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SUNY Empire Library: How to Use Interlibrary Loan (video)

A list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers is available further down this page.

What is interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary loan is a service that allows members of one library to borrow journal articles, book chapters, and other digital materials from other libraries.

Eligibility to use interlibrary loan:

  • Do you have a SUNY Empire login and password? Then YES!

Available through interlibrary loan:

  • book chapters
  • journal, magazine and newspaper articles
  • New! theses and dissertations

Not available through interlibrary loan:

  • any physical materials, such as print books, microfilm/microfiche, and films (DVDs, Blu-Ray, etc).
  • textbooks
  • entire books. 
  • rare or archival materials.  Please reach out to us at if you need help with archival research.

Request an item:

  1. First, check to see if the item you want is available through the SUNY Empire Library using OneSearch
  2. If you haven't registered already, click "Register;" if you already are registered, skip to step 4.
  3. Complete your information and submit the form.
  4. Go back and click the log-in link.
  5. Enter the citation information for the item you want and submit the form.
  6. Watch for notification emails.


Requesting Items

What is interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary Loan is a service that allows all SUNY Empire students, staff and faculty to request digital materials such as articles and chapters.

How can I ensure that my request is processed as quickly as possible?

First confirm that the materials you are requesting are not already available to you through our Library's own collections. Give as much information as possible about the materials you are requesting, including:

  • Book chapters:
    • author's full name
    • full title
    • publication date
    • edition, if applicable
  • Articles:
    • author's full name
    • full title of journal
    • full title of article
    • publication date
    • volume and issue
    • page numbers 
  • Dissertations or theses:
    • author's full name
    • full title of dissertation
    • institution (university or college)
    • publication date

Use of OneSearch to find the the citation is the easiest way to get all this information automatically populated into the request form.

Is there a charge or fee for interlibrary loan?

There are no charges for using Interlibrary Loan.

Is there a limit or quota on how much I can use interlibrary loan?

Not anymore.

I used to be able to request books? Why can't I?

The ILL book delivery program ended several years ago for a variety of reasons. You can still request one chapter from a book, which will be delivered electronically.  And, you can also request that the library purchase an ebook for you.

You can also go to any SUNY or CUNY library and use your SUNY Empire photo ID to borrow books. Please call ahead to inquire about parking options and visitor policies.

Technical and Access Issues

How do I register to use ILL/for an ILL account?

Click the Login link at the top of the Interlibrary Loan page. It will take you to the SUNY Empire login screen. If it is your first time accessing Interlibrary Loan, you'll arrive at the New User Registration, and then you'll be able to make electronic requests right away.
Your account is directly tied to your SUNY Empire login - you cannot create a second or separate account.

What if I forget my password?

If you forget your password, then you will need to contact ITS, because it is the password for your institutional login.

Getting Requested Items

How will I be notified?

You must submit a valid email address to receive notification of the status of your request. You also will receive notifications of cancellations or updates to your request via email. 

Why was my request was cancelled?

Requests may be cancelled for a number of reasons such as cost or that no library can supply the material.  The cancellation message will contain details about why we canceled  the request.

How will I receive my materials?

Journal articles and some book chapters will be made available to you to read and download through the ILL system.  You will get a link in the notification email where you can download the item.

How long can I keep the materials?

Download and save your files and you may keep them forever. 

How do I get my materials when they arrive?

  1. Log in to the library's ILL site.
  2. From the main menu, click Electronically Received Articles under View Requests. A list will be displayed containing all of the items that you have waiting to be viewed or downloaded. 

What is electronic delivery?

Through ILLiad, you will receive articles and book chapters as PDF files, and you can download them. You can read more about electronic delivery on ILLiad's electronic delivery information page. 

What if I have questions about electronic delivery?

Please fill out the Ask a Librarian Form

My materials haven't arrived. What do I do?

Has it been less than 48 hours? If so, then don't worry because they may have been hard to find, so they are still being processed.

You can fill out the Ask a Librarian Form about missing items.



How do I update my name, address, email address or phone number?

  1. Log in via Interlibrary Loan.
  2. In the left column under Tools, click Change Personal Information.
  3. Modify your information as needed and click Submit Information. The changes will take effect immediately.

If you have moved, you must change your address in the system or you will not receive materials that are shipped to you.

Whom do I contact if I have problems with, or questions about, ILLiad?

Please fill out the Ask a Librarian Form.