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Interlibrary Loan FAQ

What is interlibrary loan (ILL)?

  • Interlibrary loan (ILL) is the Portland Community College (PCC) Library’s web-based interlibrary loan service.
  • ILL allows users to place and track requests for journal articles, books, and other types of materials that are not available at the PCC Library.

Who can use ILL?

  • PCC faculty, staff or currently enrolled students are eligible.
  • Because ILL is expensive, PCC requests that faculty working on degrees at other institutions use the loan system provided by that institution. [Tip: Access our Summit partner holdings through the PCC Library search. Librarians will be happy to provide advice about this.]
  • Community library users, retirees, and alumni are not eligible.

How do I get started using ILL?

  • First-time users must register for an interlibrary loan account.
  • Go to interlibrary loan and select “First-time user registration for interlibrary loan”. This section will explain the registration process.
  • To register, select the “Login to your Interlibrary loan account” link at the top of the page.
  • Users will be prompted to begin a new user registration.
  • Enter required data then select the “Submit Information” button.
  • The interlibrary loan account will be linked to the campus that was selected for delivery location.

What is a “pick up location”?

  • A “pick up location” is the PCC campus library where ILL materials will be shipped for pick up.
  • All materials will be delivered to this location.
  • To change a pickup location for a new term, simply update the interlibrary loan account.

How can I update my ILL account?

  • Log on to your interlibrary loan account
  • Under “Tools”, select “Change User Information”
  • Make necessary changes
  • Select the “Submit Information” button.

Are there any limits to what can be borrowed?

  • Textbooks are not available through ILL. Alternatives for obtaining a textbook include:
  • Have the instructor place a copy of the textbook on reserve
  • Check for availability through the PCC Library search
  • There is no limit to the number of requests.
  • If more than five requests are received at the same time, users may be referred to a Reference Librarian for assistance.
  • The PCC Library does not lend or borrow items that have been published in the current year.

What if I am blocked from making requests?

  • A block is placed on your interlibrary loan account if you have overdue items.
  • Returning overdue items will clear the ILL account blocks.

Is there a cost for borrowing materials?

  • Costs are determined by the lending library.
  • Free sources are used when available, but some items are only available from libraries that charge.
  • Costs typically range from $11 to $35.
  • Please indicate the maximum amount you are willing to spend for each item on the ILL form. Setting this price is approval for charges to be automatically applied to your PCC account.
  • If charges are applicable, and if you authorize them on the request form, they will be sent directly to your account in the College business office and you will be responsible for payment.

Copyright cost

  • Per Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Code, libraries may provide one article, per issue, per patron without requesting copyright permission. For the second and subsequent copies, the library must request copyright permission and the borrower will need to pay royalties.
  • No more than five copies of articles from a periodical title in a given calendar year.  Starting with the sixth copy, copyright permission and royalty fees may be required. Book chapters or other small portions of non-periodical works may be received by a library during the entire period of the copyright of the book.  The library will evaluate whether the copies requested would substitute for the purchase of the book.
  • Any copyright charges are the responsibility of the borrower.

How fast will ILL requests be processed?

  • Requests submitted during working hours are processed the same day when possible.
  • Delays may occur if the item is unavailable at one library and the request is sent to another.

How are users informed when ILL items are ready to be picked up?

  • Physical item – Users will receive a notice via MyPCC email indicating that the ILL item has arrived and how long the library will keep it on the hold shelf.
  • Electronic article – Users will receive an email with instructions on how to access the article.

How long will it take to receive ILL requests?

  • Delivery time depends on the location of the lending library.
  • Libraries that process a high volume of ILL requests may be slower in sending materials.
  • Materials from Pacific NW libraries can be expected within two to four days for articles, and up to two weeks for books.
  • Items from libraries in other parts of the country may take longer.
  • If the material is available locally, it may be quicker for users to request the item directly from the lending library and pick it up there.

What does the “status” of a request mean?

  • Awaiting request processing – ILL staff are working on your request.
  • Request sent – The request has been sent to another library.  PCC ILL staff have not yet received the item from the lending library.
  • Awaiting unfilled processing – Your request has been sent to potential lending libraries. However, these libraries have been unable to fill your request. ILL staff are trying to locate additional libraries that may own the material. This process may take several days.
  • Awaiting copyright clearance – This article request must be reviewed to determine if any copyright fees need to be paid. These fees, if required, are paid by the requester.
  • Awaiting charge permission – The requester has been sent an email requesting permission to charge their account for the item. If the requester does not respond to the email within 14 days, the request will be canceled.
  • Canceled by customer – The user requested that this item be canceled.
  • Canceled by interlibrary loan staff – Usually requests are canceled because the requested items are available in the PCC Library, however, there could be other reasons for cancellation (e.g. item is a textbook).
  • Checked out to customer- This status means that the requester checked out a book through ILL. It is important that ILL books be returned by the due date because the lending library may suspend borrowing privileges if PCC Library returns books late. Fines will incur for returning ILL items late.
  • Delivered to web – These articles can be downloaded as PDFs by selecting the “Electronically Received Articles” link from the “View” menu.
  • Request finished – Once an item has been delivered or returned to the lending library, the request goes to “Request Finished” status. These requests are archived under the “View Completed Requests” button.

How long do ILL items check out for?

  • Books are checked out for six weeks.
  • CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes are checked out for six days.

Can ILL items be renewed?

  • Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library.
  • To request an ILL renewal, contact or call 971-722-7190.  If you have more than one item checked out, we will need to know which item you want to renew.
  • ILL staff will attempt to renew the item(s). You will be contacted within the week as to whether your renewal was successful or not.
  • Books typically renew for three weeks. CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes renew for six days

What does recall message mean?

  • A recall means that the item is needed by the lending institution.
  • If an item is recalled, its immediate return is expected or charges will be incurred.

What are the fines for overdue ILL items?

  • Overdue fine: $.50 per day
  • Note: Lost or damaged ILL materials are subject to a replacement cost determined by the library that loaned the ILL item, plus a $15 service charge.

Who should be contacted about problems or questions about ILL?

  • For any questions about ILL, contact or call 971-722-7190.