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Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

The purpose of Interlibrary Loan is to obtain books and materials for University of Hawaii at Manoa students (including distance education students), faculty, staff, and affiliates when the materials are NOT available at the UH Manoa Libraries.

Who may use ILL?

UH Manoa students (including distance education students), faculty, staff, and affiliates are eligible to use this service.

What may be requested?

Any material such as a book or journal article not held in the UH Manoa Libraries may be requested. While libraries or other suppliers owning the material govern lending policies and restrictions, UH Manoa ILL normally provides two week loans, with one renewal.

Many libraries do not lend reference books, journals (unless on microfilm), media (audiovisual, digital format, etc.), genealogical materials, archival papers, or manuscripts, but there are sometimes exceptions. Many libraries also do not lend dissertations or theses. However, electronic copies of many dissertations from 1997 to the present may be downloaded for free from Dissertations and Theses (formerly Digital Dissertations). Unbound paper copies of pre-1997 dissertations may be purchased through Interlibrary Loan from Dissertations Express for $28.50, our negotiated rate. If there is a problem obtaining the material you have requested, the ILL staff will contact you.

Where do I pick up my ILL loans?

You will receive email notification when your loan is available. The email will specify where to pick up the material. The location will depend upon the nature of the material:

  • Circulating loans will be available for pick up at the Hamilton Library Circulation Counter.
  • "Library-Use Only" loans are often rare or fragile materials that require special handling. They will be placed in the Reading Room on the 5th Floor.
  • Microformats will be placed at the Microform Service Window on the 1st floor of the library and are "Library-Use Only".

You will be asked to present and leave your UH ID card while using "Library-Use Only" loans. For Reading Room Policies and Hours for Microform Service Window Hours.

What do the Loan messages mean in the ILL system and Voyager system?

Checked Out to Customer (ILL Request System)
In the electronic ILL system, you will see this status when you display the "Checked Out Items/Renew Books" option under the View Requests menu. The status means that your loan has arrived, has been processed by the ILL staff, and has been charged to your ILL account. All loans are pre-checked out on the electronic ILL request system once they are received at the ILL office from the lending library. You are notified via email when your loan is available to be picked up from the Hamilton Circulation Counter.

CALL 956-8568 TO RENEW ***TN 123456***... (Voyager Circulation System) Under Voyager "My Account", you will see this entry format under the Item listing for each ILL loan charged out to your account. This unusual format is used to distinguish ILL loans from UH system books.

All ILL loans in Voyager will begin with "CALL 956-8568 TO RENEW ***TN 123456*** THE FIRST FEW WORDS FROM THE TITLE"

  • Call 956-8568 to renew = ILL office phone number
  • TN 123456 = 6-digit ILL Transaction Number used to track requests
  • Title Words = The first few words from the loan's title

All circulating ILL loans are pre-checked out on the Voyager circulation system once they are received at the ILL office from the lending library. You are notified via email when your loan is available to be picked up from the Hamilton Circulation Counter.

How long can I keep loans from other libraries?

When the ILL loan is received by our Hamilton ILL unit, you will receive email notification about its availability at the Circulation Counter. The loan will be held for you for 10 days, after which, the item may be returned to the lender if not picked up.

Upon check-out, the ILL items are loaned out for an initial 28-day loan period. The due date will be stamped on the ILL book band due date and also available for review from your Voyager "My Account". Renewals are available at the discretion of the lending library. You may request to see if a renewal is possible:

(Renewals CANNOT be made via the Voyager system).

How many requests can I make?

Although we do not limit the number of requests, there may be restrictions based on U.S. copyright law. For example, there are restrictions on multiple requests for the same journal article published within the last five years and requests for more than one article from a single journal issue in any given year. According to copyright law, the library must pay royalties due to the publisher for each article in excess of that, and if those royalties are too expensive, a request have to be cancelled.

How do I request an ILL?

