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Interlibrary Loan

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan is a resource-sharing process, by which a library requests materials from or supplies materials to another library. At Hightower Library, the Interlibrary Loan Department supports the educational and research needs of Gordon State College students, faculty, and staff by requesting books, articles, or other materials from other libraries. Books and articles at Hightower Library are also loaned to public and academic libraries, at the request of those institutions.

Who can use Interlibrary Loan?

Any Gordon State College student, faculty, or staff member may place a request with the Interlibrary Loan Department, provided that the requested materials will be used to support that individual's study, research, instruction, or work at Gordon State College.

Are there any restrictions on what I can borrow?

Interlibrary Loan requests are usually for books or photocopies of articles. As a rule libraries loan any items that are currently available for use and that are not expressly prohibited from circulating. However, some items may not be available, may not be circulated, or may be restricted in their use. Barring such obstacles, the Interlibrary Loan Department at Gordon State College will make every effort to meet its users' requests.

The following factors may limit or restrict what you can borrow through Interlibrary Loan.


  • Items currently available at your institution's library should not be requested through Interlibrary Loan. Users desiring a specific edition, format, or other distinctive item should indicate this in the request.
  • Some items are not widely available, which in turn may limit the likelihood that they can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan.

Circulation Policies

Each library sets its own rules for what it will and will not lend to other institutions. While you are always welcome and encouraged to request the specific items you need, be aware that the following materials typically do not circulate and that obtaining and using them may be somewhat limited:

  • periodicals (single issues, bound volumes, or microform volumes)
  • reference works
  • rare books or manuscripts
  • newspapers in their original format and other bulky or fragile materials
  • doctoral dissertations or Masters' theses
  • audio-visual materials (cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, videotapes, slides, filmstrips, etc)

Use Limitations & Copyright

A library may place certain restrictions on the items it lends. For instance, it may ask that the item stay in the user's library building or it may limit the number of times a user may renew the item.

The "fair use" provision of U. S. copyright law allows libraries to photocopy materials, so long as that copying is not used as a substitute for subscribing to or purchasing those materials. In order to protect itself against copyright infringement, the Interlibrary Loan Department observes the following guidelines:

  • For the most recent five years of a single periodical title, copies will not exceed five per calendar year. In other words, no more than 5 articles may be requested each year from the most recent 5 years of any periodical title, regardless of who initiates the request.
  • Copies from a poetry or fiction anthology will not exceed five per calendar year.

Is there a charge for borrowing items?

The library pays for most Interlibrary Loan costs. Through its affiliations with other library systems and through its own policy of not charging borrowing institutions, the Hightower Library Interlibrary Loan Department attempts to procure items without incurring charges for the user. However, some lending institutions may require a borrowing or copying fee, in addition to postage costs. When requested items are procured through these institutions, any charges are passed along to the user. Users should indicate how much they are willing to pay to receive an item when they place their requests. The Interlibrary Loan Department will attempt to notify the user of any possible charges before requesting the item, but in submitting the request, the user assumes all charges incurred, even if the item is no longer needed once it arrives.

What is the procedure for placing requests?

  1. Make sure the item is not currently available at your library or through GIL Express.
    For books, check the GIL Catalog (http://gilfind.gordonstate.edu). For articles, check the full-text databases in GALILEO (http://www.galileo.usg.edu/scholar/gdn/subjects/?Welcome).
  2. Complete and submit the Online ILL Request Form - Search for item then click 'Request Item'
    Paper copies of the Interlibrary Loan Request Forms are available at the Hightower Library Circulation Desk. When filling out the form, be sure to provide.
    1. as much information about the item as possible,
    2. your Gordon State College email address, and
    3. the maximum amount you are willing to pay (if applicable)
    By reading and submitting the Interlibrary Loan Request form, you agree to abide by copyright restrictions and to pay any charges (if applicable) up to the amount you specified.
  3. Turn in the request form to the Interlibrary Loan Department.
    Paper copies of the form may be turned in at the Hightower Library Circulation Desk or sent to the library through campus mail. You will be notified by email when your materials arrive.

How long will it take for my item to arrive?

The Interlibrary Loan process typically takes 1-2 weeks, from receipt of the request by the Interlibrary Loan Department to placement of the requested item at the Circulation Desk. How long it actually takes depends on several factors: the availability of the item, the location of the item, the shipping method used, the response time of the lender, and so forth. If you need an item by a certain date, indicate that date on the request form and submit your request as soon as possible.

Where do I pick up and return borrowed items?

All borrowed items are picked up at the Hightower Library Circulation Desk and returned there by the Due Date. Photocopied articles are delivered by email.

When your requested material is ready to be picked up, the Interlibrary Loan Department will notify you by email.

How long is the loan period for books?

The loan period is set by the lending library and must be strictly observed. Loan periods vary by institution, but typically range from 2 weeks to 6 weeks. Always check the Due Date on each item to see how long you can borrow it. Only the lending library can extend the Due Date. If you need to extend the loan period and if renewals are allowed, contact the Hightower Library Interlibrary Loan Department at least five days before the item's Due Date.

Whom should I contact if I have any questions?

Brenda Rutherford
678. 359. 5076