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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, most any item held by a library in the U.S. may be requested. However, some items may be more difficult to obtain than others and may 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. A PDF of your requested material will be sent directly to your MSUM email account.


We are now requesting material from libraries outside the Tri-State area. Local loans requests are taking anywhere from 5-7 working days to arrive. However, items that are coming from outside of MN or ND, may take up to 14 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 50 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

Mailing Address:
LLLibrary/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 sometimes 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. Interlibrary Loan will NOT request Textbooks. You may request supplementary reading materials.
  • 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. EBooks are just beginning to be available from ILL on a very limited basis. Generally, if you request an EBook, ILL will request a PHYSICAL copy of the item for your use. 


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 a book(s) you request, we will change your ILL request to a Hold Request and pull the item(s) for you. You will receive an email letting you know when the item is available for pickup. Contactless Pickup will continue until school starts on Aug 24th.

If the library owns a journal title that contains an article you request, we will pull the journal and make the copy for you. It will be sent as a PDF to your email address. This service will continue throughout the Fall Semester.

If an article you request is found in an online journal, you will be directed to the Library's "Journals A-Z list".

Finally, 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 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.