Inter-Library Loans FAQ

What are inter-library loans?

If you can’t find an item you need for your study or research, either through GSA library, local libraries, our online resources, or the internet, we may be able to obtain it for you from elsewhere. These are called inter-library loans

Who can request an inter-library loan?

All students, staff and researchers at the Glasgow School of Art can use our inter-library loan service. However external borrowers to the library are excluded

How much will it cost?

There is no charge for an ILL request; however, there are limits on the number of requests you can make. This is because each request costs the Library around £14.00, or more for overseas requests.

How many requests can I place each academic year?

  • Undergraduate students – 5 items
  • Postgraduate students – 20 items
  • Staff – 20 items

For research projects that require large numbers of inter-library loans, Departments are encouraged to include a costed figure when completing their funding bids. Library staff will be happy to advise.

How do I place a request?

Simply fill in our the online form

Many UK theses are now available to download or read online via EThOS. Around 160,000 are available immediately, with a further 240,000 available for scanning through the digitisation-on-demand facility. Read our guide to get started.

What information do you need in order to process my request?

We will need as full a reference as you can provide. This is because incomplete information can lead to delays in processing your request. In general we will need details of:

  • Full title.
  • Edition (if important).
  • Publisher (for books).
  • Date of publication.
  • ISBN or ISSN (where available).
  • Volume, issue number and issue date (for journals).
  • Page numbers.

Are inter-library loan requests ever refused?

Sometimes the library we have asked to borrow an item from can refuse to lend the item. If we cannot source the item from anywhere else then we would be unable to satisfy your request. You will be advised of this.

When will my inter-library loan arrive?

The time it takes for your inter-library loan to arrive can vary. This is because we borrow items from many different libraries. If the item is from the British Library then it usually arrives in a few days.  Other libraries usually take longer

What happens when my book/article arrives?

You will be notified by GSA email when your item has arrived. If it is a journal article, in many cases it will be attached to your email as a digital document. In other cases we ask you to come in to the library to collect your inter-library loan

How long will I be able to borrow my inter-library loan for?

The normal loan period is up to six weeks. However this period is set by the lending institution and can vary. On occasion some items have restrictions. This may mean that the item is available for reference only in GSA Library.

Can I renew my inter-library loan?

You can normally renew your inter-library loan if the issuing library allows this, though you will need to come into the Library to do so. Inter-library loans cannot be renewed online like books from our own collections.Sometimes the lending library will place restrictions on the item, which may mean you cannot renew it. Please ensure that you apply for renewal on or before the date due back.

Returning Items

Please return your inter-library loan to the library issue desk.  They cannot be returned via our self-issue machines

What about copyright?

UK copyright guidelines state that you may receive photocopies of:

  • One chapter or 10% of a book, whichever is the greater
  • One article from an issue of a journal

If you require more than the prescribed limit you should ask to borrow the item instead. The same copyright restrictions apply and you will not be able to make copies over the amount stated above.

Can I photocopy inter-library loans?

You will normally be allowed to photocopy inter-library loans, subject to the copyright limits above. However, the issuing library may place photocopy restrictions on an item, and you will not be able to photocopy in these cases.

Can I access books and journals in other libraries rather than place inter-library loan requests?

If the book or journal article is readily available in the other libraries to which you have access, we would encourage you to access it there. You will be able to get the information you need straight away, without having to wait. You may even be able to borrow the item in question. There are access schemes you can join via the GSA Library, which may give you borrowing rights at other libraries depending on your category of readership. Visit our Other Libraries section of the Library website to see which schemes you can join.

What happens if the item is lost or damaged whilst I have it?

If the item is from the British Library, we will pass on to you the amount charged by the British Library for lost items; currently £133.50 (more will be charged if the item is more expensive to replace). If the item is from another institution you would be charged the replacement cost of the item plus a £15.00 administration charge.

Who should I contact if I have an inter-library loan enquiry?

Contact Nancy Young or telephone +44(0)141 353 4706.