Interlibrary Loans: FAQ

Who may use ILL?
What type of material may I order?
Can I order material that appears in TOPCAT?
How long does it take?
What does Item not needed after on the request form mean?
What Pickup Locations are available?
Is there a charge for ordering an ILL?
My request has not arrived! What should I do?
How can I cancel my request?
How am I notified that my material is ready for pickup?
How do I pick up my material?
How long can I use the borrowed material?
Why was my material recalled?
How can I check the due date on my request?
Can I renew my material?
Where do I return ILL material?
What does the information on my overdue notice mean?
Why did I received an overdue notice for a book I've returned?

Who may use ILL?

The use of the Interlibrary Loans service is limited to Trent faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students in good standing with Trent University Library. If a user's library account is blocked or has expired, the restriction must be cleared before ILL material will be supplied. If you are not currently affiliated with Trent University, please try your local public library.

What type of material may I order?

The types of material which may be obtained through ILL include books, documents, theses, articles, microforms, and media; however most libraries will not lend their Reference or Reserve books.

Can I order material that appears in TOPCAT?

Only material which is unavailable at Trent may be requested through ILL. Items which are found in TOPCAT, Reserves, Reference, Special Collections, and Archives are considered available even when charged out. When an item is charged out, you may place a hold on it via TOPCAT. Items listed in TOPCAT as Missing, Currently Being Traced, Bindery or On Order may be ordered via RACER.

How long does it take?

All requests are dealt with in the order in which we receive them. We recommend that you allow 7-10 days, although material may arrive sooner. Difficult-to-find items may take longer.

What does Item not needed after on the request form mean?

Requests from all eligible users will be pursued to the fullest possible extent within the time frame provided by those users. Therefore, please provide the last possible date you require the item, as this allows us to process your request to the fullest.

What Pickup Locations are available?

When filling out your request form you may choose one of our Pickup Locations. Once your material arrives it will be forwarded to your chosen location for pick up. The locations are:

  • the Library Service Desk at Bata Library
  • the main desk at the Durham Branch

    Is there a charge for ordering an ILL?

    Trent University Library will absorb the cost of obtaining materials supplied by our Canadian Resource Sharing Agreement partner institutions(OCUL, COPPUL, CAUL-CBUA and BCI).  Material which is not available from a partner institution will be subject to the established exceptional cost procedure, whereby Client Support staff will contact the user prior to obtaining the material, to confirm their willingness to pay all associated costs.  In addition when obtaining a returnable item (material with a due date) from a foreign supplier, a $20.00 surcharge will be applied.

    My request has not arrived! What should I do?

    Begin by checking the status of your request within RACER or your email account for a possible message from us. You may also contact us and we will assist you.

    How can I cancel my request?

    Login to RACER and locate the request via My Requests.  Once the request is displayed, click Cancel and await the cancellation confirmation screen.  The Cancel option will only be available at certain stages within the request life cycle.

    How am I notified that my material is ready for pickup?

    You will be notified by email when your material is available, noting some items are supplied electronically within the email notification you receive. You may also login to RACER at any time and check the status of your request.

    How do I pick up my material?

    Some material is supplied electronically within the email notification you receive.  Otherwise present your valid TrentU Card at your chosen pickup location, which may be confirmed by checking the request details via My Requests within RACER.

    How long can I use the borrowed material?

    The lending library sets the loan period and conditions of use for their materials. Loan periods, excluding Media loans, are generally 3 weeks, with no renewal, from the date the item is received by Client Support staff. There are occasions where the loan period may be shorter, longer or may have the possibility of a renewal. Some items may be recalled, restricted to library use only, or photocopying may be restricted. Media material is due the date after your selected show date.

    Why was my material recalled?

    The lending library may recall their material at anytime regardless of the original due date. Recalled material should be returned within five (5) days as to avoid fines and having your library privileges suspended. If you still require the use of the recalled material, simply contact us and we will obtain the material from a different library.

    How can I check the due date on my request?

    The due date will be listed on the book band, which is attached to each loan. You may also check the due date for an ILL loan via My Requests in RACER or via your Library Account. Please respect the due date and return the material promptly. Failure to return the material on time or comply with a recall notice will result in fines and/or the loss of library privileges. See ILL Fines

    Can I renew my material?

    The book band, which is attached to each loan, will indicate if a renewal option has been offered by the lending library.  If the book band indicates a renewal is possible, please contact us and we will assist you placing your renewal request.

    Where do I return ILL material?

    During open hours ILL loans may be returned to the Library Service Desk at Bata Library or Durham Branch. After hours you may access the Library’s external book drop.

    What does the information on my overdue notice mean? 

    The title listed in the overdue notice includes the RACER request number. This number may be used to correspond to the ILL book band attached to each loan or used to search My Requests in RACER for the bibliographic details.

    Why did I received an overdue notice for a book I've returned?

    The notice may have been sent prior to staff processing the item.  Please check your Library Account via TOPCAT to see if the item is still listed on your Library Account and if so please contact us, otherwise you may disregard the notice.