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ILL Frequently Asked Questions

Who can request an inter-library loan?

All registered staff and postgraduate students of NUI Galway can apply for an inter-library loan, provided they require it for research and non-commercial purposes.

  • Staff and Research Postgraduates - no restrictions apply.
  • Those who are not staff or students of the University may avail of the Inter-Library Loan Service by becoming an External User of the Library. A charge of €20 will apply per inter-library loan obtained on behalf of an external user.  External users must apply in person to the Collections Office on the Ground Floor of the Library and must show a current Library card.

What can I order?

On your behalf Inter Library Loans can order books, journal articles, theses, book chapters, conference papers, patents, standards, reports and journal articles from libraries in Ireland, the U.K. and the rest of the world. Some pre-1900 material may be available from the British Library.

Do conditions apply?

Yes: some libraries stipulate that any book we order from them must be consulted in our Library only. However many items may be borrowed and consulted outside the Library. The procedures for borrowing in each case will be made clear to users at the point of borrowing. Items which cannot be removed from the Library may be put behind the Customer Services Desk if required for further consultation within the loan period. 

Please note that the terms of lending stipulated by an external library will be strictly enforced, and any attempt to remove restricted items from the Library may result in the withdrawal of future ILL privileges.   

Theses and special collection materials borrowed from an external library may never be removed from the Library, with the exception of theses which come in microfilm format.

Is there a charge?

There is no charge for ILL for registered students and staff of NUI Galway. However, please note that the Library pays to borrow material from other libraries and the cost of each transaction comes to between €6 and €25.  Please therefore only request material that you genuinely need.

External users will be charged €20 for each inter-library loan request.

How quickly will I get my requested item?

It can take up to six weeks from placing your request to the item becoming available.  Readers will be e-mailed at their NUI Galway email address immediately an item is received.  Please keep an eye on your NUI Galway email account if you have placed a request.  You can also monitor the status of your request via your Library Account.

Where do I collect and return ILLs?

Both books and articles may be collected at the Library and IT Service Desk; books should be returned to the Library and IT Service Desk.  Articles do not have to be returned.

How long can I keep the item?

Books and theses are usually loaned for a period of two to four weeks. The lending period is dependent on the lending library and will be advised at the point of collection.  It is essential that you return the items on time, as the Library will be charged fines for late return.  You will be therefore be liable for a fine of €1 per day if you return a book late.

Can I renew items?

Inter-Library Loans cannot be renewed.  We would therefore strongly recommend that users only apply for inter-library loans when they are ready to use the material, so that they can complete their research and return the item within the lending period.

What if I'm late returning the book?

Failure to return inter-library loans books within time may result in substantial fines being charged to the Library or, in extreme cases, partner institutions suspending the facility to our Library.  Accordingly, ILL will apply a charge of €1 per day for the late return of items, which will be charged to your library account. If you are unable to return an item on time, for exceptional circumstances, we would ask you to contact the ILL Office as quickly as possible to explain the difficulty. 

Service Available

ILL Request: 
Online 24 hours a day.

ILL Collection:
From the Library & IT Service Desk
8.30 - 22.00 Mon-Fri
8.30 - 1.00 Sat

(outside term) 

Inter-Library Loans,  

Tel: +353 91492541