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The Inter-Library Loans Service provides postgraduate research students, researchers and academic staff with access to information resources not held by our Library.

Who may Borrow?

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 may be borrowed?

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.

How to place an order

Your first step is to search our Library Catalogue to ensure that we do not have the book, journal article or other material you require for your research. Once you are sure that the library does not hold the material you need, or a suitable alternative, you can request an inter-library loan. We will then borrow the material you need from another library on your behalf.

To proceed with your ILL request please click here to open the request form directly.

In some cases the request form will alert you if we have the item in stock, but not in every case. If you are sure the item is not available, then scroll down to ‘additional services’ on the form and click ‘request’. At this point you will have to option to add a comment, or special instruction to the ILL team if you wish. Then click ‘request’ again.

Allow up to six weeks for the item you have requested to arrive.

Charges for ILL

Unlike many other institutions, Inter Library Loans is a free service at the James Hardiman Library. An ILL request can cost the library up to €20 to fulfil.

Due to the relatively high incidence of patrons failing to collect ILL requests for books and journals, the library introduced a fines system for non-collections beginning the week of March 2nd, 2020.

A fine of €20 for a book and €10 for a journal reprint will be applied against a patron’s account if they fail to collect a request within 2 weeks of the email notification issuing. We would therefore request that patrons only proceed with ILL requests if they are in a position to collect them

Borrowing, Returns and Renewals

It can take up to six weeks from placing your request to the item becoming available.

On arrival 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.

Patrons will receive a notification via email when their items are ready for collection. 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.

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.

Always be aware that books borrowed under inter-library loan are not the property of the Library and are loaned to us by partner institutions subject to conditions. The ILL system works on trust and in order to maintain a good relationship with our partners we would ask you to respect the rules.

Inter-Library Loans cannot be renewed, so before requesting an item from another library please ensure that you will have time within the loan period to read the item before it's sent back.

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. On this basis patrons must return items on or before the return date as displayed on the lending sleeve.

What Conditions apply to borrowers?

Many items may be borrowed and consulted outside the Library. However some Libraries stipulate that any book we order from them must be consulted in our Library only.

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.

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. 

Information for Other Libraries

Other libraries who would like to borrow material from us may do so by e-mailing us their order, citing their British Library billing account number if they have one. We accept IFLA vouchers for international requests from libraries that do not have a British Library billing account. If the item you request is available for loan, you should receive it within a few weeks of ordering.

Please note that many of our journal holdings are online only. Our ability to provide articles by inter-library loan from these journals will be dependent on our license terms.

ILL Collection:

Library & IT Service Desk
8.30 - 22.00 Mon-Fri
8.30 - 13.00 Sat

(outside term)