Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about LaGuardia Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about ILLiad

How can the ILL service help me?

The Interlibrary Loan Service (ILL) supports the instructional and research needs of LaGuardia's faculty, staff and students by borrowing materials that are not owned by the Library. Every effort is made to borrow materials from libraries within the New York City area. When the desired item is not available within this region, ILL will borrow from libraries throughout the United States.

The information and effort the patron puts into the requests can have a great impact on ILL's speed and effectiveness. Therefore, you can expedite your ILL request by familiarizing yourself with the rules and guidelines before submitting any requests. Questions concerning the ILL Service should be directed to Professor Clementine Lewis or the ILL Staff - Library -Room E-101C (718) 482-5428.

What are the hours of Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

  • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

How do I make an ILL request?

Check LaGuardia's holdings first (i.e., CUNY+ and the electronic holdings) to ensure that the library does not own the item.

Include the following information on requests:
  • Books: author, title, publisher, date
  • Periodicals: author and title of article, title of periodical, vol. and issue no., date and pages
  • Source of Reference: provide additional information on the request form about the source

What items may be borrowed via ILL?

Faculty and staff may borrow books and request articles from magazines, journals and newspapers via the Interlibrary Loan Service. Dissertations and recently published books (the current calendar year) may be requested, but they may be difficult and/or expensive to obtain. Students may only request articles from magazines, journals and newspapers. Students are limited to 3 outstanding article requests at one time. Students may use CLICS for book requests. Here is the link to the CUNY Catalog

The items that may not be borrowed include the following:

  • Reference books, textbooks or reserve books that are required reading for classes.
  • Entire volumes or entire issues of magazines, journals and newspapers.(Requests for articles from national newspapers on microfilm will be processed.)
  • Media items such as videos, cassettes, CDs, etc.

The Library does not limit the number of interlibrary loan requests made by LaGuardia faculty and staff. However, the requests for articles must comply with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials (see below).

The National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) has developed a set of guidelines to assist libraries in fulfilling their duties while adhering to copyright law. The CONTU guidelines permit copying during one calendar year of no more than five articles from a single journal title, not owned by the library, dated within the past five years. This means that the Interlibrary Loan Department staff can order a total of only 5 articles from a single journal title dated within the past 5 years. The library must pay royalties due to the publisher for each article in excess of 5. Since the Library does not have a budget to pay these fees, the patron will be asked to pay the fees for the request(s) that exceed the guidelines. Also, if no requests have been made previously by another patron for a journal title, one patron may submit only 3 requests per year for an article from the same journal title without paying fees. For additional requests for the same journal title, patrons will receive an email asking it they are willing to pay the fees. If the patron does not agree to pay, the request(s) will be canceled.

Students are limited to 3 outstanding article requests at one time. Students should use CLICS for book requests, not ILLiad.

What happens when my item is ready to be picked-up?

  • Photocopies: Patrons will receive the photocopies via the mail room or electronic delivery for pdf formats.
  • Books: Patrons are notified by telephone or e-mail that the book is available at the Circulation Desk for pick-up. Books must be picked up immediately by the patron, especially since renewals are not always granted by the lending library.

Note: Interlibrary loans are strictly a library-to-library operation. Items must be requested and renewed by patrons from the LaGuardia Library and not directly from the lending library.

How do I renew my ILL book?

The requested item is available for the patron's use up to the due date that is indicated. Renewals are the prerogative of the lending institution and may or may not be granted.

A request for renewal should be made in ILLiad at least one week prior to the due date. Please bear in mind that some lending institutions will not consider requests for renewal items that are already overdue.

The Interlibrary Loan Office will inform the patron if the renewal has been approved. If the renewal is not approved, the patron will be asked to return the item by the due date.

How do I return my ILL book?

Interlibrary Loan items must be returned to the Circulation Desk in the LaGuardia Library. The patron is responsible for their safe return. The precautions listed below should be followed when returning items:

  • Return interlibrary loan items to the LaGuardia Library only
  • Do not return interlibrary loan items directly to the lending library.

What is the status of my ILL request?

The receipt of materials is not entirely predictable. If the item is located in a library outside of the New York City vicinity, the average time is 1 week. The Interlibrary Loan staff will notify the patron when the requested item has arrived. Also, if the item is not available through the Interlibrary Loan Service, the patron will be notified.

The Interlibrary Loan staff will make at least three attempts to locate a requested item. If additional information is needed for the request, the patron will be notified immediately by telephone or e-mail. After the third attempt, the patron will be notified via a memorandum or an e-mail that the item is not available.

Please Note: All books available within CUNY must be requested through CLICS in the CUNY+ catalog.

What are the charges associated with ILL?

