FAQs for Students, Faculty, Staff and Retired Faculty

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What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) allows registered borrowers of the Vaughan Memorial Library to obtain material that is not held in the Library. Materials that can be located and obtained through the ILL service include books, articles from periodicals, microforms, and some circulating theses. Interlibrary loans are arranged through co-operative agreements with other Canadian institutions and special procedures are required.

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Who can borrow through ILL?

Acadia faculty, staff, students, alumni and retired employees and members of the general public who are registered as borrowers with the Vaughan Memorial Library are eligible for ILL service. ILL borrowers must maintain a valid borrower's status. Should a borrower's privileges be temporarily suspended or blocked at the Access Services Desk, they will also be suspended or blocked for ILL service. Borrowing privileges may be suspended or blocked for reasons such as outstanding fines of $10.00 or more and overdue books.

Borrower’s will be required to contact the Access Services Desk staff every year to update their library account as all library accounts expire every September 30th.

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How do I request an ILL?

  1. Check holdings in the Library Catalogue to make sure that the Library does not own the item.
  2. Do not submit requests for items we own. If you wish to borrow an item on loan to another patron, place a hold. Staff members at the Access Desk can help you place a hold if you are having difficulties.
  3. To request an Interlibrary Loan (ILL), go to the library homepage.
  4. Click "Borrow & Return" and select "Interlibrary Loans" from the "From other libraries" column.
  5. Select either Request articles" or "Request books". You will be prompted for your User Login (library bar code on the back of your Acadia ID) and your library password.
  6. Complete the form, click the "copyright certification" and "submit" button.
    Copyright Certification
    A confirmation screen will appear with a request number. Use this number to check the status of your request.
  7. When you have submitted your request close the window or tab.

Note for Off-Campus Distance Education Students ordering ILL material:
Distance education students who live further than 30 km from Wolfville should request ILL materials by e-mailing disted-library@acadiau.ca with the appropriate personal and book or journal information.  Interlibrary loan materials will be shipped to the home address of students.  

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How much does it cost?

Interlibrary loans are free to Acadia students, faculty, staff and retired faculty.

How long does it take?

ILL staff members are committed to locating and ordering requested materials within one working day from receipt of an ILL request. Hard-to-find items may take longer to locate and order. The length of time it takes to receive requested material varies from 1 day to 4 weeks, depending upon several factors. These include the accuracy of the bibliographical information supplied on the request form, the response of the lending library and the method of delivery. Please note that during high volume periods, ILL staff can only process 10 requests per person per day. Borrowers requesting more than 10 items at once should prioritize their requests.

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Can I get theses or dissertations through ILL?

Many libraries restrict the circulation of their bound theses but will often provide a microform copy. Canadian dissertations which are not available for loan and dissertations from other countries may be purchased directly from University Microfilms International. (Order forms are also available from the Reference and Information Desk)

Can I get periodicals or journals through ILL?

Most libraries will not lend entire periodicals, but will supply photocopies of specific articles (subject to copyright regulations). When requesting periodical articles, please copy the information exactly as it appears in the citation including the correct volume, issue, date and pages. It is essential that the periodical title information be copied as found. No attempt should be made to provide full titles as abbreviated periodical titles are standardized (e.g. Arch. Hist. Med.) and attempts to guess at a full title often lead to confusion and delays. It is helpful to include the ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) if you have it, since many periodicals have the same title but ISSNs are unique.

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What can't I get through ILL?

Videos, audio cassettes, CDs, musical scores, films, newspapers, bound journals, kits, rare books, some private institutions' research documents and Psychological and Sociological Association papers are not available through ILL.

How will I know when my ILL has arrived, and where do I pick it up?

You will receive an email from documentdelivery@relaisasin.com. This email will either:

  • have your article attached, or
  • let you know your material is ready for pickup, or
  • let you know that your request could not be filled.


Please ensure that the Library has a current e-mail address, mailing address and telephone number. You can update your information by logging into Acadia Central.

