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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.


Currently, we are unable to request books unless they are owned by a library in the F-M area. If NDSU, Concordia or Fargo Public library owns a book you need, please feel free to request it from ILL. 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 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 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. The physical copy will be mailed to you and need to be returned to our library.


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.