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Inter-Library Loans





Request information from other libraries.

Submit an Inter-Library Loan Request

Our Inter-Library Loans service will help you to obtain information that is not available in print or online from our libraries. You can use it to request.

  • Books for loan
  • One copy of a chapter from a single book
  • One copy of an article from a journal issue
  • Music sets

Take a look at the answers to the questions below for more information about our Inter-Library Loans service.

How do I submit an Inter-Library Loan request?

There are two ways to submit an Inter-Library Loan request:

  • Inter-Library Loan request form
  • Searching beyond our library collections

Sign in to Library Search with your BCU email address and password to submit an Inter-Library Loan request.

Inter-Library Loan request form

Complete our online Inter-Library Loan request form as fully as possible. Some fields are mandatory to enable us to process your request quickly. If you are unsure about any of the information needed, use our live chat to ask for help.

  1. Choose whether you want to request a book or an article.
  2. For book chapters choose book and tick the checkbox stating you only require a specific chapter or pages.
  3. For other formats, choose the closest match and use the form's comment field to specify what you need. We will contact you if we need to confirm any details.
  4. For books or other items supplied as a physical item, please ensure you have chosen the correct pickup location.
  5. Submit the form and read the copyright terms. If you agree and wish to continue, click to agree to the terms and send your request.

Submit an Inter-Library Loan Request

Searching beyond our library collections

Tick the items beyond your library's collections feature of library search and search for an item.

For items found but not available online, click on check for available services followed by the how to get it link for inter-library loan to retrieve a pre-filled Inter-Library Loan request form. If you are unsure about any of the information needed, use our live chat to ask for help.

  1. Check the details are correct and complete any missing mandatory fields.
  2. For books or other items supplied as a physical item, please ensure you have chosen the correct pickup location.
  3. Submit the form and read the copyright terms. If you agree and wish to continue, click to agree to the terms and send your request.

Library Search

How long does it take for an Inter-Library Loan to arrive?

This depends on the item you request, so please plan ahead in case of delays, but our usual supply times are:

Electronic book chapters, journal articles and other documents Up to one week
Print books One to two weeks

How much do Inter-Library Loan requests cost?

There is no cost to pay when submitting Inter-Library Loan requests.

If you have borrowed an item supplied to us by the British Library, a renewal fee will apply.
The cost for this service is £5.45 per renewal.

The fee will also apply if you return an item late, and the British Library charge us for renewal anyway.

You are liable for the replacement cost charged by the lending library of any items damaged or lost while on loan to you, so please look after your Inter-Library Loans.

Fines for overdue loans have not been charged during the COVID-19 pandemic. If they are reintroduced we will update this page.

How will I receive my Inter-Library Loan request?


For copies of book chapters, journal articles and other documents

We can usually supply an electronic copy sent to your BCU email address, either as a link for download or as an attachment.

Links for download may have special instructions to access the file, or may have limits on the number of times you can access them, so please contact us if you need any help with this.

You may retain one copy of the document for as long as you need to, but please:

  • do not make further copies of the document
  • do not redistribute the document
For book and other physical item loans

You will receive a notification when your item is ready to collect from your chosen pickup location. There may be additional instructions in this notification, for example, if you need to book a time slot for collection to enable social distancing. You will then need to attend site during library staffed hours to collect the item.

If you made an error when choosing a pickup location, please email our Inter-Library Loans team and we will relocate it to your preferred collection site, assuming there is still enough time left for you to collect it.

There may be times that your requested item is unavailable for Inter-Library Loan. We will let you know if this happens.

How long can I keep an Inter-Library Loan

The length of the loan varies depending on where we were able to obtain it from, but typically ranges between one to six weeks.

You should attempt to use an Inter-Library Loan within the original loan period, but if you need it for longer we may be able to renew items for you.

Renewing an Inter-Library Loan

Please request a renewal by the original return by date at the latest by emailing our Inter-Library Loans team. If a renewal fee is charged we will pass this on to you, including when a renewal fee is incurred before we have been able to post back and item returned late.

If we are unable to renew the item you should return it by the original due date.

You can return your loans by using the book return facilities at any of our site libraries, or by handing them in to one of our Library Help Desks during library staffed hours.

How can I contact the Inter-Library Loans team?

If you need to contact the Inter-Library Loans team you can contact us from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm by telephone or email at:

0121 331 5295

ILL.Office@bcu.ac.uk

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We'd love to hear from you, whether you've got a question about the information on this page or want to get in touch about something else.

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