Interlibrary Loan 

The United Library's Interlibrary Loan Department is happy to help current students, faculty and staff obtain materials owned by other libraries. Patrons who are members of the general public, Northwestern students, and guests who are students at other schools are encouraged to explore the Interlibrary Loan services of their home academic libraries or local public libraries.

  • Requesting Items:  Forms may be filled out online or at the circulation desk. Please have the citation information for the item available when filling out the forms. 

  • How Long Does It Take to Receive an Item?  As the Interlibrary Loan service relies on couriers and the US mail, the average turn-around time is 10 days.  As a result, please do not wait until a paper deadline to make Interlibrary Loan requests.

  • How Long Will I Have the Item Once It Arrives?  Loan periods vary and are stipulated by the lending library.  On average, most books are available for approximately two weeks.   Lending libraries also specify whether an item may be taken out of the library overnight, or must be used within the United Library.

  • Costs:  On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of Seabury-Western and Garrett-Evangelical, the United Library will gladly request items from other libraries.  Please note, though, that in the case of archival materials, rare books, and media items, sometimes a lending library will decline to loan the object.  Nevertheless, most libraries are quite generous in sharing their collections, particularly with regard to books.  While in many cases this service is free to students, faculty and staff,  occasionally a lending library will ask to be reimbursed for shipping and other costs related to Interlibrary loan overhead.  The United Library staff will absorb these costs for Ph.D students and faculty.  The United Library will inform borrowers in other degree programs of any costs that the borrower might incur prior to finalizing the request.  Patrons who are members of the general public, Northwestern students, and guests who are students at other schools are encouraged to explore the Interlibrary Loan services of their home academic libraries or local public libraries.