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Interlibrary Loan: Getting Started

Interlibrary loan (ILL) refers to the sharing of resources between libraries.

All current Macalester College students, staff and faculty may request scans of articles or book chapters held in other libraries. Physical items may be requested for on-campus library pickup.

Log into your Interlibrary Loan Account

Articles and book chapters are received electronically

If a journal article shows not available or only available in print in WorldCat Discovery. You may request an electronic copy by logging into your Interlibrary Loan account, selecting Article under "Create New Request, copy / paste as much of the article information into the form as you can, and "Submit" button at bottom.

Physical material requests for individuals local to campus

Individuals that are on or near campus may make ILL requests for print books, CDs, DVDs. Please note that the speed of getting books, DVDs and CDs will be slower than than it was prior to the pandemic.  This is due to staffing limitations in other libraries for interlibrary loan (ILL), the current industry practice of quarantining ILL items in transit for at least 3 days before delivery, and contactless services. Use the Contactless Pickup Instructions during regular library hours and after you receive notification that the item is ready. Items are arranged and labeled by, last name: first two letters + Mac ID: last four numbers)

Are you learning at a distance?

We can help. Send your question to Ask Us, and we will work with you to find the best solution to get you the research resources that you need. You may also use your interlibrary loan account to request a chapter from a book that is only available in print in the library. Article and Chapter Scans directions

Returning Interlibrary Loan Materials

Return items using the outside library book drop. Returned items will be quarantined (5 days or longer per current national protocols). Items will still be on your ILL account during this time. If you have a new request that is blocked because a recently returned item is still in quarantine, email: interlibraryloan@macalester

Note, if you are returning interlibrary loan materials, please be sure to include the paperwork inside the item.

Request an item through ILL

Search for the item on the library website.  If the item is not held at our library, click on Request Item.  (You will be prompted to enter your Mac username and password)  

An ILL form will be populated with information taken from the item record.  Make any necessary changes to the form.  For example- if you will not accept the item in a language other than English, please let us know.  Or if you need a specific edition, please specify  

Click Submit Request when finished and then log off.

Warning of Copyright Restrictions

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

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.

Macalester College Library reserves the right to refuse to accept a copy request if fulfillment of that request involves violating copyright law.

ILL help

Contact Connie Karlen 
651-696-6545 or 


Connie Karlen

connie karlen's picture
connie karlen
Connie Karlen
DeWitt Wallace Library
Macalester College
1600 Grand Avenue
St Paul, MN 55105