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Interlibrary Loan: Home

Instructional guide for Interlibrary Loan.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan is a service available to MSUM faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students that allows them to request books, articles, and media from libraries in Minnesota and beyond.

In general, any item held by a library in the U.S. may be requested. However, some items may be more difficult to get ahold of than others and often take longer to arrive.

Please plan ahead if you need ILL materials. 

How long will my ILL take to arrive?

We will make every attempt to process your request within 48 hours.


Most copies arrive within 24-48 hours after processing by ILL staff. The majority of articles are delivered directly to your email as a PDF. However, occasionally articles arrive on paper and need to be picked up at the Circulation Desk. If you receive 2 email messages about your article, please be sure to note if a PDF was sent via email or if you need to pick up your article in the library.


Most loans take anywhere from 2-5 working days to arrive. However, items that are coming from outside of MN or ND, may take up to 10 days as they are shipped via US Mail.

Please plan ahead when ordering books.

Are there limits on how many things I can request?

Yes. Limits are based on your patron type.

Faculty, Staff, and Students are allowed 20 active requests (holds and interlibrary loan) at a time.

Community Members and Alumni are allowed  20 active requests (holds only) at a time.

Have more questions? Contact Us!

Minnesota State University, Moorhead
Main Library, Room 105

PH: (218)477-2924
     Fax: (218)477-5924

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Thurs: 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.    

Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Mailing Address:
Library/Interlibrary Loan
1104 7th Ave S
Moorhead, MN  56563

OCLC Symbol: MUO

What can I request through ILL?

What types of materials can I request through ILL?

Items that generally ARE available from ILL:

  • Books. Both for research and general reading.
  • Copies. Articles from journals and magazines as well as chapters from books.
  • Media such as DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes.
  • Microfiche and microfilm of dissertations, rare/old books, and newspapers.
  • Dissertations and theses are often available, but can take 7-10 days to arrive. Most newer dissertations are available electronically and can be found on the issuing library's website. In some cases, we can help you to purchase a personal copy if no other options are available.


 Items generally NOT available from ILL:

  • Textbooks. While they are sometimes available, they cannot be kept for an entire semester and, therefore, we advise against borrowing them.
  • Entire volumes or issues of journals.
  • Rare items [very old books, unpublished manuscripts, etc]. These are often not loaned. They are sometimes reproduced on microfiche/film that can be borrowed. Also, if the complete work is not available, you can request that a portion be copied.
  • Ebooks. If you request an Ebook, ILL will obtain a paper copy of the book you need. It will then have to be picked up at Circulation (or mailed to your home for Distance Education students).


If you are looking for a rare or hard-to-find item and are not sure how to request it, please ask our staff for assistance.

What can I expect when I make an ILL request?

Every ILL request is checked first for availability within our holdings. If the MSUM Library owns the item, you will receive an email letting you know where in the library you can find it. If an article you request is found in an online journal, you will be directed to the Library's "Journals A-Z list".

If we don't own it, we will request the item from another library for your use. When your item is available, you will receive email notification. When requesting articles, they will generally be delivered directly to your email as a PDF.

Need Help?

Can't find what you need? Unsure of what you need? Our helpful librarians at the Reference Desk  are available to help you with your research.