Policies and Procedures

NOTE: Faculty, students and staff of the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions need to submit their ILL requests through the Biomedical Library.

Time Required

The ILL Department cannot guarantee when a requested item will arrive. Allow a minimum of 10 working days (Monday - Friday) for book loans and photocopies of articles. Note any deadlines on request form. Materials out of state, in high demand, or difficult to locate take longer.

Eligible Users

USA Faculty, staff and currently registered students may request research material not owned by any of the USA Libraries. The University Library does not borrow textbooks and/or required reading for students through Interlibrary Loan.

  1. Undergraduates are limited to 5 requests in process at one time.
  2. Graduate students are limited to 20 ILL requests in process (only 10 will be input each day.)
  3. Non-USA Courtesy Card holders are limited to 5 requests in process at one time (see fee chart below.)
  4. When the "requests in process" limit is reached, patrons can turn in one more request as soon as one request is filled.

The Biomedical Library handles ILL requests for faculty and students of the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions.

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8:00am - 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Nights and weekends, contact the Reference Desk at 251-460-7025.
Pickup and return ILL materials at the Reference Desk.
Phone: 251-460-7034
E-mail: libref@southalabama.edu


The patron is financially responsible for any royalty fees as well as for any charges assessed by the lending library for loans, copies, fines, damages or lost items. No charges are incurred for materials borrowed within Alabama.   The University Library also has reciprocal/no charge agreements with several hundred academic/special/Federal libraries across the U.S.  Most other out-of-state libraries will loan books at no charge (except for dissertations) but will usually charge for photocopies -- typically a $10.00 - $20.00 minimum.  We notify the patron of any ILL charges before submitting requests.

If materials cannot be received by the deadline date, patrons can make a choice. They can decide to cancel the request and not be liable for any charges, or they can accept the material and any charges.

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Non-USA Courtesy Card holders are charged a $7.00 fee per request in addition to any charges assessed by the lending library.

Courtesy Card Holder Types
No Request Fee Required
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Retired Faculty
  • Adjunct Faculty
  • Continuing Ed Faculty & Students
  • ASMS Faculty & Students
  • English as a Second Language
  • Odyssey
$7.00 Fee per Request
  • USA Faculty Spouses & Children
  • UM, SHC, BSCC, FSCC Faculty
  • Active Alumni Association Member
  • Visiting Faculty
  • Purchaser
  • Murphy High School International Baccalaureate Program
  • National Science Foundation
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Submitting Requests

Requests must be submitted via ILLiad.

Requests for items that we own (electronic or print) will be returned to you. Check the SOUTHcat Catalog and Our Journal List to see if we own an item before submitting ILL requests. Items owned by the University Library can be copied for a fee through our Copy Service. Always provide complete citation information. Do not abbreviate.

NOTE: The Biomedical Library handles Interlibrary Loan requests for faculty and students of the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health.


A. Borrow through ILL: Some libraries will loan their dissertations if they have a circulating copy. Their loan charges vary from $5.00 - $20.00. Delivery could take several weeks.

B. Purchase from UMI

  1. Ask the ILL office to order a copy through UMI Dissertation Express.
    Estimated Cost: $29.00. Your library account will be billed. Delivery will be 4 - 5 days.
  2. Call University Microfilms International at 1-800-521-3042 or 1-800-521-0600 ext 3781, or fax them at 1-800-308-1586.
    Estimated cost: Photocopy $41.00, Film $37.00. Rush delivery is extra. Have your charge card ready. Delivery within 14 working days to 3 weeks.
  3. Order online from UMI. Locate the title on Dissertation Abstracts/Digital Dissertations database on the library's homepage (Available on campus and remotely with USA ID.) Click on Order a Copy to place an order for the dissertation or thesis using your credit card.
    Cost: See UMI's price list for hard copies at http://www.umi.com:80/products_umi/dissertations/orderingres.shtml.

Some dissertations can be ordered from UMI in PDF format  ( indicated by a [pdf] icon next to the record ) and downloaded to your computer. When you order a digital dissertation, UMI sends you an e-mail giving the address from which to download your dissertation and a PIN that identifies your order. This PIN is not restricted by IP address or by computer, so you can order from a library computer and then go home or to your office and download the dissertation. The price of a dissertation in this format is calculated when you add the dissertation to your shopping cart. It can always be removed if you decide the cost is too much. Dissertations from the University of South Alabama are free for USA faculty, staff and students.

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Charges will be posted to the the library patron's account. Payments may be made at the Circulation Desk in person or by mail. Department or grant accounts may be set up via Voyager by the ILL Office for payment by BANNER Direct Pay. All payments are due by the end of the semester.

Notification and Delivery

Books: The patron will be notified by e-mail or phone as soon as the requested material arrives. Books not picked up promptly will be returned to the lending library on the due date.

Photocopies: Delivery options

  1. Pick-up by patron; notification by email or phone.
  2. Mailed to the local address given on the request form. Address information should be complete and current.
  3. Faxed for a fee. $2.00 in-state; $5.00 out-of-state.
  4. Delivered free via the web for viewing and printing. You must have an email account and Adobe Acrobat Reader for web delivery.

Information on any charges, dues dates, and loan restrictions will be included with the material.

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Loan Periods/Renewals

Patrons can request renewals through their ILLiad accounts a few days before the book is due. The lending libraries set the loan periods and some libraries do not allow renewals. Wait a few days for the lender to reply and then check in ILLiad to find the new due date.

NOTE: renewals must be made by the day BEFORE the due date. If you have any questions, contact the ILL Office at (251) 460-7034 or libref@southalabama.edu.


Items must be returned by the due date to the Circulation Desk or to the Interlibrary Loan office. Any overdue charges assessed by the lending library must be paid by the patron. Borrowers who consistently disregard due dates may be refused further service.

Use Restrictions on Interlibrary Loan Materials

Some materials may be restricted to "Library Use Only>'

Materials borrowed through Interlibrary Loan cannot be placed on Course Reserve for USA classes.

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

The CONTU guideline for "fair use" is 5 articles from the last 5 years of the journal. Royalty fees must be paid for all articles requested above "fair use" each year. As a member of the Copyright Clearance Center, the library will pay the royalty fees for articles 6-15 copied from a periodical title. After the limit is reached, the requester will be asked to pay the royalty fee for additional articles from that title.

Materials Which Cannot be Requested Through ILL

Materials generally not available on interlibrary loan:

  1. Books owned by the USA Libraries but charged out. These can be recalled at the Circulation Desk or online (see http://www.southalabama.edu/univlib/scathelp.htm#holds) for instructions.
  2. Unique copies of theses or dissertations. Most dissertations can be purchased by the patron from University Microfilms.
  3. Newspapers or manuscripts, unless available in positive microfilm.
  4. Textbooks currently being used for USA courses.
  5. Whole volumes or issues of journals.
  6. Records, tapes, films, software, and other fragile materials.
  7. Materials for class reserve or group use.
  8. Archival, genealogical, and local history materials.
  9. Items of unusual value or rarity.
  10. Recreational reading titles.
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