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Public Health Research Guide

Article Unavailable At the Library?

  • Sacred Heart University Library doesn't have the specific article that you're looking for? Don't worry! It is likely that we will still be able to get the materials you need from other academic libraries through our Interlibrary Loan department.

ILL At Sacred Heart: A Video Overview

This SHU "Library minute provides a quick and clear summary about the aspects of ILL described above. 

What is Interlibrary Loan?

What is an Interlibrary Loan?

  • Interlibrary Loan is a service that makes it possible for SHU students, faculty, and staff to obtain copies of books, articles, and other library materials that are not owned by SHU from other libraries. SHU Library, like many other academic libraries, both lends and borrows materials from other cooperating institutions. 
  • Sacred Heart University students, faculty, and staff are eligible to use the service. A request form is available below.

Request an Interlibrary Loan

  • Please note: Before requesting an article, a book chapter or book through our interlibrary loan service, please first search Sacred Heart University Library's catalog, research databases, and journal finder to make sure the library does NOT own the resource. We cannot request items that we already own. Consult the Reference Desk on the 1st Floor of the library if you have any problem with this, or give the desk a call at 203-371-7726.

Frequently Asked Questions About Interlibrary Loan

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about interlibrary loan:  

Question: I've never used my school interlibrary loan account before. Is there anything special that I need to do to set it up? 

Answer: You do not need to set up an account because every SHU student automatically receives one. You can simply log in using your SHU username and password whenever and start using it immediately. 

However, what you do need to set up the very first time that you log into your account is your Communication Preferences. This way will be able to receive updates through email, text, or both when your interlibrary loan requests arrive so that you don't have to manually check your account. 


Question: I requested an article through interlibrary loan. When my request arrives, will it come as a hard copy that will be mailed to me or I'll need to go pick up, or will it be sent to me electronically?

 Answer: All articles that are requested through interlibrary loan are delivered in electronic format. Depending on the library that we receive them from, they will either be deposited and made accessible through your ILL account, or emailed directly to you. 


Question: How long does it usually take for a requested article to arrive?

Answer: It takes about 2-3 working days (Monday-Friday) on average. However, it could easily take less or more time depending on what article you need. Plan accordingly and be sure to start your research early so you won't be troubled by waiting periods. 


Question: How long can I keep an interlibrary loan article for? 

Answer: If an article is emailed directly to you, then you can keep it for as long as you want. However, if an article is deposited in your interlibrary loan account, (again, make sure to set your communication preferences so you know when it arrives) then you will be given a limited number of times (or "views") to access it. If this happens, simply download and save it onto your computer the first time you open it, and then you will have it for as long as you'd like. Be aware that the links to articles in your interlibrary loan account eventually expire.

Again, whether an article is delivered into your interlibrary loan account or directly emailed to you is entirely up to the institution that gives us access to it. 


Question: I forgot how to put in an interlibrary loan request. What can I do? 

Answer: You can find instructions on how to fill a request form on your ILL account on the interlibrary loan guide, watch the video below,or you can contact your university librarians for assistance