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Interlibrary Loan Policies

The mission of the Interlibrary Loan Department (ILL) is to locate and acquire, whenever possible, materials not owned by J. Murrey Atkins Library for the educational and research needs of the University community.  This may include, but is not limited to, books, journal articles, documents, and audio-visual materials. 


Borrowing Policies (For Requesting ILL Materials from other Libraries)
ILL Patrons
The library provides ILL services to all UNC Charlotte students, faculty, and staff with current accounts.
Non-affiliated patrons will be directed to their local institution for initiating ILL requests. 
Undergraduates are encouraged to exhaust resources available at UNC Charlotte before requesting materials via inerlibrary loan due to the time constraints of their assignments and the length of time it may take to obtain materials through ILL.
Community Borrowers are not eligible to use the Interlibrary Loan Service.

Early-College students are not eligible to use the Interlibrary Loan Service.

Fines are levied for overdue ILL material at the rate of $1.00 per day (no maximum). Fines for overdue ILL items that have been recalled are $5.00 per day (no maximum).  This provision is applicable to all individuals using the Interlibrary Loan services.  If a book is requested but has to be returned without ever being used a fine of $10 is levied to cover the charge of mailing the item back to the lender. Charge for lost ILL material is $100 ($65 replacement cost and $35 processing fee per item) 
One Renewal request per item may be requested through your Interlibrary Loan account.  This request must be submitted the day before the due date.  If a renewal is requested, fines will not be levied against the material until a response is received from the lending institution.  If the lending library has not allowed renewals it will be noted on the bookstrap. 
Since renewals are at the discretion of the lending institution, a renewal cannot be guaranteed.

Unacceptable Requests
Atkins Library does not accept the following types of interlibrary loan requests:

  • Textbooks assigned to current UNC Charlotte courses.
  • Test material
  • Boxes of Archival Papers
  • Maps (stand alone)
  • E. Books
  • Rare Books -  held in Special Collections
  • Reference Books - if held in Reference Collections
  • Journals
  • Publication requirements of a particular journal.
  • Material needed for reserve use (copyright violation).
  • Material recently borrowed and returned for the same individual.
  • Request that does not comply with the Copyright Law (Title 17, US Code) and its guidelines.
  • Incomplete or incorrect citations.

Hard-to-Obtain Requests
Because most libraries will not lend the following types of material, Atkins Library has difficulty borrowing these items: 

  • Rare or valuable material, including manuscripts
  • High demand material (best sellers, newly published, etc)
  • Reference books, audiovisual materials and genealogy works.
  • Bulky or fragile material (shipping may be difficult or cause damage)
  • Media

Turnaround Time
Requests are processed as quickly as possible. It is the goal of the ILL department to order your request  the day it is submitted during week days. Generally, when planning for deadlines, the patron should take into consideration that an ILL request for a physical item could take 2-3 weeks.  Requests that can be sent electronically (e.g.. journal articles) are usually received within 2 -3 days.

Making Requests
Patrons must submit interlibrary loan requests via the electronic forms. in their interlibrary loan account.  These forms allow staff to electronically transfer the needed information to lending libraries, which cuts processing time in half and minimizes entry error.  No telephone or emailed requests are accepted.
Requirements for all ILL Requests:

  • ILL staff require a complete and accurate bibliographic description of the requested material.
  • Abbreviations are not accepted.
  • All UNC Charlotte affiliated patrons must provide a valid UNC Charlotte email address as well as a home address.
  • By submitting the request, the patron is indicating that they have read and understand the copyright compliance statement.

Arrival Notification and Pickup
All copies (articles, etc.) will be delivered electronically. All physical items (books, videos, etc.) will be held at the Circulation Desk, and the patron must show their valid UNC Charlotte ID in order to pick up the material.  Faculty may choose to have items sent to their office through Atkins Express by selecting "Office Delivery" in their ILL account. Books for Distance Ed students will be sent their home address via UPS.  

