Interlibrary Loan

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan is a service that allows members of our library to request and borrow books, articles, and other materials from thousands of participating libraries. Take advantage of this service to borrow anything you need for class or fun that we don't own!

How Does It Work?

Request items from other libraries using your online library account (look below for detailed instructions). When requests arrive, you will be notified by email. When you are finished with the materials, simply return the materials to the Library. If you live out-of-state, or are unable to make it to campus for any reason, refer to the section entitled Interlibrary Loan Information for Out-of-State Students below for more information about how to receive the fastest ILL service in your area.

How Long Does It Take?

Shipping and processing times vary greatly. Books and other physical items often arrive within 5-10 business days, while e-mailed articles are significantly faster (2-3 business days). Please be advised that some items are difficult to obtain, and may involve significantly longer processing and shipping times.

What Does It Cost?

Nearly all requests are free of charge. In very rare instances, other libraries may charge before lending their materials. Each online ILL request form asks whether or not you are willing to pay to borrow the material. Mark yes only if you are willing to pay added fees. We will contact you before finalizing any request that requires payment.

Finding Materials Owned by other ODIN Libraries

Can't find a book you need in our catalog? Try expanding your search by searching for other libraries in the Online Dakota Information Network (ODIN):
  • Access our webpage and search for the item you are looking for in our catalog.
  • If you can't find it, expand your search by selecting All ODIN Libraries in the drop-down menu:
All Libraries
  • Your search results will return items from participating libraries all over North Dakota
Multiple Locations

Borrowing Items from ODIN Libraries

  • Determine which item you would like to borrow, click on the item's title to open the item's record.
  • Click the Request button if you are already logged into your library account.
  • If you have not logged into your library account, you will see Log In instead. Click on this link, and you will see a blue login screen.
Login Screen
  • Provide your Blackboard username and ConnectND password. (If you are a community patron, provide your library card number as your username and last name as your password.)
  • Once you have logged in, a form similar to this one will be displayed with the item information already filled in:
Interlibrary Loan Form
  • Pay attention to the "Tips" section on the right-hand side of the page. This section provides vital information about making requests:
  • Select Desired Media (ex.: Printed – Loan for a book request) from the drop-down menu.
  • Select the Not Needed After date using the calendar pop-out, or by typing in the date (format mm/dd/yy). When making this selection, please keep in mind the 5-10 business day delay for most shipped items.
  • After you have selected Request on the ILL Request Form, you will be prompted to agree to the following copyright statement. Select Agree to submit your ILL request. Selecting Cancel will cancel your request:
Copyright Statement
  • After clicking Accept, your ILL request will be submitted. You can check the status of your request by accessing Your Account. For more information about accessing your account, please click here.

Finding Materials Owned by Barnes County Valley City Public Library

The Valley City Barnes County Public Library (VCBCPL) offers another collection of library materials right here in Valley City! To search their library catalog, please visit their catalog's website at Please note that all ILL requests will be compared to the VCBCPL's collection before submission.

The VCBCPL offers free borrowing cards to all Barnes County residents. In order to obtain a borrowing card, please visit the VCBCPL with a photo ID and proof of residency. Out-of-area students may obtain a borrowing card with a photo ID (or NDUS Identification Certificate) and Viking Card.

Finding Materials Outside of ODIN

If you can't find an item in the ODIN catalog, don't worry! Most libraries offering ILL services can borrow materials from around the country, and even around the world. To search/browse books owned by libraries outside of ODIN, you will need to search for the item in Worldcat. Worldcat is a catalog operated by OCLC that lists materials owned by participating libraries around the world, though the bulk of participating libraries are in the United States.

To request an item from Worldcat:
  • Search in Worldcat for a subject, author, title, etc.
  • Click on the hyperlinked title (just as you would in our catalog) to open up the item's record.
  • Copy down that information, and fill out a request using an online form in your library account (below).

Using Online Forms in My Account

If you know basic bibliographic information about the book or article you wish to request (such as title, author, publisher, etc.), and you want to request the book for pick up at VCSU, you can fill out a blank ILL form online:
  • Login to your account by clicking the My Account link in the upper-right corner of the library's website.
  • You should be prompted to enter your Blackboard username and ConnectND password.
  • Once you have logged in, click on the ILL Requests - Books or ILL Requests - Articles tabs.
  • Select Articles if you would like a copy of a journal article. Select Book Request to file a request for everything else:
Book & Article Request Forms

Interlibrary Loan Information for Out-of-State Students

Allen Memorial Library offers Interlibrary Loan services to all VCSU students. However, depending on the distance a student lives away from Valley City, it may be impractical to visit the campus to pick up your books. We are able to ship the items we receive to you. However, the added shipping times will reduce the amount of time a distance student will be able to have that item checked out. As a result, students who find themselves in this situation may find it useful to consult local libraries for their ILL offerings instead of requesting them through VCSU.

Locate the academic and/or public libraries nearest you. Many public libraries offer interlibrary loan to their patrons, and quite a few public colleges and universities will offer community borrowing cards. Make sure to inquire from these institutions whether they offer interlibrary loan, and if so, if they charge any fees per item. While VCSU does not charge for ILL materials, many other libraries offset costs by charging a nominal fee per item. Occasionally, these fees can be significant--up to $25 per item! Be sure to ask about any fees before you request materials!

If you cannot find a library that offers interlibrary loan in your area, Allen Memorial Library can ship ILL materials to you. Indicate in the Notes field of the Interlibrary loan form that you would like the item to be mailed to you at a specific address. Allen Memorial Library can also ship our own materials to you. Simply fill out a Distance Loan Form online.

Please be aware that the item will be shipped from the lending library to Allen Memorial before being mailed to your location, which will reduce the total allowable time that you will be able to use the item. You will also be responsible for paying for the return shipping of the item to Allen Memorial library.


If you have any questions about the Interlibrary Loan process or have special requests, please feel free to contact Allen Memorial Library.