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How and When to Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

This is for accessing books and journal articles not available directly through the University of Akron or OhioLINK.

When to Use Interlibrary Loan

Requesting Articles

Searching through University Library's many databases can provide users with many options. Many articles will provide a link to full-text options directly in the results. However, sometimes a full-text option is unavailable to University of Akron users. When this is the case, you may request your article through Interlibrary Loans (ILL). Most article requests are resolved completely online. Get the materials you need without ever leaving the house! 

Requesting Hard to Find Materials

Sometimes, it can be difficult to find materials that do not quite fit in the "book" or "article" category. Conference proceedings, musical scores, theses or dissertations...Unique items may be difficult to find, but Interlibrary Loan services will try its best to obtain them. 
Please note: as of May 2020, University Libraries will no longer be able to purchase unique items that could not be obtained through library sharing. We will still be happy to search, but please keep in mind that we have no further recourse in obtaining a unique item if the owning libraries decline. 

Requesting Books

When a book cannot be found through University Library catalogs, or through OhioLINK or Search Ohio, you may use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request a book from around the world. Making a request through ILL will prompt a search for shareable texts from libraries around the world. 

Log in to ILL


You may access the Interlibrary Loan landing page from the ILL tab off the main library web page. 

The ILL landing page provides a basic description of the ILL service, privacy warnings, and login options. The options are between ILL and the law library's ILL. Since the law library's services are exclusively for law students, most users will want to access ILL through the first button. 


Make sure to clear your browser's history and cookies before logging on. Or, attempt to log on using your browser's privacy mode.

Request through Interlibrary Loan

If you search broadly for articles while researching your topic, you may discover articles that do not have a PDF available for download. Clicking on the link for Request through Interlibrary Loan should re-direct you so that you can log on to ILL and make a request. Creating an article request through a database record should auto-populate the fields, so that you don't need to fill out the article information on your own. 

While searching through University Library's databases, keep an eye out for this button to keep your search going after you think you've reached a dead end. 

Request Forum

Most of the information provided in the ILL request forum is necessary to help the ILL specialists locate and retrieve your article.

Some questions, such as "Where did you learn about this item?" or "Reasons for your request" are used for statistics, and are purely optional. 


Requested Articles

Requested journal articles are scanned by another library and posted to your ILL account.  You will receive an e-mail notifying you when this happens.  You may review your ILL requests from your ILL account: 

Be sure to print and/or save any ILL articles.  For copyright reasons, links to ILL articles only last 30 days. 

Requested journal articles arrive in 2-3 business days, but books take longer, as they cannot be scanned and posted in your account. Again, you will receive an e-mail when the book arrives at the library.  You can pick books up at the Circulation Desk at the Library, the same place you go to check out books.

ILL Status Requests

Not Reviewed

No action has yet been taken on your ILL request. If you think this status is in error, please contact to check in.


Your ILL request has been sent out to sharing libraries. Sharing libraries will review their collections to see if the requested material can be shared.

Available to view

Your article request has been successfully completely. At this point, you should have a PDF ready to download. If no PDF is available, please contact to check on the error. 

In Transit

Your book request has been successfully sent in delivery to Bierce Library.

Received/In Use

Your book has arrived at Bierce Library, and it is ready for pickup. Review your pickup options, and whether your book request is to be picked up at the Bierce Library or picked up for curbside. If you've requested emergency home delivery, then confirm that you provided the correct address. ILL requests sent through home delivery should arrive through USPS. 

More information about Received/In Use materials may be tracked through your Bierce Library account. Please call 330-972-5355 if you have questions about the status of your item. 


Your request has processed through the initial string of sharing libraries, and none were either able or willing to provide your request. If the request is popular enough to be owned by more than 20 libraries, then it will be reviewed by ILL specialists for another string of requests. If there are only a few owning libraries, then the request may be canceled. 
Unfilled requests are typically reviewed once per week. 


Your request has passed the need by date without being completed or canceled. If you have an expired request that you are still interested in, please contact to see what actions may be taken. 


Your request has either been officially completed or canceled. All cancellation notices are sent with a brief explanation for why this request could not be fulfilled. 
Most users will not see closed accounts on their record, but if you would like more information about a request that you believe went unfulfilled in error, please contact to see what actions may be taken.