Interlibrary Loan Services


  1.  Purpose
  2.  Eligibility
  3.  What may be borrowed?
  4.  What may not be borrowed?
  5.  Copyright
  6.  Looking for a doctoral dissertation?
  7.  How to request materials
  8.  How long does it take?
  9.  How to find out the status of a request
  10.  Borrower's responsibilities
  11.  Notification
  12.  Loan periods
  13.  Renewals


The purpose of the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service is to obtain, whenever possible, materials not available in the William Paterson University (WPUNJ) Library collection for the educational and research needs of the University community. This may include, but is not limited to, books, journal articles, documents, and audio-visual materials The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service obtains materials from other libraries, both in this country and throughout the world. The service includes interlibrary borrowing and the purchase of articles from commercial document suppliers. WPUNJ will fill all requests as quickly as possible making maximum use of commercial vendors for photocopy requests within budgetary constraints.



All currently enrolled WPUNJ undergraduate and graduate students, full time and adjunct faculty, and staff are eligible to borrow materials free of charge.

ILL limitations:

No limit, except in times of high demand when a temporary limit may be instituted:
  Emeritus faculty
  Currently employed adjunct faculty
  Graduate students
Ten (10) in process at one time:
  Undergraduate students
No ILL service

What may be borrowed?

1. Materials not owned by the WPUNJ Library within the scope of purpose and conditions of service stated above
2. Materials declared missing from the collection after the completion of a trace procedure.

What may not be borrowed?

1. Books owned by the WPUNJ Library that are on loan to another patron.
2. Materials that are on reserve in the Library.
3. Materials for recreational use (patrons are encouraged to use their local public library for such materials).
4. Most libraries ordinarily will not lend the following types of materials:

  • Rare materials including manuscripts;
  • Bulky or fragile items that are difficult or expensive to ship;
  • Materials in high demand at the lending library;
  • Material with local circulation restrictions, e.g. reference books, encyclopedias; complete issues of journals;
  • Unique materials that would be difficult or impossible to replace.


The WPUNJ Library adheres to the ALA ILL Code; observes the provisions of the "fair use clause"; and pays copyright fees to the Copyright Clearance Center for copies above fair use.

Looking for a doctoral dissertation?

Many of our bibliographic indexes include citations for doctoral dissertations, the research theses required of all Ph.D. degree candidates. The citations will often indicate an item is a dissertation or identify the source of the record as Dissertation Abstracts International, the major index for dissertations. It is important to understand that most dissertations are owned only by libraries at the universities where they were produced. Although in principle these items can be borrowed through ILL, our experience has been that:

  1. the majority of requests for dissertations are denied by the libraries holding them; and
  2. in those cases where a dissertation can be borrowed through ILL, the processing time can be much longer than that for books and articles, often a month or more

The ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database provides full-text access to over 14,000 publications, with the majority available in full text.

How to request materials

1. Before requesting an item on ILL, please make sure it is not available in the Library by checking the Online Catalog for books and the Online Periodical Directory for journals.
2. All requests must be submitted on a paper or electronic Document Delivery Request Form. In order to facilitate rapid receipt of material, request forms should be filled out as completely as possible and abbreviations should be avoided. For book requests, patrons should specify their desired means of notification, i.e. e-mail or telephone. For journal articles, patrons should specify whether they would like to receive the material by fax or US mail.
3. Click here to access electronic form. Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery Service
4. Paper forms may be obtained at the Reference Desk.

How long does it take?

For easy-to-locate items, it will normally take one to two weeks fill an ILL request. For more difficult titles, it may take longer, especially if materials are requested from foreign countries or specialized libraries. In the academic year 2006, 1,684 articles and 1,293 books borrowed by WPUN were received within the timeframe outlined below:

Number of days Articles Books
1 to 7 82% 62%
8 to 14 94% 95%
15 to 21 96% 99%
22 to 28 97% 99%

How to find out the status of a request

Call the Reference Desk at 973 720-2116 E-mail the ILL desk at

Borrower's responsibilities

1. Borrowed materials must be returned to the document delivery department by the due date; photocopies become the property of patrons and need not be returned.
2. The patron is responsible for replacement costs of items lost or damaged or for materials not returned.


1. Patrons will be notified by e-mail or telephone, as specified on the original request form, when a book is received. Patrons must pick up books at the Periodicals Desk in the Library.
2. Journal articles will be mailed or faxed as specified on the request form.

Loan period

The loan period is determined by the lending institution and is usually two to three weeks.


Lending libraries discourage renewals on ILL materials, but if a renewal is necessary, a request should be made through the Document Delivery Department at least two days before the due date. If you find that you need to keep ILL material for longer than the loan period given, you may request an extension of the due date. The ILL office will then ask the lending library to extend the due date. When requesting a renewal, you should provide the ILL office with the following information: your name, the IL# which appears on the band attached to your ILL item, the title of the item, and the time period for which you wish to keep the item. You may request a renewal by e-mail to or by phone at 973-720-2567.