Patrons will be notified when an item has arrived via email notification only. No telephone notification is provided. 
If materials are not claimed within ten days of the original email notification, ILL staff will continue attempting to contact the requester via email.  It is the responsibility of the patron to activate their UNC Charlotte email account and check for arrival notices.  If an item is not picked up prior to the due date, it will be returned to the lending library and the patron will be charged a $10 fee. Patrons should notifiy ILL if they no longer need an item they have requested.  

E-mail Policy

All correspondence concerning interlibrary loan requests will be sent to UNC Charlotte E-mail accounts only.  All students, faculty and staff requesting interlibrary loan materials must have a valid UNC Charlotte  email account.  Students can activate this account via ITS.

Abuse of Interlibrary Loan Services
Interlibrary Loan is a privilege. It works because libraries freely lend their material to one another on an honor system expecting that their materials will be treated with care and the rules they put in place will be respected by the borrowing library and their patrons.   If materials are kept out beyond the due date, libraries are less willing to lend material to us in the future and that has a negative effect on all our patrons. Therefore patrons who repeatedly abuse ILL services by not returning books on time will be subject to losing their ILL priviledges. This is also true for any intentional damage to books such as underlining or highlighting.




Lending Policies [for other Libraries only]

J. Murrey Atkins Library agrees to make its materials available to other libraries.  Our library will reserve the right to decide whether a particular item should or should not be provided, and whether the original or a copy should be sent.  The conditions of this service are based on the National Interlibrary Loan Code, the Interlibrary Loan Code for North Carolina Libraries,  and all applicable Copyright Laws (Title 17, US Code).

Loan Requests
Atkins library will accept requests via OCLC - Docline

            Length of Loan
            Loans are generally 56 days with exception of DVD's (28days, no renewals), unless otherwise indicated in this policy. Photocopies should not be returned.

Processing Time
Requests are processed and sent the day they are received.

Renewals will usually be granted for a 2-week period unless "no renewal" has been specified at the time of the loan.

Material Available for Loan

  • Monographs
  • Theses and Dissertations: Reproduction only allowed with the written permission of the Author

Material not available for Loan

  • Rare or valuable material, including manuscripts
  • High Demand Material- best sellers, newly published, current events, textbooks, reserve items.
  • Non-circulating Material-reference books, periodicals, and select audiovisual materials.
  • Bulky or fragile Material-shipping may be difficult or cause damage.
  • Media and test material.
  • Items new to the library- current year publications

             For Loans (physical items to be sent via UPS):

  • Not-for-profit Institutions:  No charge
  • For-profit Institutions:  $20
For Copies (photocopies of articles, etc)
  • Not-for-profit Reciprocal Institutions:  No charge
  • Not-for-profit non-Reciprocal Institutions:  $8
  • For-Profit Institutions:  $15

Overdue notices are sent out at 5 days and 15 days.  If the item has not been returned within ninety days it will be assumed lost and the borrowing institution will be billed for the replacement cost of the material according to library policy regarding lost library materials.

If no response is received from the borrowing institution within thirty days from the bill date, privileges for the borrowing institution may be suspended until payment or a resolution has been agreed upon.


  • Materials are invoiced when item is shipped. 
  • We accept two payment methods: IFM and checks.
  • The preferred method of billing is through the OCLC IFM system, but we will manually invoice non-IFM institutions.
  • We accept IFLA vouchers from international libraries

Methods of Delivery
Atkins Library will normally deliver loan materials (physical items such as books)  via UPS.  All materials must be returned in the same condition as received.

Atkins library will deliver copies (e.g. photocopies of journal articles) via the best available method, preferably electronically. We currently are able to deliver copies electronically via Odyssey and article exchange. 

Returns: All videos must be packaged in a box and returned via FedEx or UPS

            Copyright Compliance
            All Interlibrary loan functions are in compliance with the Copyright law and guidelines.
           The library adheres to the copyright guidelines with regard to CCG and CCL.
           The requesting library must comply with CCG or CCL.

            Reciprocal Agreements
            As an integral part of the Interlibrary Loan system, Atkins Library has reciprocal agreements with other libraries.