(1) Confirm that the material is NOT available at the UH Manoa Libraries (Hamilton and Sinclair) before submitting a request. Search Hawaii Voyager to confirm holdings.
(2) Log into ILL (Make Requests).

  • If a book is held at another UH System library, request it using the Hawaii Voyager Catalog Get This Item request feature.
  • If you wish to obtain a copy of a journal article or book chapter from a title available at another UH System Library, use the Hawaii Voyager Catalog IntraSystem Article Request form (for instructions, see IntraSystem Article Request Guidelines).
  • If you are a UH Manoa student, faculty, or staff NOT residing on the island of Oahu and are currently enrolled in or teaching UH Manoa courses, you may request materials held at UH Manoa Library by using the Hawaii Voyager Catalog using either the Get This Item request feature for UH Manoa books, and the IntraSystem Article Request form (for instructions see IntraSystem Article Request Guidelines). Be sure to select an appropriate pick up location where you live or include your mailing address.
  • For dissertations and theses, request a loan and specify in the "Comments" section whether you want to "Purchase" or "Borrow" the dissertation (see What may be requested?).

How long does it take?

Delivery time depends on the availability of the material, the nature of the material, and the delivery method used by the supplying library. Materials that are not widely owned by other libraries require more time to process. Air mail or other premium delivery service is always requested for loans, but is not always possible. For photocopies, most libraries now use electronic methods to deliver to us. For all requests, BE SURE TO INDICATE ON THE REQUEST FORM the "Not Wanted After Date".
  • Photocopies (journal articles or book chapters, for example): 1-3 days if delivered by FAX, Ariel®, or other electronic method from the supplier to us. 1-2 weeks (average) if delivered by mail from the supplier to us.
  • Loans received by air mail from the U.S. mainland: 1-2 weeks (average); via parcel post or library rate: 4-6 weeks.
  • Materials from foreign libraries usually take longer.
You will be notified by email when your requested items arrive. Loans are available for pick-up at the Hamilton Library Circulation Counter. (Exceptions are "library-use only" materials: books and other printed materials will be placed in the Reading Room on the 5th Floor; microforms will be placed at the Microform Service Window on the 1st floor of the library.) Photocopies are usually available electronically on the web.

How Much Does It Cost?

  • Loans and photocopy requests are provided at no charge to UH Manoa affiliated borrowers.
    Requesters funded by potential grants: please help the library by budgeting ILL needs into your grant proposal.
  • Dissertations purchased from Dissertations Express are $28.50 each.
  • See fee schedule for individuals and organizations that are not affiliated with UH.

What are the fines for late returns or lost books?

Effective January 11, 2010, to facilitate the prompt return of ILL loan materials, fees and fines are assessed at the following rates, per item:

  • Overdues: $.25 per day
  • Recalls: $.50 per day
  • Fines are assessed every day including weekends and holidays
  • An item is considered lost when the fine reaches $10
  • Lost charges include the replacement cost of an item, a $10 NON-REFUNDABLE processing fees, plus any processing fees imposed by the lending library, and accumulated overdue fines.

We appreciate your returning ILL loans in a timely manner. This allows us to keep a good borrowing relationship with the lending libraries. Overdue and lost books may result in the inability to borrow books from the lender in the future. Having our borrowing privileges suspended by other libraries affects everyone who uses ILL, including your fellow students, faculty, and staff. Mahalo for your consideration.

What do all of the statuses mean when I view my pending requests?

