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Borrowing Items from Other Libraries


If you are having trouble finding a book, article, or other type of item in the Library please ask for help at the Research Assistance Desk or via Ask a Librarian. If the item is not in one of the Library collections, you may be able to request the item through Interlibrary Services (also known as Interlibrary Loan).

Current students, faculty and staff with a valid SF State ID number and Library PIN can use these services to determine if a book, article, thesis/dissertation, etc. is available from another institution. If available, items are generally delivered quickly, without charge and are either available for you to pickup in the Library or are delivered directly to you electronically.

Items You can Request

  • Books and Parts of Books
  • Copies of Articles
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Conference Proceedings
  • Technical Reports
  • Printed Music

Requests can be made for movies, music recordings, reference materials, etc., but these can be difficult to obtain depending on the lending library policy.

Your Responsibilities

  • Return borrowed items on time
  • Take proper care of books and return them in good condition
  • Check the book strap for any special handling conditions
  • Observe Copyright Guidelines

Failure to do so may result in your borrowing privileges being revoked or limited to "Library Use Only."

Placing a Request

The basic steps you should follow before placing a request to borrow an item from another library are: 1) Know exactly what you are looking for. 2) Confirm that the item you are looking for is not available in the Library. 3) Use LINK+ or ILLiad, to locate and request the item. See the table below for more details. For more information, contact the Interlibrary Services department.

  Step 1:
Know what you are looking for
Step 2:
Check that it is not available from the Library
Step 3:
Select most appropriate service


  • Exact title
  • Author(s)
  • Edition
  • Year
  • Publisher


  • Exact title
  • Author(s)
  • Journal
  • Year
  • Volume
  • Issue

Theses / Dissertations

  • Exact title
  • Author(s)
  • Year
  • University
  • Degree

Comparing Interlibrary Services

For more information, contact the Interlibrary Services department.

Books, Thesis & Dissertations, etc. LINK+ ILLiad
Usually arrive in 3 or 4 days 5 days to 3 weeks
Pickup Location Book Checkout & Pickup Counter or participating LINK+ locations Book Checkout & Pickup Counter
Will hold for 10 days until due date of item (usually 4 weeks)
Borrow for 21 days usually 4 weeks
Renewals 21 days 14 days
Notification of arrival via Email Email


Articles ILLiad
Electronic copies usually arrive in 2-7 days
Borrow for Articles do not need to be returned
Electronic delivery Articles posted to Illiad Account for 30 days only
Fax delivery Not available
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