If we are unable to locate the requested material, you will be notified by e-mail. Please do not hesitate to visit your liaison librarian who can suggest alternative materials or perform expanded searches for materials not located on the initial search.

Note for Distance Education students: Distance education students who live further than 30 km from Wolfville will have ILL materials shipped to them from the Library.

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How do I check the status of my requests?

Login to the Interlibrary loan/document delivery system. You will be prompted for your library bar code or student number and your password. You can then:

  • "List Open Requests" for your outstanding requests;
  • "List All Requests" for all of your requests, or
  • "Query Requests" to search for a specific request.


You can also email ILL staff at ill-inquiries@acadiau.ca. If requested material is no longer required, please cancel the request as soon as possible.

How long can I keep ILLs?

All material except for photocopies will have a yellow band around the material indicating certain restrictions and will indicate the due date. Borrowers are requested to abide by these restrictions. "Library Use Only" indicates that the lending library has requested that the material only be used in our library; "no photocopying" indicates that there are copyright restrictions; and "no renewals" indicates that the material must be returned by the due date indicated on the yellow band since the lending library will not permit renewals. The standard loan period is three weeks. Term loans are not available for ILL material. If you require the material longer, please submit another request indicating where you have the current material from.

Can I renew ILLs?

Unless otherwise stated on the yellow band around the item, some libraries will permit one renewal. Renewals must be requested two days before the due date. If fines are accrued before a renewal request is submitted, then the fines remain. Renewal requests are not guaranteed, as ILL staff must contact the lending institution for permission.

To request a renewal, login to the Interlibrary loan/document delivery system. Once logged in choose "Query Requests" from the top menu. Enter your request number in the box at the bottom of the page.

Renew ILL

Renewal forms are also available at the Access Services Desk. A temporary due date of two weeks will be assigned unless you hear otherwise. If the application for renewal is denied, you will be notified by e-mail to return the item within two days. A current email address or phone number must be provided so we can contact you. Failure to provide current contact information may result in overdue fines of $.25 per item per day.

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How do I return ILLs?

It is the responsibility of the borrower to return the borrowed material (complete with the yellow band) to the Access Services Desk by its due date. Fines will be levied for materials returned after the due date.

If material is dropped off at a location other than the Access Services Desk, there may be a delay in its being returned to the ILL staff. It is important to follow the instructions printed on the yellow band placed around the outside cover of the material. If the yellow band is removed, the book may not be identified as an ILL book and therefore not returned properly. You may be responsible for the cost of replacing the lost book. Please remember that the Library borrows material on your behalf. If the material is returned late, the Library can lose its borrowing privileges with the lending institution and the borrower could lose his/her ILL borrowing privileges. If the borrower loses an ILL item, a bill for the replacement cost will be sent to Acadia and forwarded to the borrower. Photocopies of articles acquired through ILL are yours to keep.

Note for Distance Education students:
Distance education students who live further than 30 km from Wolfville can send materials back to the Library using the return shipping label provided.


All borrowed materials are subject to recall by the lending library at any time. If this occurs you will receive an email from ILL staff asking you to return the book within 2 days. If material is not returned within 2 days, your account will be blocked. Library and ILL privileges will be suspended until the recalled material is returned. Fines of $.25 per day will be levied.

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Fines and charges

Overdue materials

Fines of $.25 per day will be levied on overdue materials. Library and ILL privileges will be suspended until the material is returned. If three overdue notices have been sent to the patron and the material is not returned, the lending library assumes that the material is lost and will issue a replacement cost invoice. Costs may range anywhere from $50.00 to $300.00 depending on the replacement fee charged by the lending library.

Charges for students will be transferred to their student account.

All other patron charges will remain on the borrower’s library account until paid.

Lost or damaged items

If replacement of the material is necessary, the borrower will be charged the cost of replacement. Replacement will be considered necessary for any item that is lost or that requires more than minimal repair. Costs may range anywhere from $50.00 to $300.00 depending on the replacement fee charged by the lending library.

If repair of the material is necessary, the borrower will be charged the cost of repairs issued by the lending library.