Interlibrary Loan FAQ
- Where should I begin my search for the material I need?
- What if Bowdoin owns the item I need but it's non-circulating or on Reserve?
- What if the item I need is checked out or otherwise unavailable at Bowdoin?
- How do I receive my articles?
- What kinds of material are available through ILL?
- How much information do I need to submit an ILL request?
- Am I limited by the number of requests I may submit?
- Can I get a dissertation or thesis?
- Can I borrow a newspaper?
- How far does ILL go to get my material?
- As a faculty member, how can ILL support me?
- As an honors student, how can ILL support me?
- If I'm studying away from Bowdoin, can ILL support me?
- How long does it take to get an ILL?
- Does it cost me anything to get an ILL?
- Can I cancel or revise my ILL request?
- Where do I pick up materials that I have on loan through ILL?
- How long can I keep my ILL? May I renew it?
- Can I put an ILL book on Reserve?
- What if my ILL item is overdue, or I need to keep it beyond its due date?
- What if my ILL is damaged or lost while in my possession?
- What do I see when I view "Finished" and "Cancelled" requests under History?"
- How do academic coordinators and research assistants submit ILL requests on my behalf?
- What if I forget my password? (Research assistants and non-Bowdoin users ONLY)
- Whom do I contact if I have questions regarding ILL?
Where should I begin my search for the material I need?
Students: Please check Bowdoin Library's collections carefully to determine if the material you need is available here. For a periodical article, search initially for the journal in Journals A-Z and, secondarily, CBBcat to reveal Bowdoin's access to print and digital collections. For a book, request it yourself through CBBcat or MaineCat.
Faculty and Staff: When searching in CBBcat, please use CBB Request to request hold and retrieval of Bowdoin books, bound periodicals, CDs and some DVDs from our circulating collections. Use Bowdoin ILL to request digital delivery of articles and book chapters from our print and microform collections.
What if Bowdoin owns the item I need, but it is non-circulating or on Reserve?
What if the item I need is checked out or otherwise unavailable at Bowdoin?
How do I receive my articles?
All articles are delivered electronically as a PDF and posted to your Interlibrary Loan Account. An Email notice, entitled "Your Article Is Available," will contain a link to your Account Logon, whereupon you may click View Electronically Delivered Articles to view it. The article will remain accessible to you for 30 days from the date you are notified. If you accidently delete it during that period we can restore it for you. Please let us know if you are ever unsatisfied with the quality of an article we provide, and we will replace it immediately.
What kinds of material are available through ILL?
Interlibrary Loan accepts article requests for material in print, microform or electronic format and loan requests for hard-copy material published since 1800. Your Account Menu provides forms to request a book, book chapter, journal article, government document, dissertation/thesis, newspaper on microfilm or proceedings/conference report. eBooks are not accessible through Interlibrary Loan, but eBook chapters may be requested. Audio-visual items, software and periodical volumes or issues are generally not requestable. If you are interested in obtaining a pre-1800 book, we will search for a modern facsimile or later edition, and advise you accordingly. If you are interested in new titles, please exercise discretion, as many libraries are not willing to lend them. Alternatively, faculty members may submit an Order Form for Bowdoin to acquire the item. Please consult with us if you wish to request other types of material. The range of items to which we have access is always increasing.
How much information do I need to submit an ILL request?
You need a relatively complete citation and your source of citation (where you learned about the item) to insure accurate and timely processing of your request. Certain fields, designated in red on your request form, are required. Please observe the following guidelines:
- Submit a separate request for each unique book or article.
- Transcribe your citation as it appears. (do not abbreviate, but use abbreviations if given)
- Indicate a Source that allows us to conveniently verify the citation, if necessary.
If you cannot provide a complete citation, please contact Interlibrary Loan, or Ask Us. The Library offers students several online services, including Research Help and Citation Management Tools for compiling and managing a bibliography. See the other topics listed under "Help" on the Library Gateway.
Am I limited by the number of requests I may submit?
No. However, we do have suggestions for students who have multiple requests:
- Consider alternative sources. Always check CBBcat and MaineCat before considering an ILL Book Request.
- Prioritize your requests. Students: please consult a Reference Librarian to help you evaluate your bibliography, if you expect to rely on Interlibrary Loan for a large amount of material.
- Project a date by which you definitely need the material. Interlibrary Loan will pursue your request until that date.
- Plan ahead. Allow yourself enough time to receive and use materials on loan from other libraries. Due to circulation policies and item availability at other institutions, Interlibrary Loan may not be able to fill your request immediately.
- Ask for assistance. We can advise you regarding the possibilities of obtaining your material within the time frame you have.
Can I get a dissertation or thesis?
