Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery FAQ

Interlibrary Loan

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan is the service of borrowing materials not owned by PSU from other libraries worldwide.  PSU belongs to the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a nonprofit consortium of about 40 colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Summit is a mini-Interlibrary Loan. Because we use a local courier, you get things faster. You can borrow from many academic libraries in our region. Summit is for books and physical materials.

For questions about regional borrowing through Summit, please contact Pamela Ivey:

Pamela Ivey
Resource Sharing Technician
(503) 725-4134

For questions about worldwide borrowing beyond the Summit system, contact Min Cedillo:

Min Cedillo
Resource Sharing Technician
(503) 725-3879

What is Article Delivery?

We scan and deliver PDFs of articles or book chapters from the PSU collection.

Who is eligible to use Interlibrary Loan?

Current PSU faculty, staff and students are eligible; affiliates who live more than 30 miles from campus are eligible for home delivery. More information for Distance Users

What kinds of materials can be requested?

Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery staff will gladly process requests for your educational, curricular, and scholarly research needs. We encourage you to borrow popular films, CDs, or books for leisure reading from local public libraries. Textbooks are not able to be borrowed via Interlibrary Loan.

How long do these services take?

There are a variety of factors which affect how soon an item arrives. These are the average delivery times:
  • Document delivery: 2-3 days
  • Article requested through Interlibrary loan: 3-5 days
  • Book requested through interlibrary loan: 10-14 days, minimum
Some items, such as rare or high demand materials, may take longer.

Is there a limit to the number of requests that can be submitted?

Faculty, staff, and graduate students: There is no set limit to the number of requests that can be submitted, however, the Library may not be able to process large numbers of transactions simultaneously from any one individual, depending upon the Library’s staffing levels.

Undergraduate students: Undergraduate students are limited to 15 active simultaneous requests.  Some exceptions to this limit can be made upon departmental approval.

All users are limited to five active audiovisual media requests at one time.

Are all Interlibrary Loan requests filled?

Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery staff do our best to fulfill requests that you place. However, there is no guarantee that we will be able to obtain all materials requested.

May Interlibrary Loan materials be renewed?

Most loans are eligible for renewals. A request may be submitted anytime up to the due date, which can be done by logging into your Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery account. To request a renewal for materials which are overdue, please contact the Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery staff.

Items marked “no renewal” are not eligible for renewal.

For how long are Interlibrary Loan materials renewed?

As renewal periods are set by the lending library and not by PSU, there is no set period of time for a renewal. When a renewal request is submitted, the due date is automatically extended (generally seven days from the original due date). This is done to allow the lending library time to respond. Interlibrary Loan will send an email detailing the status of the renewal once the lending library has responded.

Are there charges or fines?

Interlibrary Loan does not assess overdue fines. Patrons may incur charges if items are lost or returned damaged or vandalized:
  • Lost/damaged item service charge: $35 (nonrefundable)
  • Lost/damaged item replacement cost: $75 or higher (at least $75 or the actual cost of the lost/damaged item)
More information: Fines & Charges

Where are Interlibrary Loan items picked up?

Loans are held at the Circulation Desk, located on the first floor of the library, and can be picked up using your PSU ID or photo ID. Articles will typically be delivered electronically. If we are unable to supply an electronic copy, the physical copy will also be available for pick up at the Circulation Desk.

How do I return materials borrowed via Interlibrary Loan?

Materials borrowed through PSU Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery should be returned to PSU Library. Please include all paper work that originally came with your item.

You also have the option of returning items through USPS or commercial shipping services:
PSU Library Interlibrary Loan
1875 SW Park Ave.
Portland, OR 97201

May the same item be borrowed more than once?

Items that are required more than once should either be purchased by the patron or suggested for the PSU collection. If the item is not readily available for purchase and is required for research, an exception may be made.

A PSU owned book is checked out. Can it be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan?

Check Summit for an available copy. A hold may also be placed on the PSU owned copy at the Circulation Desk.

May items be borrowed from libraries in the Portland area?

Yes. Interlibrary Loan and Article delivery staff will request items from local libraries. PSU students, staff and faculty may also check out books through the Summit Libraries System.

May textbooks be requested through Interlibrary Loan?

We are unable to request textbooks through Interlibrary Loan.

You can request textbooks from nearby Summit libraries when available. Look for “Request from Summit (about 5 days)” when searching the Library Catalog.

Another option is to suggest that your instructor put the book on Course Reserves.

If the Course Reserves copy is checked out, we will not request it through ILL.

May dissertations be requested through Interlibrary Loan?

If the lending library will allow the dissertation to circulate, we will happily request it for you.

May I borrow music CDs?

You may borrow CDs from Summit or from your local public library. If you are a music major at Portland State, you may request CDs through Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery. Please identify as a music major when you sign up for an Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery account.

Is it possible to request archival materials?

If the owning library will lend the material, we will happily request it for you.

How is contact information updated?

Log into your Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery account, select the “Update Your Information” link located in the left column, and edit the contact information. You must also update your University profile in order to update our main circulation system.

Note that the main circulation system gets information from your University record, and retains only your “” email address. You may use another email address within the ILL system, although the ILL system does not get updated automatically.

Who is authorized to pick up Interlibrary Loan materials?

In addition to the requesting patron, any person listed on the account may pick up Interlibrary Loan materials. Picture ID will be required. Authorized persons may be added or removed from an account by logging into Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery, selecting the “Update Preferences” link located in the left column under “Your Account”, and changing the names in the box provided.

Do you keep my request history?

Yes, we keep data until it is no longer needed to manage library services. We protect your information from unauthorized disclosure. The request history benefits users who can review bibliographic information from previous requests. Please refer to the Library privacy policy for further information. Contact Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery staff if you have concerns.