Interlibrary Loan – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is ILL and who is eligible?

    ILL, or Interlibrary Loan, is a service that allows you to access material not owned by Hekman Library. By submitting a request, we will contact institutions across the U.S. and around the world to obtain material for you.

    Eligible users:

    1. A person with a valid Calvin College or Calvin Seminary ID
    2. A person who retired from either the college or seminary
    3. A Christian Reformed Church pastor – Active and retired as designated in the current Christian Reformed Church Yearbook
    4. Alumni (with some limitations):
      • Requests are only filled if no fee is imposed by the lending library.
      • Alumni may request up to 5 items per year.
      • Items will not be mailed. The alum must retrieve items from Hekman Library.
  2. What is the cost of using ILL?

    There is no charge for you to use Interlibrary Loan.

  3. What is available through ILL?

    Books, dissertations, media (CDs, DVDs, VHS), journal articles, music scores, conference proceedings and microfilm may be borrowed on your behalf. If the material is owned by Hekman Library but has been marked as missing, lost or checked out, you are welcome to request a copy through ILL.

  4. Need help deciphering a citation?
    1. Our reference librarian staff is here to help. Visit Research Assistance for the best methods of contacting us.
    2. Visit the library’s home page and contact a librarian using one of the Research Help methods.
  5. How long will it take for my request to be filled?

    Factors that affect delivery time include the number of institutions that own the material, the popularity of the item and the distance of the supplying institution from Calvin College. Typically, articles arrive within 3 business days and books arrive within 1-2 weeks. We cannot guarantee the arrival date of any material and strongly recommend that you place your request well ahead of a deadline. If you don’t receive notification in ten business days, use the ILL Status Request form.

  6. How will I be notified? Where do I pick it up?

    Scans of an article or book chapter will be emailed to you. When books, media, or any physical item arrives, you will receive an email notification. Material can be picked up at the 2nd floor circulation desk. If you do not pick up the item, it will be returned to the lending library when the due date passes.

  7. How long can I keep the material?

    The loan period is set by the lending library. The due date is strictly enforced with no grace period. To maintain our good standing with lending libraries, please be courteous and return ILL books promptly. InterLibrary Loan borrowing privileges will be suspended if items are overdue or fines are unpaid.

  8. Can I renew ILL material?

    Yes, you may always ask for an ILL renewal. To renew, email ill@calvin.edu or call 616-526-8573. Renewals are granted or denied by the lending library. We cannot guarantee that a due date will be extended. Once we hear back from the lending library, you will be notified of the updated due date.

  9. How much are the ILL overdue fines?

    Late fines for ILL are $1 per day, per item.

  10. What if I need a book that’s checked out from Hekman Library?

    If the book you need is checked out, you should request the book through MeLCat or ILL rather than placing a Hold on it.

  11. Can I use an ILL item as a textbook or put it on Reserves?

    Yes, if the item doesn’t have to be returned to the lending library. Generally, ILL books can be kept for only a few weeks, and renewals cannot be assured. So, you may have to return it before you are done with it.

  12. What if I lose an ILL book?

    The lending library will send Hekman Library an invoice and you are responsible for the full cost of the invoice. The Hekman Library lost book fee does not apply in the case of lost ILL books.