Most likely—with a little extra effort. Dissertations and theses are referenced throughout Bowdoin’s electronic databases, but the source is typically Dissertation Abstracts. The abstract (a brief summary of the content) that appears near the bottom of the citation, may help you evaluate the usefulness of the work. Should you decide to pursue it, most post-1997 dissertations, although not the most recent, are available through Proquest Dissertations & Thesis Full Text. Some dissertations are later published as books, so searching by author in CBBcat or Worldcat may yield results. In addition, a few authors may make their work freely available on the internet. Failing these options, please select the Dissertation/Thesis Request form from your ILL account menu. We may be able to borrow it from another library, deliver it as a PDF, or purchase a hard copy for you to keep. Occasionally we may decide that Bowdoin should own the dissertation that you requested, whereupon you will be notified when it is cataloged for our collection.
Can I borrow a newspaper?
Original newspapers are not available through Interlibrary Loan, but you may request newspapers on microfilm using the appropriate form. Many historical and contemporary papers around the world have been catalogued with holdings on WorldCat, so we have reasonably good luck pursuing them. However, most libraries restrict the number of reels we may borrow at any time and, given the possible scarcity of a particular publication, we may need to submit multiple requests on your behalf. For semester-length research projects, which require the use of small town or foreign papers, we recommend limiting your request to a ten-year span. We also find it beneficial if you specify the most important dates in the Notes field of your request. Please consult with us early in the semester regarding the newspapers you need, submit your request(s) early and allow plenty of time to use the film when it arrives.
How far does ILL go to get my material?
Bowdoin's Interlibrary Loan system has access to collections in thousands of academic and public libraries throughout the world. Most material is received through our regional and consortial networks, but we will pursue your request wherever we need to. Among our lenders are major research institutions and national libraries, including the the British Lending Library, The Royal Library of Denmark and the National Diet Library of Japan. We also rely on commercial providers, such as Chemical Abstracts and the Canadian Institute for Scientific Information. If you know the material is available at a special library, museum or research institute, let us know, and we will refer your request to them. If it is an obscure or scarce item, we'll search extensively, communicating with the author, citing author, publisher or organization until we have exhausted every possibility.
As a faculty member, how can ILL support me?
From specialized international searching to digital delivery from Bowdoin's physical collections, Interlibrary Loan is prepared to help. Using our standard ILL Journal Article or Book Chapter request form, you may request electronic delivery of an article or book chapter in our Library's print or mircroform collections. Beyond CBBcat and MaineCat, to which you have unmediated access, we utilize a diverse array of strategies and resources to provide the articles, books and unusual materials you need as quickly as possible. Perhaps you have a conference paper to present or a publishing deadline. Our resource-sharing networks, commercial providers and accounts for overnight delivery give us considerable flexibility for time-sensitive delivery. Maybe you're searching for a particular imprint, musical score, or translation, but you don't have complete information. We'll search our databases with you, help you identify the item and expedite your request. Your Research Librarian will also work with us on your behalf. Please call or visit our Office to discuss your needs.
As an honors student, how can ILL support me?
Many honors students rely on Interlibrary Loan to acquire the primary source material they need for original research. Whether it's an obscure nineteenth century Indian document, Russian newspapers on microfilm or the original voice recordings of Admiral Peary, we'll put our resources to work for you. We'll offer helpful advice on when to request and how to manage your loans to avoid having materials due all at once. We'll also provide helpful holdings and policy information for other libraries, in case you plan to travel for on-site research. Your Research Librarian will also work with us on your behalf. Please arrange to meet with us early in the academic year to discuss your needs and concerns. Planning ahead and asking for help are the keys to successful acquisition and use of Interlibrary Loan materials. For more information visit Services for Honors & Independent Study Students located under "Information for Students" on the Library Gateway.
If I'm studying away from Bowdoin, can ILL support me?
Yes. In addition to electronic delivery of articles from other libraries, Bowdoin students studying away at another institution have digital access to articles and book chapters in Bowdoin's print and microform collections using our standard ILL Journal Article and Book Chapter request forms. To utilize this service, go to Change User Information in your ILL account, select status "Study Away" and indicate the semester that you are away from Bowdoin. Refer to the Academics Section in Bowdoin's Off Campus Study Pre-Departure Handbook for more information about Study Away policies and procedures. For special or extenuating circumstances requiring digital access to Bowdoin's College Library's physical collection from away, please contact Interlibrary Loan.
How long does it take to get an ILL?
Most books are received in 3-10 days, and most articles are received in 48 hours. Some requests may take longer to fill, due to availability and distance. A few requests may be problematic, because of unverified citations, policy restrictions or the scarcity of the item. Additional delays are likely during holiday periods. Please click Track Outstanding Requests in your Interlibrary Loan Account to see all the requests that have not been filled or cancelled. Status and Status Date reflect the progress of each request. Click View/Edit to display Detailed Information, including Notes that our staff have added during the course of our search. "Request Sent" indicates that we have sent your request to one or more potential suppliers, but have not yet received a response. Please call or visit our Office to inquire about other stages of processing.
