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FAQ for Local Patrons

~ How long does it take? | How do I know when my material arrives? ~
~ What will it cost? | Patron responsibilities | Why was my ILL request returned? ~

Axe Library observes the provisions and restrictions of the Kansas Interlibrary Loan Code and the National Interlibrary Loan Code (revised 2001) as approved by the American Library Association.

Interlibrary Loan is a privilege extended to the PSU borrowing community. It is designed to open up access to material that is not owned locally, and by nature, we do not ask to borrow material from outside sources if it is owned in the community. Anything found in our online catalog, with the exception of Fort Scott Community College holdings, are not available on ILL. In these cases you must place a hold for the material at the Circulation desk. This includes material that is checked out. Faculty and graduate students have semester checkout, however the due date is shortened if an hold has been placed. Please see a representative at the Circulation desk for more information.

Books take an average of 7 days before they begin to arrive, and would take longer if multiple libraries must be contacted. You are notified by email when they are ready to be picked up. Book loans are usually free of charge. The average loan time is 3 weeks and many libraries will grant one renewal. Please request renewals three to four working days in advance of the due date.

Photocopied articles take an average of four days before they begin to arrive. The majority are obtained free of charge. You may specify in advance if you would be willing to pay a charge if necessary. You are contacted by e-mail with instructions on how to access them as they arrive.

To request books or articles, please go to our Online Interlibrary Loan request forms page.

It is at the discretion of ILL personnel where and how a request will be transmitted. The fastest method is used that should result in a filled request.

The Reference department can assist in locating specific citations on subjects needed, and may suggest several sources that you may not have considered.

How long does it take?

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you ahead of time when your material will be available. Items arrive at different times from different libraries, and in many cases more than one library must be tried before the request is filled.

We can rush one request for you only, looking up holdings and submitting the request by the end of the day. This will not shorten the time it takes for another library to process the request. Most libraries download and print their requests once at the beginning of their work day. Contact us directly for rush service.

Requests are processed the morning after you submit them. After we find owning libraries and send the request, we are no longer working on it and are not in direct contact with the libraries that are. Our work volume does not allow us to contact these individual libraries while the request is in process.

You may check on your requests earlier than the averages listed below (you might request something we own, or we may not be able to obtain some of your material), however the average amount of time to fill a request is:


We try to have books looked up and requested within 24 hours after they are submitted. Books usually take at least one week to arrive if filled by the first library we try. Staffing schedules, weekends, and periods of heavy requests loads may affect this timetable. It will take longer if the book is checked out or not in the correct place on the shelf...multiple libraries will have to be tried. We will notify you at the e-mail address you provide when books arrive.

We do not request materials we own. Place a hold at the Circulation Desk if our material is checked out. Semester checkouts are shortened if a hold is placed on the item.


Photocopies usually take at least four days to be processed and arrive from the first library we try. Staffing, weekends, and periods of heavy request loads may affect this timetable. It will take longer if the journal issue is checked out or not in the correct place on the shelf...multiple libraries will have to be tried.

On arrival, most of your documents are posted as an Adobe PDF file to a web account. An e-mail notice is generated and sent to your official GUS e-mail address. This e-mail contains instructions on how to log in and download your article. For more information on this process, please see our Ariel Automated Document Delivery FAQ. Occasionally, a photocopy is faxed or mailed to us, or is too large for us to scan. A generic notice is sent to your account, asking you to come in and pick up your article.

What you can do to help:

How do I know when my material arrives?


Books and other borrowed items are on loan for a limited amount of time and you are notified as soon as they arrive. We contact you by e-mail, so please supply this information on each request form. You may specify any e-mail account you would like us to use. NOTE: If you filter your e-mail account, please be sure to allow messages to be received from "", or "". Telephone or mail may be used if you do not have an e-mail address.


As each article is posted to your web account, an e-mail is automatically sent to the address you have listed as your official email contact in GUS. If you normally use another account, you must monitor, or have mail forwarded from this account. Each e-mail reminds you how to access our Ariel Login Page and provides your PIN and other login instructions.

You do not have to receive an e-mail in order to view your articles. You may bookmark the login page and access your account at any time.

