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Interlibrary Loan

How does ILL actually work?

Who is eligible? 

UCSC faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students. Community patrons and UC alumni should consult with their local public library. 

How do I request an interlibrary loan item?

The fastest and most accurate method for UCSC users to borrow items from other libraries is to use Melvyl Request. Articles can also be requested directly from databases via  or initiated via the Citation Linker (complete citations only). 

What resources can I request?

Books, journal articles, journals, microforms, media items such as DVDs and CDs, and many other items. If items are locally owned and available, they are not eligible for ILL. Materials available on reserve are also not eligible. Please note that it is difficult to obtain physical copies of newer journals, rare books, best sellers, and new fiction.

Can I request ebooks?

As a general rule, we are unable to borrow ebooks via Interlibrary Loan. If an ebook is requested, we will check in with the user and see if a print copy is acceptable instead. Please note book chapters can usually be filled electronically. 

How long does it take?

80% of physical materials arrive within one week. 80% of digitally delivered items arrive within 24 horus. Materials not owned within the UC system take longer to arrive, and in some instances, may not be available. We will inform you via e-mail about the arrival of ILL materials. The status of your request may be checked at My ILL Requests anytime.

What is the loan period? What about renewals?

The lending library will determine the length of the loan period and stipulate any restrictions on the use of the book (library-use only, for example). The date due and lending restrictions are noted on the item's strap. Materials are held for pickup at the circulation desk of either McHenry Library or the Science & Engineering Library. Present a photo ID to pickup the material. Items are held for 14 days, or by their due date, whichever is sooner. For materials delivered electronically, borrowers will be emailed with instructions on how to retrieve the item. 

Renewals can be requested via My ILL Requests. Items are eligible for renewal two weeks before the due date. Please note that renewals are not guaranteed and are up to the lender's discretion. You can monitor the status of your renewal request in your account.

Recalls & Overdues

Items borrowed via Interlibrary Loan are subject to recall at any time by the lender. Patrons are notified of recalls via a courtesy e-mail, but are ultimately responsible for keeping track of the due dates and statuses of materials via My ILL Requests. Recalled items must be returned within seven days of the recall date or the item will be billed for replacement. Recalled items may be billed immediately if they are already overdue. Additionally, items not returned by their due dates may also be billed for replacement.

Quick Links

We are here to help!

Ask for us at the McHenry Library Circulation desk.

Call us at 831-459-2234.

Email us at