Skip to Main Content
Chat With Us

Interlibrary Loan - Policies




Interlibrary loan (ILL) provides Boston College faculty, students and staff  with access to research collections within the Boston College Library system and to collections worldwide. The Interlibrary Loan office is located on the third floor of the O'Neill Library.

How to submit a request

  • Sign in to your Interlibrary Loan account, and complete the form. 
  • Or when searching an online databases, use the Find It button to see what BC owns and then use the Request Book or Request Book Chapter or Request Article buttons.

Who can borrow?

Current students, faculty (including emeritus and retired) and staff with a valid Boston College ID can request items through ILL. The Boston College Law Library Interlibrary Loan serves the Boston College Law School Community.

Interlibrary loan is not available to alumni, guest borrowers or fee-card holders.

Faculty members may designate an assistant to make interlibrary loan requests.  Research assistants should indicate that they are requesting an item for a faculty member by listing the faculty member’s name in the note field of the ILL request form.

What can be requested?

A loan or a copy of any material may be requested from another library, although the lending library will decide whether or not a particular item can be provided. Loans may include books, dvd’s, dissertations, maps, etc. Occasionally some items are not available for loan due to copyright restrictions, and these may include Tests & Measures or Harvard Business School Cases.

How long does it take?

Articles are usually received within 1–2 days and books in 2-7 business days.  However, sometimes BC must request the item from several libraries before successfully obtaining it.  If you have a deadline beyond which the material will not be useful to you, indicate the date on the request form

Tips for expediting ILL requests:

  • Include an ISSN/ISBN number
  • List where original citation was located

Notification/Delivery Options


You will be notified by e-mail when a requested book arrives. Loans are picked up at the library selected when the request was submitted.

Journal Articles

Users will be notified via email when an article arrives at BC.  You may obtain the article by clicking the link provided in the email and logging into your ILL account.

Length of Loans

Loan periods are established by the lending library generally lasting one month.  The due date is noted on the label on the book’s cover.  No renewals are granted for books loaned through ILL. 

Borrowed items may be subject to recall by the lending library. Other restrictions may include “in library use only” “no scanning or photocopying” etc. Restrictions will be clearly indicated on the label on the cover of the book.

Loss or Damage

Users are responsible for all costs associated with lost or damaged materials. The lending library assesses the charges for lost items. 


Borrowing limits are mandated by the United States Copyright Law.  After this limit is reached, a royalty fee must be paid for each subsequent article requested by the Boston College Libraries.  When requests from an individual violate the Copyright Law, Interlibrary Loan staff will inform the user and provide alternative access. 

Copyright and Reciprocal Agreements

The service is administered in accordance with the American Library Association's National Interlibrary Loan Code (1993), the U.S. Copyright Revision Act of 1976 (17. United States Code. 101 et seq.) and in conformance with the resource sharing agreements with the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), the Massachusetts Library and Information Network (MLIN) and reciprocal agreements entered into with individual libraries. Boston College Libraries adheres to the “fair use” interpretation in the CONTU guidelines.