Your articles, stored in an Adobe Acrobat format, are available for you to access up to ten times, or remain in your account for 21 days, whichever comes first. We do NOT preview your articles as they are uploaded, so we recommend that you view each page of your documents as soon as possible. Look for missing or unreadable pages and contact us immediately if there are any problems. It would be a good idea to print or save your files to disk right away.

What is it going to cost?

The majority of our requests are filled at no cost by Kansas libraries, and there are many out of state libraries that do not charge. You must specify on each request form whether you wish to obtain the item free, or if you would be willing to pay if necessary.

If we must obtain your item from a library that charges for Interlibrary Loans, there will be an $8.00 charge for each filled item. Our $8.00 fee is an average of the charges we are likely to incur. If the lending library charges $50.00 or more (usually major research libraries or document suppliers), you will be asked to assume the actual cost of the transaction.

Patron responsibilities

Material borrowed on Interlibrary Loan is not the property of the Axe Library or PSU and is not subject to any guidelines or conditions we extend to our patrons.

Each lending library sets the conditions concerning the loan of its property. You must abide by those conditions, but options may be available. Books may be requested from a second library if necessary, and if requested early enough, a replacement copy might arrive before the first loan must be returned.

Items should be returned on or before the due date. Libraries generally lend materials for two or three weeks and many libraries will grant one renewal. We will not ask a library to renew items that are already overdue.

Lending libraries have the right to recall their property at any time, regardless of the original due date. This is a service we have extended to PSU patrons when they needed Axe material that was out on Loan. If this happens, the due dated is shortened, you are contacted and have three working days to return the material. This only happens occasionally, but it can happen.

We will be happy to obtain the material from a second library. When contacted, you should request another copy on WorldCat. The recalled material must be returned by the new due date, even if the replacement material has not arrive.

You are responsible for the item while it is here. The Library reserves the right to suspend ILL privileges to anyone who we feel is abusing these policies. Disregarding the wishes of other libraries jeopardizes OUR borrowing privileges and could eventually hinder the benefit of ILL services for others.

Please pick up the material you request.

Charges for overdue - lost - damaged material:

Overdue charges are: fifty cents per day for the 1st and 2nd day the item is overdue and $1.00 per day on the 3rd and following days. Overdue fees are not waived. You are responsible for any overdue charges until the item is returned or reported lost. Patrons who lose or damage ILL material will be charged a fee as designated by the lending library. Other charges, up to fifty dollars, may also apply.

Payment of fines:

Please pay for overdue items when they are returned. If you do not, you will be invoiced. Unpaid fines will be added to your Circulation records and a hold will be placed on records.

Payment may be made in cash, by check, Gorilla card, or by a departmental charge. If a department charge is to be used, please contact us and provide the charge number for departmental processing.

ILL privileges will be suspended if fines are not paid.

Why was my ILL request returned?

There are a number of reasons why we may be unable to fill your Interlibrary Loan request. Some of the most common are:

  1. We could not obtain your item free. Some libraries charge for their services, and we have an $8.00 flat rate for books or photocopies if we must go to one of these libraries. You pay actual charges if $50.00 or higher.
  2. Your item is not available on ILL. Our Reference department may be able to locate substitute material.
  3. The item is too new. Re-submit these requests in 6-8 weeks.
  4. Your item was requested twice (up to ten libraries) and was not filled. Please re- submit the request in 6-8 weeks or choose another title.
  5. We could not locate the item with the information you provided. If you bring in your source, perhaps there is something in context we might be able to use.
  6. Your request form does not have all of the required information. Consult the ILL or Reference department if you need further assistance.
  7. Axe Library owns this item. Please check Serials Solutions for journal holdings and our online catalog before requesting material on ILL. If you have questions on how to access or navigate any of these databases, please ask for help at the Special Services or Reference department.
  8. The item is owned here but checked out, or owned by one of our consortium libraries. Place a hold for it at the Circulation Desk.
  9. Textbooks assigned for PSU classes are not requested on ILL.
  10. Your request is for a reference item which does not circulate. Our Reference department may be able to locate substitute material.
  11. Copyright restrictions apply:
  12. You currently have unpaid fines at Interlibrary Loan or Circulation. Please re-submit your requests when they have been resolved.

Last Modified: Dec 23, 2009 - 12:08

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