Most books can be obtained at no cost. When the lending institution charges to lend a book or to send photocopies of an article, the interlibrary loan patron may have to pay the fee. The request will not be processed until the patron has been notified and agrees to pay the fee. The lending institutions will determine these fees, not LaGuardia.

Note: The patron will be notified before any charges are processed. To expedite requests, the patron should check "yes" on the request form if he or she is willing to pay for an item.

Faculty, staff and students with overdue interlibrary loan items will be blocked from borrowing from CUNY libraries and from using the Interlibrary Loan Service.

Any item that is lost, stolen, etc. is the responsibility of the patron while it is charged out to him/her. The patron is encumbered and the amount of the item is placed in his/her CUNY+ patron bill account.

Please Note: Interlibrary loan services depend upon the good will and reciprocity of other libraries. Failure to return items on time jeopardizes our reciprocal relationship with the lending library.

If I am an outside organization, who do I contact about ILL?

If you are outside of LaGuardia and wish to obtain photocopies or borrow materials from our general collection, please review the following information:

  • Submit Requests: OCLC-CTX; FAX (718) 609-2011
  • Telephone: (718) 482-5428
  • Contact: Prof. Clementine Lewis, ILL Librarian
    Ms. Sadana Raghunath (Lending)
    Ms. Martha Mitterbauer (Borrowing)
  • Address: ILL/Library, LaGuardia Community College,
    31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101

What is ILLiad?

ILLiad is the electronic system you use to request an item through Interlibrary Loan. The name ILLiad can be thought of as an acronym for InterLibrary Loan internet accessible database.

How is ILLiad better than traditional ILL systems?

  1. You will find it easier to submit your interlibrary loan requests. With ILLiad, you enter your name, address, and other personal information into the system only once, at the time of your first request.
  2. Your request will be handled more rapidly and accurately as problems relating to misinterpretation of hand-written requests are eliminated.
  3. You can get many of your photocopies more quickly through Electronic Delivery.
  4. You can get information about the status of your request through the Web at any time from any location without having to call the ILL Department.
  5. Library personnel are able to serve you better because all data about your request and its handling is stored in a searchable database. We are able to respond quickly to your inquiries about your request. We are also able to gather statistical information about the performance of the libraries that lend to us, enabling us to make better decisions when choosing a lender to supply an item.

Are there any disadvantages to the electronic system?

Some people might find it troublesome to have to log into ILLiad using a username and password. We believe this is less trouble than traditional paper and electronic systems which require you to enter your personal information with each new request.

Why do I need a username and password to use ILLiad?

Your username and password allows us to give you secure access to information about your interlibrary loan requests. We can also enable you to edit your personal information such as your address or phone number.

Your username can be anything you like, such as your name, abbreviations, or an alphanumeric code. Your password also can be anything you like. We recommend that you follow good security practice and choose a password that is different from those you use to access other systems. However, no one but you will know your password, not even the library staff. The password you set is stored in an encrypted file.

What if I forget my password?

In the event that you forget your password, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at 718-482-5428. We can then reset your password allowing you access to ILLiad. Please change your password once you logon to ILLiad.

What Web browser should I use?

You need a Web browser that can handle forms, tables, and preferably Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). We recommend the current versions of either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

Is security a problem if I use a public workstation?

Yes. Web browsers cache information and create a history file on the local workstation. This allows a subsequent user of the workstation to access the system under your name using the browser's Back button to recall a page from the cache, or by finding a page with your personal information in the browser's history file. If you are concerned about the security of your interlibrary loan requests, you can take the following steps:

  • Access ILLiad only from your personal computer or an otherwise secure workstation.
  • Access ILLiad from a public workstation in the Interlibrary Loan office in the library. These computers are supervised by the library staff.
  • When using a public access workstation:
    1. Delete from the history file those pages that contain your personal information.
    2. Exit from the Web browser before you leave the workstation. This prevents the Back button from accessing the pages you were using.

Why don't I see all my older requests when I look at my request history?

From time to time we purge older records from ILLiad. Our policy is to keep requests online for several years order to comply with record keeping requirements of the copyright law.

What is electronic delivery?

Many libraries ship photocopies of articles to us in electronic format. In the past we printed these articles before delivering them to you. Now, through ILLiad, we are able to offer you the option of electronic delivery of these articles in PDF format (Adobe's Portable Document Format). You can read more about electronic delivery on the Electronic Delivery Information page.

Who do I contact if I have problems with or questions about ILLiad?

System Problems or InterLibrary Loan Questions: InterLibrary Loan office at 718-482-5428 or e-mail to
Technical Support Questions: E-mail anytime to

Why does my browser say that you're sending a cookie? What's in it?

The technology that we use sends a Session ID to be stored on your machine. You can refuse this cookie and still be able to use ILLiad without any problems.