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Inter-Library Loans

Inter-Library Loan Online Requesting Facility

Click here to access the online requesting facility.

Current Service Availability

During the current restrictions, requests may take longer than usual and Library staff will keep you informed of any significant delay. We may not be able to source print books during this time, but may be able to get a chapter scanned for you.

Updated September 2021

What is the Inter-Library Loan Service?


Inter-Library Loans (ILL) is a service which allows the library to get material for people which is not available in any Queen's Library branch.

The service is open to all staff and students at Queen's University. 

Staff and Postgraduate Research students can apply for an ILL using the online requesting facility.

During current restrictions Postgraduate Taught and Undergraduate students will be able to use the online article request form.

Making a Request

Staff and Research Students

Requests can be placed online for material not held by the Library. You can do this in two ways:

Articles are normally emailed to you. You will need to register in order to access them.

Requests cannot be taken by telephone or email.

Taught Postgraduate Students (Masters), Undergraduates and Teaching Assistants (January 2021)

If the book or article you require is not available in the Library, during current restrictions, Postgraduate Taught and Undergraduate students will be able to use the online article request form.

HSC MembersAFBI Members

How Long Will a Request Take?


Once received by the Library, an ILL request will be actioned within 3 working days.

Straightforward Inter-Library Loan requests may take only 2-3 working days to receive, whereas more obscure items may take several months. The majority of requests take no more than a couple of weeks, however, it is not possible to guarantee delivery within a specific time.

It is advisable not to submit requests for loans prior to leaving Queen’s on extended leave or field work, as the material may arrive while you are away.

Receiving ILL Items

Articles delivered via email

If the British Library is able to supply your article, a link to the pdf document is delivered by email (via DRM Lite)

In order to access your first DRM Lite article, you will need to register with the British Library On Demand Service.

You will receive an email from Sender: with an active link to a document download page. Click on this link and follow the instructions to download your document.

Access to this link will cease after 30 days. Please note that ILL staff are also unable to recover the article for you after the 30 day limit. If you download and save the document you will have access to it for 3 years from the date of supply.

Click here for a DRM Lite Problem Solving Guide.

Loanable items 

You will receive an email notifying you to collect the item(s) from your Branch Library.

Restrictions may be placed by the lending library requiring that some material be used in the library only.

Items for loan can usually be borrowed for 4 weeks. The return date will be written on a slip inserted in the book. Inter-library loans should be returned to the library from which they were issued.


It may be possible to extend the loan period of an item, providing it is not in demand. Please contact your library. 

Lost Items

All borrowers will be contacted about overdue and in demand Inter-Library Loan items.

The British Library charges a minimum of £185.50 for the replacement of items which are long overdue or damaged or lost. This cost is charged to the borrower responsible and includes a non-refundable administrative charge of £92.75 plus VAT. This charge is subject to an annual rise in August.

Items in demand which are not returned promptly will also incur the above charges.