If you do not see the item(s) you requested in your Interlibrary Loan Account, check My CBBcat, where you will find your CBB and MaineCat transactions.
Does it cost me anything to get an ILL?
No. The Library absorbs all expenses to borrow or copy the material you need. In the unusual event that we have to purchase an item, such as a dissertation, we may determine that it would be beneficial for Bowdoin College Library to own it. If this happens the item will be cataloged when it arrives, and placed on hold for you at the Main Library Circulation Desk.
Can I cancel or revise my ILL request?
Yes. If you no longer need the material or you located it elsewhere, you may cancel an unprocessed request through Track Outstanding Requests. If you wish to revise your citation, or cancel a request that is in processing, please Email email@example.com. If you'd like to re-request a cancelled request, please click on Cancelled Requests, and Resubmit.
Where do I pick up materials that I have on loan through ILL?
Your Interlibrary Loan books will be kept on hold for you at the Main Library Circulation Desk until they are due. Please present your Bowdoin College ID and sign for each item upon pick-up. Some materials, such as microform and delicate folios, may be restricted to use in the Library only. If the material is particularly rare or fragile, we or the Lender may restrict the item to use under supervision in our Department of Special Collections and Archives. Our notification that a loan has arrived will indicate the conditions of usage. If any restriction makes it difficult to use the material as you planned, please consult with us.
How long can I keep my ILL? May I renew it?
An Interlibrary Loan item is generally due in 4 weeks, although the lending institution may recall it at any time. The loan period is the same throughout the calendar year, regardless of academic breaks. You may request one renewal, if permissible, for an additional 4 weeks. To request a renewal through your Interlibrary Loan Account, click on View/Renew Outstanding Items and Renew Item. You may submit your request up to 14 days before the current due date, but no later than 7 days after that date. Please review your Account regularly and observe the due date on the paper band that accompanies every item.
If you do not see the item(s) you have borrowed listed in your Interlibrary Loan Account, check My CBBcat, where you will find your CBB and MaineCat transactions.
Can I place an ILL item on Reserve?
No. Other libraries will not allow you or us to place an Interlibrary Loan item on Reserve. Please see Reserves under "Services," or feel free to copy portions of your Interlibrary Loan item to place on Reserve.
What if my ILL item is overdue, or I need to keep it beyond its due date?
We will send you a reminder notice 7 days before the item is due. If it is not returned by the due date, we will send you an overdue notice, at which time you may still have an opportunity to renew it. If the item is not returned in 14 days, your Interlibrary Loan Account may be temporarily suspended. Please contact us without delay if you believe there is an error, or you cannot return the item promptly. We will work with you to reach a satisfactory arrangement. A fine of $1.00 per day may be assessed for each day the item is overdue. Students will receive a "Notice of Interlibrary Loan Fine," whereupon the fee is charged to their College Account.
What if my ILL is damaged or lost while in my possession?
If an Interlibrary Loan item is damaged or lost while in your possession, please notify us immediately. Bowdoin College Library is liable for all repair and replacement expenses, and we may pass those charges on to you, your Department or Student Account. The requester, on whose Account the item is borrowed, is responsible for the care and prompt return of an ILL item.
What do I see when I view "Finished" and "Cancelled" requests under History?
Finished Requests include all requests for articles that we delivered, and requests for books that you received and returned. Cancelled Requests include any requests that you cancelled yourself, or requests that we were unable to fill, about which we notified you with a reason or alternative. If you'd like to re-request an item referenced in either category, please click on Clone or Resubmit.
How do academic coordinators and research assistants submit ILL requests on my behalf?
If you wish to have your academic coordinator or research assistant submit ILL requests on your behalf, Interlibrary Loan can create a "Student Assistant" account with a unique username and password specifically for their use. All notifications associated with a "Student Assistant" account will be addressed to you, and you will have access to your requests and full-text articles in the absence of your assistants. You may re-set your "Student Assistant" ILL account password at any time. Please contact Guy Saldanha or Jaime Jones for assistance.
What if I forget my password? (Research assistants and non-Bowdoin users ONLY)
If you forget your password, please click on Forgot Password? at the bottom of the Logon page. A "Password Re-set" Email message will be sent to the individual in whose name the account is established. Faculty, staff and students: please enter the username and password that you use for Webmail and all other Bowdoin College logins.
Whom do I contact if I have questions regarding ILL?
|Interlibrary Loan||Jaime Jones||Guy Saldanha|