Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Interlibrary Loan



Who is eligible to use ILL services? 

UM staff, faculty, and currently enrolled students are able to use ILL.  Alumni, former employees and community members are not eligible.

Is there a charge to use ILL?

For Borrowing: We do our best to borrow from other free resource sharing groups and universities within the state of Alabama.  Carmichael will pay up to $30.00 for a request.  Instances where the cost to borrow materials exceeds $30.00 will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and you may be asked to pay a portion, or all, of that cost.  (Rarely do we have to ask patrons to pay for their loans!) 

For Lost Items: If a loan is lost, you are required to pay the fine/processing fee/ cost of the item.  The school lending the material determines how much you will owe.  A hold will be placed on your student account until the fine is cleared.

How long will it take to get my materials?

Please allow up to four weeks when specifying your "needed by" day on the request forms. The "needed by" date does not affect the speed in which we process your request(s), but a generous window prevents your request from expiring while it is being considered by potential lender libraries.  Each potential lender has a short time frame to consider the request and so it may take some time to move through the chain. We tend to receive most of our items within 2-3 weeks of the request initiation.

Where can I find the due dates?

All returnable material (e.g., books, microfilm, media) are due back to Carmichael Library one day BEFORE they are due back to their home institutions.  Carmichael ILL places a square slip of paper in each loan that lists your name and due date.  Many institutions place their own labels either on or around the covers of their books; however, materials are due back to Carmichael ILL no later than the date before the date indicated by the lending library. 

You can also check when your loans are due by logging-in to your ILL account. If you need to request a renewal, see the next answer. 

See Also: ILL Tutorial

How do I renew my books?

Log-in to your ILL account,  

  1. Click on "Interlibrary Loan Requests"
    • This will show all of the items you have requested or checked out. 
  2. Find the item you want to renew and click the 'Renew' button located on the right side of the request
    • This is a tentative renewal.  A new due date (if the lending library agrees) will be issued for this item. You will receive an email and the item will be updated on your account if a new due date is issued.  If the lending school does not agree to renew the item, the original due date stands

 If there is a problem, please contact the ILL Coordinator. 

See Also: ILL Tutorial

What if I need a loan for longer than the renewal allows?  

This happens quite a bit, especially if you are working on a large project (e.g., McNair Scholarships, Undergraduate Research, Senior Seminars, Graduate Thesis, articles for publication, etc.).  Place a renewal request through your ILL account. If you are denied a renewal, you will need to return that item by the due date. You can place a new request for the same item and we will try to get a copy from another library. 

Regardless of whether you are finished with the material, you are obligated to abide by the due dates set by the lending library. Failure to do so will result in a block on your account.

How do you contact me? 

When you set up an account, you will need to provide your UM email address and a phone number for account verification. You can manage whether you receive SMS messages or email updates, but you will need to choose one to ensure that you receive notifications from your ILL account. If you prefer to receive updates through a different contact method, you will need to specify that on the ILL request forms. Please be aware that once you initiate an ILL request, you must be sure to check your emails or SMS messages or your ILL account regularly so you do not miss the arrival of your items before they are due. 

Are there alternatives to ILL?


UM participates in the NAAL (Network of Alabama Academic Libraries) Library Access Program which allows currently enrolled students and currently employed faculty and staff to access the library buildings and services of other participating academic institutions. This partnership allows UM students, faculty and staff to check out materials, in person, with your student ID. 

If Carmichael doesn't have what you are looking or if you are nearby, you can visit a NAAL participating library and check out what you need. 

Before making the trek up I-65, it's a good idea to call the institution and ask them to place the items on hold for you.  This way, you avoid getting there only to find that the book is checked out or missing from the shelf.  If you want help with this, stop by the ILL office on the main floor of Carmichael by calling 665-6100 or by e-mailing 

How do I receive articles? 

All articles are sent to your UM email account.  The link to your article is only active for 30 days so you will need to print the article out or save it to your computer. 

See Also: ILL Tutorial

Why is my book recalled?

Every once in a while a lending institution needs to recall an item before it is due.  If one of your loans has been recalled, you will be notified by the ILL Coordinator at which point you will need to return the item ASAP.  You may place another request for the item which will be filled ASAP by another institution.  

Why was my request canceled?

The most common reasons ILL requests are canceled:

  • Carmichael owns the material either in print (books, periodicals) or subscribes to the material through databases (journals, articles).  If Carmichael owns the material the request will be canceled and you will be provided with information as to where to locate the information you need. 
  • You already have placed a request for the item. 
  • You have requested a textbook.
  • We were unable to obtain the item you requested through the ILL process.
  • You have one or more overdue ILL items which has generated a block on your account.

If you are ever unsure as to why your request was canceled, or you feel your request was canceled by mistake, please contact the ILL Coordinator ASAP. 

What is the difference between ILL and Tipasa?

ILL: Is a service used to obtain materials unavailable at Carmichael.  These materials include books, articles, DVDs, CDs, microfilm, and journal subscriptions. 

Tipasa: Is our new web-based resource sharing management software.  Carmichael, along with other old ILLiad institutions are switching to the new cloud based ILL system. Tipasa is used to manage the everyday functions of Interlibrary Loan but has a simpler interface for patrons.