Request Interlibrary Loans

Photo by Vernon Doucette of BU students studying on BU Beach

Click here to log into ILLiad


Using interlibrary loan (or ILL for short), current BU School of Theology students, faculty, and staff are able to request needed materials for their research from other libraries. You can request items that BU owns and are checked out through the Boston Library Consortium, or books that BU doesn’t own from libraries throughout the world!

Requests for article or single book chapter scans take around 1-2 business days, and requests for physical items like books can take about 1-3 weeks (less for items from BLC Libraries); you will receive an email once they arrive at the School of Theology Library circulation desk for pickup. We use a program called ILLiad to place these requests.

ILLiad Tutorials and Quick Facts

Please read our ILLiad FAQ or watch our tutorial for more information on using ILLiad:

Interlibrary Loan (or ILL) Quick Facts
It is available to current BU School of Theology students, faculty, and staff.
If BU owns an item you need but it is checked out, you can place a request for the item through interlibrary loan at Boston Library Consortium libraries. If no BLC library is willing to lend, recall the item on our online catalog.
When BU doesn’t own the item, we will try to borrow it from any library throughout the world that does (and is willing to loan it)!
Request physical items like books (arrives in 1-3 weeks, if filled) or single article or book chapter scans (1-2 business days).
Physical items like books are delivered to the STH circulation desk and PDF article and book chapter scans are accessed through the ILLiad main menu; you will get an email when it is ready to be picked up/viewed.
Return item by due date on slip around item. We can try to renew the item, but it is up to the lending institution.
The borrower is responsible for fines from the lending library if material is lost, overdue, or damaged.
All interlibrary loan transactions are subject to U.S. Copyright Law; with ILL scans, we are usually limited to one article scan, one book chapter, or 10% of an item.

As a member of the School of Theology community, there are several ways to request resources from other libraries:

Boston Theological Institute (BTI) Card



All current BU School of Theology students, faculty, and staff are eligible to receive a BTI Card from the School of Theology circulation desk, which allows you borrowing privileges at several theological libraries in the Boston area.

Learn more on our page on BTI Cards!

Eligible to borrow in-person at all BTI schools. Get your BTI Card at School of Theology Library circulation desk.

Borrowing lengths, fines, etc. all set by lending institution.

Return books from any BTI Library at BU STH Library.

Boston Library Consortium (BLC) Card

BU graduate students, faculty, and staff are able to apply for a Boston Library Consortium (BLC) Card, which allows the user the ability to borrow books from any library that is a member of the Boston Library Consortium. You must apply at the Mugar Library circulation desk.

• Information on BLC borrowing is available via Mugar.

Eligible to borrow in-person at all BLC libraries.

Borrowing lengths, fines, etc. all set by lending institution.

Return books at library you borrowed them from.

As mentioned above, the copyright law of the United States (Title 17 of the United States Code) governs the scanning, photocopying, and other reproductions of copyright material. When you scan something at the School of Theology Library, you are agreeing to abide by this law.

Copyright Law is designed to protect the rights of the creator of a work. If you are interested in learning more about the concept of copyrighted works and the fair use for educational purposes of that work, the American Library Association has a good summary of how it applies to libraries. To quote from the ALA article:

Fair use is a copyright principle based on the idea that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted works for educational and informational purposes. Under fair use, someone other than the copyright holder may freely copy, display, perform, and distribute copyrighted material, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.

Scans or requests of single periodical articles and single book chapters tend to fall within the purview of fair use. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask a staff member.

Contact Information

BU School of Theology Library – ILL
745 Commonwealth Ave. 2nd Floor
Boston MA 02215
Tel: (617) 358-0698
Fax: (617) 358-6099

If you have any questions, click here or email