How long does it take to get something on interlibrary loan?
Items can arrive within three days and most items available from a Canadian library arrive within two weeks. International requests can take longer to obtain.
How much will it cost?
You will not be charged for book loans or for copies of journal articles obtained through interlibrary loan.
You may be required to pay for the purchase of some documents on a cost-recovery basis. However, you will always be notified in advance of any charges that may apply.
How will I know when my requested material has arrived?
You will be notified by email when the material is available. You can pick up your request from the circulation desk in the library you specified when submitting your request.
If you requested a copy of article or book sections, you will be sent a web link to an electronic copy, with instructions for retrieving it.
Where do I return books I borrowed through Interlibrary loan?
Interlibrary loans must be returned with the book bands still affixed to a circulation desk at one of the University of Waterloo libraries.
Can I use interlibrary loan to request an item that is owned by any of the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (TUG)?
Interlibrary loan will not accept requests for materials available at a TUG library. You can place a hold/recall request through the library catalogue.
Can I request patents through interlibrary loan?
Yes. Patents are only available as photocopies and interlibrary loan does not absorb the costs for patents.
When requesting, please specify the maximum you are willing to pay and whether you will be paying by account or personal charge.
The following information is needed about the patent you want: (1) country in which the patent is registered, (2) patent number, (3) author/patent holder, and (4) title of the patent.
Can I request theses from other universities?
- You can borrow doctoral/masters theses through interlibrary loan if a circulating copy is available.
- You can freely access full text electronic version of Canadian theses and dissertations from 1998 onwards through Theses Canada Portal.
- You may purchase a copy directly from University Microfilms International (UMI) through one of the following options:
- Dissertation Express allows you to order online an unbound paper copy for approximately $38.00 U.S. using a credit card.
- ProQuest Digital Dissertations and Theses (PQDT, formerly Digital Dissertations) provides users with a web database for accessing citations, abstracts, and full text for doctoral dissertations and master's theses from over 1,000 North American and international graduate schools.
For those who prefer to not order online, requests can also be placed by phone by calling 1-800-521-3042 or fax your request to 313-973-1464.
How do I get copies of standards?
Industry standards are not usually available through normal interlibrary loan channels. They must be purchased from the organization that issues the standard or from a commercial document supplier that specializes in acquiring standards.
When requesting standards specify the maximum you are willing to pay and whether you will be paying by account or personal charge.
The following information is needed about the standard you want: (1) document number; (2) complete title
Can I request audio visual materials through interlibrary loan?
Audio visual materials cannot be borrowed through interlibrary loan.
For this type of material contact Instructional Technologies and Multimedia Services (ITMS)
Can I borrow maps and aerial photographs through interlibrary loan?
The University of Waterloo Interlibrary Loan Office does not handle such loans, although there is lending service between Ontario Council of Universities (OCUL) map libraries. For help with these loans, please contact:
What is the fine for overdue interlibrary loan?
Overdue interlibrary loans are assessed at the rate of $1 per day.
Can I borrow electronic books?
Borrowing of electronic books is currently not possible through interlibrary loans. However, we will attempt to get a print copy for you.