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Request Items

Get items not currently available at Hekman Library.

Going Beyond Hekman

Hekman Library strives to meet user needs, both through our collection and by leveraging our network of other library partners. When a user needs an item that is not owned or available through Hekman Library, in-person or online, they can request the item through the Michigan eLibrary or Interlibrary Loan: These two programs allow Hekman Library users to freely borrow materials and receive copies from other library collections in Michigan and around the world.

Hekman Library provides requesting services to all faculty, staff, students, alumni*, emeriti of Calvin University and Seminary, visiting scholars, and Christian Reformed pastors. A patron's library account must be in good standing to initiate an interlibrary loan request. Individuals not affiliated with Calvin University and Seminary may check their local public library or home educational institution to submit requests. The Hekman Library guest user card does not include Interlibrary loan service.

*Calvin Alumni ILL requests are filled only if there is no fee imposed by the lending library; they may request up to 5 ILL items per year. Alumni may not use their Calvin accounts to make MeL requests but are encouraged to use their local institution for requests, as many school and public libraries in Michigan participate in MeL.

Fast Facts about MeL/ILL

Michigan eLibrary

  • MeL is a state-wide network representing nearly every library in Michigan - more than 6 million unique book titles, DVDs/Blu-Rays, music, microfilm, and more (journal and newspaper articles are retrieved through InterLibrary Loan).

  • MeL is a free service available to most Hekman Library users (guests and alumni users may be able to place MeL requests through their local public or school libraries instead).

  • When you request an item through MeL, it will be sent to Hekman Library for pick up at the main circulation desk on 2nd floor. This will take around 3-5 days, depending on where the item is shipping from

  • In general, MeL books check out for 28 days with 1 renewal, and audio-visual materials check out for 14 days.

  • When your MeL items is delivered to Hekman Library, you will receive an email from Hekman staff to pick up at the 2nd floor Circulation Desk.

  • You can search the MeL database and check the status of your MeL requests anytime through

  • You can return your MeL items by their due date to the Hekman Library. Overdue MeL items will cost $1/day, with no grace period. 

Interlibrary Loan

  • ILL allows you to borrow items from across the U.S. and around the world. You can request books and audio-visual materials as well as copies of journal and newspaper articles (when requesting physical items, Hekman Library staff recommend checking MeL holdings first, as local libraries can often ship their materials faster).

  • ILL is a free service available to most Hekman Library users (Alumni use is determined by the lending library - when permitted, alumni may make up to 5 ILL requests. Guests may be able to place ILL requests through their local public or school libraries instead).

  • In general, articles requested through ILL will arrive within 3 days, and physical materials will arrive within 1-2 weeks. 

  • When your ILL articles are made available, you'll immediately receive a PDF copy in your email inbox. When your ILL books or other physical items arrive, library staff will email you to pick up at the 2nd floor Circulation Desk. 

  • The length of time you can keep an ILL item varies - the checkout period is determined by the lending library and noted on the ILL slip tucked into your item when you pick it up from Hekman Library.

  • If you want to check the status of your requests or request a renewal of your items from the lending library, you can log in to your ILL account here anytime.

  • You can return your ILL items by their due date to the Hekman Library. Overdue ILL items will cost $1/day, with no grace period. 

Questions about Requesting?

Contact Hekman Library for help with requesting through ILL or MeL, or check out our how-to videos for step-by-step visuals:

In Main Circulation Area (see Maps - Second Floor)

Phone 616.526.8573


*Videos may be slightly out of date due to renovation construction and website redesign in 2023 - newer content coming soon*