Our ILL system provides you with up-to-date information on the status of your requests. What you see in your Pending Requests listing (login to the system) are the statuses assigned by our ILL management software. Here are the most commonly seen statuses and what they mean:

  • Awaiting ALA Processing
    Your request cannot be sent for fulfillment via ILL's customary channels or electronically. ILL staff will send a special request, called an ALA Request (American Library Association) to a potential lender.
  • Awaiting ISL Borrowing Processing
    Your request for an IntraSystem Loan (ISL) has been received by ISL. It is now ready to be requested from another UH campus library by ISL staff.
  • Awaiting Customer Contact
    Your requested loan has arrived and has been processed by the ILL staff, but you have not yet been informed that the item has arrived.
  • Awaiting Denied Renewal Processing
    The lender has said "no" to our request for a renewal. ILL staff is awaiting return or recall of the item from you so that ILL can return it to the lender.
  • Awaiting Post Receipt Processing
    Your requested loan has arrived, but has not yet been processed (checked out, book band generated, etc.) by the ILL staff.
  • Awaiting Recalled Processing
    The lender has notified ILL that a book checked out to you has been recalled. The ILL system is currently awaiting recall from you by the ILL staff and return processing.
  • Awaiting Request Processing
    Your request has been received by ILL. It is now ready to be requested from potential lenders by ILL staff.
  • Awaiting User Verification
    Your request for IntraSystem Loan (ISL) has been downloaded from Voyager and must be matched to your username.
  • Awaiting Unfilled/Conditional Processing
    A potential lender or lenders have notified ILL that they cannot fill your request (Unfilled) or they are requesting that we provide additional information, promise to pay, or promise to conditions (Conditional). It is currently awaiting a decision by the ILL staff as to how next to proceed.
  • Cancelled By Customer
    You have cancelled this request and no longer require the item.
  • Cancelled By ILL Staff
    Your request has been cancelled by the ILL staff and you have been notified of the cancellation.
  • Checked Out to Customer
    Your loan has arrived, has been processed by the ILL staff, and has been checked out to you.
  • Checking Shelves
    A search of Hawaii Voyager and/or UH Manoa Library's Electronic Resources has resulted in the possibility that a requested item is available at UH Manoa Libraries. ILL staff will determine if the requested item is indeed available by checking the shelves.
  • Customer Notified via E-Mail
    You have been notified that your loan is available for pick up.
  • Delivered to Web
    Your requested photocopy has been posted to the web for viewing/printing.
  • In Print Queue
    Your requested item has arrived and has been partially processed by the ILL staff. It is currently awaiting the printing of its book band.
  • Incorrect Item Received and Returned
    Your requested item was received from the lender, but it does not match the item that was requested. It has been returned to the lender and the originally requested item will be re-requested.
  • Received Partial/Incorrect Item
    Your requested item was received, but it does not match the item that was requested or is incomplete. The ILL staff will determine the quickest means to correct this.
  • Request Sent
    Your request has been sent to potential lenders for fulfillment.

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

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

What are electronic documents?

When ILL requests for photocopies (journal articles or book chapters, for example) are received from a supplier, ILL staff "posts" them electronically in PDF format to the web.

Will all my documents be delivered electronically?

Most but not all. There are various reasons why documents sometimes can not be supplied electronically. You will be notified by email when your document(s) have been posted in PDF format or are ready for pick up at the Hamilton Library Business Office. Please check our hours or phone (808) 956-7103 for a recorded message providing Business Office hours.

Is there be a charge for electronic documents?

There is no charge for viewing an electronic document. In the Library there is a per page printing charge. A UH Manoa Library copy/print debit card is required to print from our computers. The card can be purchased whenever the building is open.

How do I view PDF documents?

PDF documents can be viewed using a current web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer with the Adobe Acrobat Reader® plug-in. If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader® installed on your computer,

Adobe Reader Get it here

How long will my document be available for me to download?

Your Electronic Documents remain on the web for thirty days from the date you are notified of their availability.

I accidentally deleted one of my articles. Can I get it back?

Email us at and we will attempt to retrieve it for you.

Will this work for UH Manoa students enrolled in distance education programs?

Yes. Your login for ILL provides you with electronic delivery services.

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

The Active Server Pages technology that we use to provide live reporting for the web sends a Session ID to be stored on your machine. You can refuse this cookie and still be able to use the ILL web pages without any problems.

Why must I keep logging back in?

Your privacy and computer security is important to us. We minimize the potential for problems by timing out your connection frequently.

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

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