Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Policy

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

  • An interlibrary loan (ILL) is a transaction in which one library lends books or supplies photocopies to other libraries.
  • The Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library uses this method to try to borrow health related and other materials not available in the Health Sciences Library from a national interlibrary loan lending network.
  • Before submitting an ILL request please search "Sterling" the Library's online catalog to determine whether or not materials are held in our collection. If the item is checked out please contact the Circulation Department to see if this item maybe recalled.

Who can request interlibrary loans?

  • The Health Sciences Library's Interlibrary Loan service can be used by current Howard University Health Sciences, faculty, students and staff.
  • All others should contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at (202) 806-5716 in Founders Library.

How to submit requests

  • The quickest way to make an interlibrary loan request is to fill out the electronic ILL form available on the library's Web page.
  • You may also fill out the ILL request form in the Health Sciences Library, available in the ILL Department or Reference Department. Turn in the completed form to the ILL Department or Reference Department for processing. Requests by printed form maybe submitted between the hours of 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday.

Please fill out the ILL form with as much information as possible to speed up the processing of your request.

  • Give the cite for the information you request exactly as it is found
  • Fill in the source of the information indicating where you found the reference.

Due dates, returns and renewal

  • All materials borrowed must be returned to the ILL Department on or before its due date. The due date is clearly marked on the item borrowed.
  • Please be advised that the lending library sets the terms and conditions of the ILL and other restrictions may apply. Extension of the loan period must be arranged at least one week before the due date with the interlibrary loan technician.
  • Failure to comply with these terms and conditions may result in the suspension or termination of the Health Sciences Library borrowing privileges. Because this noncompliance jeopardizes ILL reciprocal arrangements for both you and your colleagues, please try and be diligent in returning materials by the due date.

Turnaround time for requested materials to arrive
Materials are sent to us by other libraries, via mail, and fax. Materials generally take between 8 to 10 business days to arrive Requesters will be notified by email or telephone upon receipt of their requests, or advised that the item was not obtainable. Please come to the Circulation Desk to pick up your materials.

Interlibrary loan fees
Certain lending libraries require a fee for the privilege of providing Interlibrary Loan.
However, at this point we only charge if an item is needed in an expedited fashion. The rates for this service are as follows. Within one hour $25.00, Urgent same day request $15.00, and materials within five working days $5.00.

Damaged or lost materials
The cost for replacement of lost or damaged materials will be billed to the patron.

Warning concerning copyright restrictions
The copyright law of the Unites States (Title 17, U.S.C.) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or other reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for or later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use", that user may be liable for copyright infringement The Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library reserves the right to refuse to accept a copy order, if in its judgment fulfillment of the request would involve a violation of the Copyright Law.

For further information
Please contact:
Eric O. Felix,
Interlibrary Loan Technician
(202) 884-1507


You may also access the following form:
Interlibrary Loan Digital Request Form