Interlibrary Loan

Online Request Forms

Current BU students, faculty, and staff can use our Interlibrary Loan service to get journal articles and books not available on the Charles River Campus.
Requests can be submitted using the ILLiad ONLINE REQUEST FORM.

Questions? Please call (617) 353-9474 or email


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use this service?

The interlibrary loan service is available to current BU students, faculty, and staff, with the exception of individuals affiliated with the Schools of Law, Theology, and Medicine, where comparable library services are available.

What can be requested?

Materials not available in a library on the Charles River Campus may be requested. Please check BU Libraries Search before submitting a request.

How do I request materials?

Requests for books or article photocopies may be submitted by using an online form, or by filling out a paper form at the Reference Desk. Please use a separate form for each request and include information about where you found your citation (i.e. the “verification source”). One of our Electronic Databases is preferred as a verification source, but a journal article or a Website is acceptable if fully described.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for this service.

How many items may I request?

We will process twenty five requests per week per individual.

How long does it take?

The average turnaround for photocopies is 2-3 weeks, but requests sent to the BU Medical Library are received in 7-10 days. Particularly urgent requests for photocopies can be processed in 1-3 days using commercial document delivery vendors. Many journal articles published in the last 5-10 years are available this way. We will make every attempt to accommodate “needed by” dates, so please provide them thoughtfully. The average turnaround on books is three weeks.

How will I be notified?

You will be notified by e-mail when materials arrive. Article photocopies can be picked up at the SEL circulation desk. Books are held at the Circulation Desk on the first floor of Mugar Memorial Library and need to be picked up there.