September 26, 2018
by library
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Interlibrary Loan: What It is and How to Use It

Here at the JKM Library, our librarians do their best to ensure that the collections and resources we provide fit your needs as students, faculty, and researchers. Our library’s stacks are home to over 144,000 physical books, magazines, print journals, DVDs/Blu-rays, CDs, and more. And through the library’s website, you also have access to electronic resources such as e-books, journals, magazines, and newspapers. Amazing, right?!

While this is a huge number of resources at your disposal, it’s likely that at one point or another throughout your Chatham career you will want to get ahold of something that is particularly unusual, hard-to-find, or simply beyond the scope of our collections as an academic library. Whether it’s because your thesis is on a fairly niche topic and you need to find sources for it, you’re looking for your textbooks for the new semester, or you were just hoping to read the latest YA release that hasn’t made its way to our Curriculum Collection shelves yet – whatever the reason, interlibrary loan can help you access the books, media, and articles that we just don’t have in our collections.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

It would be impractical, not to say virtually impossible, for a library to retain a copy of every single book ever published, so many libraries purchase books they anticipate that their patrons will use and then rely on interlibrary loan (ILL) to help bridge the gaps in their collections. ILL is a resource sharing service used by libraries all over the world that allows their users to borrow books, DVDs, music, articles, theses, and more from other libraries that they have formed cooperative agreements with. The best part is, at Chatham, this service is available to you completely free of charge! The library covers all normal shipping costs for interlibrary loan items.

We currently use two different systems to manage your interlibrary loan requests here: E-ZBorrow and ILLiad. Both are useful for finding different types of materials, though there are a few key differences between them and what you would want to use each system for, which we will explain here.

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