome to read or scan the book while you are in the library building, you may not take the book home, to your dorm, or even to other buildings on campus.

While you are using books like these, you will be asked to present your ACU ID as collateral, to make sure you do not forget to give the book back when you leave the library. We understand that it can be inconvenient to use a resource only in the library, but books (or other materials) that fall under this category are generally rare or valuable enough that we cannot guarantee to find another copy that can be removed from the library.

Q: Can we get this resource from a specific library?

A: The short answer is No.

Obtaining a book through Interlibrary Loan is not as simple as seeing that a library owns an item and getting it from them. Different libraries have different policies regarding Interlibrary Loans. Just because a library is near us, that doesn't mean it will be quick to get an item from them. Some libraries take one or two days to respond to Interlibrary Loan Requests; others take up to twenty days. Some libraries fluctuate in whether or not they provide resources through Interlibrary Loans; others do not participate in Interlibrary Loans at all. Most International libraries are not able to send items--even articles--to us because of International Copyright Law.

We will always try to get your resources to you as quickly as possible, although some requests will unavoidably take longer than others depending on availability, age, and rarity. Please trust us to select the best libraries from which to request books and articles.

Q: Can a professor ask a student worker, teaching assistant, or graduate assistant to submit an ILL request for the professor to use?

A: We ask that all requests be made by the person who will use the resource. This means that if a professor intends to use a book or an article, they need to request it through their own account and not ask a student to submit the request for them. This decision has been made for the following reasons:

  • To ensure more timely delivery of books and articles to the correct person
  • To ensure the person who has possession of the book will receive automated reminder emails (e.g., when the book is nearing due, or warnings that the user's account is about to be charged if the book is not returned in a timely manner).
  • To avoid having charges applied to the account of a student, should the professor not turn the book in on time
  • To avoid having students' ILL privileges revoked based on overdue books not kept by them
  • To keep our internal statistics as accurate as possible

If you are a student and have been asked by a professor to place an ILL request for them, please ask that professor to contact the Interlibrary Loan department ( Professors have been asked not to make this request of students.

Q: I still need this book!

A: If the due date of your Interlibrary Loan is approaching and you still need it, we can help.

First, try requesting a renewal. This can be done by email or by logging in to ILLiad. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, you are allowed to request a renewal for any book, although whether or not the renewal is granted is up to the discretion of the lending library.

If you have already renewed the book, know the renewal period is too short, or have a book where renewals are not allowed, you should request another copy of the book. Either email letting them know that you need access to the book past its due date or submit a new request for the same book with a note that you need another copy. In most cases, the ILL staff will be able to request a new copy from a different library.

To make sure you are not without the book for too long, try to initiate this process as soon as you know you will need an additional copy of the book. Obtaining books could take up to 2-4 weeks, and due dates still apply, even if you are waiting for another copy.

Have a question not answered on this page? Email or submit your question through our Ask a Librarian page. 

Contact Information

ACU's Interlibrary Loan Department:

Kelsey Weems, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator

(325) 674-2398

Office located behind the circulation desk