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Michigan State University

InterLibrary Services: Requesting Books

Guide outlines the various services available to the MSU community and to borrowing and lending partners around the globe.

Requesting Books

1. Check the MSU Libraries Catalog to see if MSU owns a copy of the item you are looking for.

NOTE: ILL will not process requests for items held on course reserve or in Special Collections. 

2. If the MSU copy is checked out, or if MSU does not own the title, your next step is to search Uborrow  to see if there are any holdings in the CIC (Big Ten) libraries.  Items obtained through Uborrow are loaned for a period of 12 weeks with a 4 week renewal.

3. If neither MSU nor Uborrow can supply your item, you can try MeLCat.  Items borrowed through MeLCat are loaned for a period of 3 weeks with a 3 week renewal.

4. If you are unable to find a copy through all of these options, then you can submit a request through your ILLiad account.

  • Log in to ILLiad and choose the "Book" option from the menu on the left.
  • Provide as complete a citation as possible. Although only title, author, and "not wanted by" date are required, providing a publisher date/location are often very helpful to ILL staff, especially if you are looking to obtain a certain volume or year of an item. Generally speaking, the more complete the citation, the better.

Need help with a citation? Contact your subject specialist or use the "Ask A Librarian" feature on our website to contact a librarian. 

Once Your Item Arrives

You will receive an automated notice once your ILL item arrives and is ready for pickup. All ILL items have a bookstrap on them to identify them. We require the information on the strap in order to remove the item from your account in a timely manner, so please keep the bookstrap intact and on the item!

There are different due dates and these may be different from your MSU items, so check the bookstrap for the date. Unless otherwise noted, most items are not available for Renewals.  This information is found on the bookstrap.  

Subject Guide

Cen Cheng
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Michigan State University