Interlibrary Loan

Frequently Asked Questions for Duke Law Students

This FAQ is for current Duke Law students, faculty and staff who wish to request books, articles or other materials not available at the Duke Law Library.
Faculty and staff, please visit the ILL FAQ for Duke Law Faculty.

What can I request through interlibrary loan (ILL)?

The Law Library will obtain through interlibrary loan (ILL) service: books, articles and other materials not available at other Duke campus libraries. This includes items marked in the catalog as "Missing" or "Lost". We can also obtain for you journal articles (but generally not newspaper articles) from other Duke libraries.

What should not be requested through ILL?

Due to the expense and processing time involved in obtaining materials from off-campus libraries, the Law Library cannot fill requests for:

  • Books available at other Duke libraries. Please use the online catalog request form instructions to have the title delivered for pickup at the Law Library Circulation Desk. (This includes items available at Duke which are currently checked out to other borrowers.)
  • Newspaper and magazine articles that are available electronically, on microform or in print at a Duke campus library.
  • Journal articles that are available to you in PDF with original pagination.
  • Audio and video materials.
How do I make an ILL request?

The Law Library uses a service called ILLiad to process interlibrary loan requests. ILLiad offers users the ability to save your personal information and preferences, eliminating the need to fill out that information on each request form. ILLiad also allows you to track the status of outstanding requests, view request histories, and download electronically-received documents for printing.

To make a request, log in to ILLiad with your NetID and password, select the type of item which you would like to request (e.g., book, book chapter, article), and fill in the required information. Your first login will include a brief, one-time registration process, which will save your personal preferences for future use.

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How long will it take to receive my requested items?

Requests are processed within one business day. Please provide as much information as you can in order to expedite processing.

Requested materials owned by libraries at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill should be available at Duke during the next business day, if the request is received before noon. Books requested from the NCCU Law Library and other Triangle-area libraries generally take 2-3 business days to arrive, because of the route taken by the libraries' delivery truck. Materials owned by libraries outside the Triangle area may take 7-10 days.

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Where do I pick up my requested items?

You will be notified via e-mail when your materials have arrived. If your request is for a photocopy, it will be delivered to your mail folder. Students can pick up all other materials at the Law Library Circulation Desk.

Note: Unlike books which belong to Duke campus libraries, interlibrary loan books become due whether they are picked up by the requester or not. If a book is still on the hold shelf when it becomes due, it is automatically returned to the owning library. Also, because interlibrary loan books do not belong to Duke, interlibrary loan books are not listed in your library patron record.

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For how long may I borrow interlibrary loan materials?

The loans of books to us by other institutions are governed by the owning libraries' policies. The length of the loan period is determined by the owning library, and if we fail to return an item on time, we risk a fine which we may have to pass on to you. More importantly, we risk the possibility that that library will refuse to lend to us in the future.

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May I renew interlibrary loan items?

The decision to extend the loan period of an interlibrary loan book is made by the owning library, not by the Duke Law Library. Some of the libraries which loan to us do not offer renewals of their books at all; some will only renew an item once. For these reasons, it is not possible to keep an interlibrary loan book indefinitely or even for a semester. If you wish renewal, it is best to make the request before the loan becomes overdue.

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How should students handle interlibrary loan requests for their journals?

Often more than one journal staff member needs the same item. To avoid any delays, always add your journal's name to journal-related interlibrary loan requests so that we can connect you with any colleague who has the item or has already ordered it.

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