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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about ILLiad

What is InterLibrary Loan?

If an item you are looking for is not available through Columbus Metropolitan Library's (CML) catalog, SearchOhio or OhioLINK, we may be able to borrow the item from another library through a service called Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Through ILL, it is possible for you to obtain books, microfilm and articles.

How can the ILLiad system help you?

  • CML uses the ILLiad software system to process Interlibrary Loans.
  • Using ILLiad, you can place your ILL request online at any time.
  • You only need to register for an ILLiad account once.
  • You can check the status of your ILL request through ILLiad.
  • You will be notified by email when your request has shipped.
  • You will be notified by email or U.S. mail when your request is ready for pick up at your preferred CML location. Phone notification is not available for ILL materials.
  • You can request renewals of your ILL materials through ILLiad. The automated phone system renewal option and My Account may not be used for ILL renewals.

How do you make an ILL request?

Only items that are not available through the library catalog, SearchOhio, or OhioLINK may be requested through ILL. All other requests will be cancelled.

You can submit your request online through the ILLiad system. You can also call 614-645-2275 or visit a CML location for assistance. You may have up to 10 active ILL requests at a time.

After you create and log in to your ILLiad account, choose the type of request you want to make under NEW REQUEST. On the form, fill out the required information and any additional information you have and then click submit.

Please be aware that it usually takes between two to four weeks for a requested item to arrive. There is no guarantee that we will be able to obtain the requested item for you.

To request a book

Requests can be placed using OCLC World Cat – Library Holdings Worldwide from You can search title, ISBN and author. Once you find the item you want to request, click on the Request this item through ILL link to be taken to the ILLiad login page (or the request form if already logged in). If you get the login page, proceed to login and you will be automatically taken to the request form with all the information already filled out. Please provide the book's exact title and author, plus any other information you have such as ISBN, publication date or edition. If you find a record for the title in WorldCat, please provide the OCLC (Accession) number from the listing.

To request microfilm

Please provide the specific reel number and/or time period you need. For example: The New York Times, Jan-Mar 1920. If you find a record for the title in WorldCat, please provide the OCLC (Accession) number from the listing. Microfilm may only be used at Main Library and cannot leave the building.

To request a journal article

Please provide the exact journal name and volume, page numbers, article title and author. For example: Newspaper - The New York Times, March 20, 1971, Obituary for John Smith, page 3A. Most article requests will be sent through email. If you do not have an email address, a physical copy will be sent to your preferred CML location.

Why would your ILL request be denied or delayed?

Your request may be denied or delayed for one of the following reasons:

  • The item you requested is available through SearchOhio or OhioLINK.
  • Your account is blocked due to excessive fees, long overdue material or outdated contact information.
  • You have 10 active requests.
  • The contact information on your ILLiad account does not match your library account information.
  • Your ILL privileges have been suspended due to previous abuse of loan periods and/or disregard of guidelines.
  • None of the supplying libraries own or are able to lend the item.
  • CML decides to purchase the requested item.

Items that cannot be requested:

  • Audio visual items including Audio Books, Music CDs or movies
  • Books that contain an audio visual item
  • Items from libraries outside the U.S.
  • Items that are available through CML's catalog, SearchOhio or OhioLINK. This includes any Reference title that CML owns.
  • Items that require a fee from the lending library

Items that can be difficult to obtain:

  • Genealogical materials
  • Material not published in the U.S.
  • Newly published books
  • Very old or rare books
  • Very expensive books
  • Reference material
  • Textbooks

When will your ILL materials arrive?

Items usually arrive within two to four weeks, and you will be contacted by email or U.S. mail when they do. Article requests can arrive more quickly if sent electronically. Because we cannot guarantee renewals for these items, please be sure to pick them up promptly.

What happens if we cannot get the item you want?

You will be notified by email or U.S. mail if we are unable to borrow the item you requested. You may try resubmitting your request at a later time.

How do you check out ILL materials?

Visit your CML location's Customer Service desk to pick up and check out your item once you have been notified it is ready. Please do not remove the wrap and/or label from the item. Please pick up your ILL as soon as possible. The pickup deadline will hold until date from your notification. Items not picked up by this date will be returned to the lending library.

How do you renew ILL materials?

Loan periods and renewals are determined by the lending library. Be aware that some lenders do not allow renewals. Check the label to see if renewals are allowed. Log on to your ILLiad account to request a renewal online or call 614-645-2275 for assistance. If the renewal is approved, you will be given a new due date which will be updated on your library account within 2 business days. If your renewal is denied, you must return your item by the original due date.

The automated phone renewal option and My Account through CML's catalog cannot be used for renewals.

Renewal requests can be made as early as 7 days before the item's due date. ILL items can only be renewed once.

How do you return ILL materials?

When returning ILL materials, please be sure the label or wrap is still attached and bring them inside the library. It is very important that you do not place ILL materials in the outside book-drop to avoid damaging the items.

Please return your material to any branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. ILL materials may not be returned to other library systems, e.g., Bexley, Southwest, Worthington. Articles do not need to be returned unless stated on the wrap.

What happens if you lose or damage ILL materials?

You will be charged the replacement cost of any unreturned or damaged ILL materials. The replacement cost is determined by the lending library. If you eventually return the item in good condition, the replacement cost will be removed from your account, but you will still be responsible for any materials recovery fees (if assessed). Please notify staff immediately of any lost or damaged ILL materials so that we can contact the lending library. Repeat instances of lost/damaged items will result in the loss of ILL privileges.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.