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Library and Learning Commons - Faculty Resources: Interlibrary Loan

This guide provides an overview of library services and resources available to FSCJ faculty.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service the library offers which allows you to request items (books, DVDs, photocopies of articles, etc.) from other colleges and universities, public libraries, or other institutions.

The Great Things About Interlibrary Loan: Since we have libraries and institutions all across the country to pull from, we can get almost anything. We obviously can't guarantee that all loan requests will be successful since potential lenders have the right to say no (it is their item, after all), but we can usually find someone willing to loan to us. And Interlibrary Loan is free! (Unless you lose the item. Just like anything you check out from FSCJ, you are financially responsible for ILL titles you borrow.)

The Slightly-less-Great Things About Interlibrary Loan: Interlibrary loan does not offer instant gratification. Most loans take at least a week to arrive, and some can take much longer depending upon how many institutions we have to request the item from before we find a willing lender and the distance it has to be shipped to get to us. However, if you plan ahead a bit, ILL can be a great resource. Another thing to keep in mind: we cannot guarantee that you will be able to keep the item for as long as you want. Lenders have set amounts of time they are willing to loan items. Check your due dates, and don't assume that just because we successfully filled the loan for you that you'll be able to keep it for a full month/term/year/lifetime.

So where do I start?

You should always start your search with the library catalog. From the catalog, not only can you locate items owned by FSCJ, you can request items from any of the 28 Florida colleges and 12 Florida universities with whom we're affiliated.

Here's how to place an interlibrary loan request through the library catalog:
Before you do anything else, you need to log in to myFSCJ in order to access the library catalog. See video instructions below or follow these simple steps:

  • Log in to your myFSCJ account.
  • Choose the "Students" tab at the top.
  • Select "Library and Learning Commons" under "Useful Links" to the right for "Students" tab.
  • Your name should show in the upper left corner of the library catalog. Also, please see


1) Enter the information about the item you wish to borrow (title, author, ISBN, etc.) in the search field. The more information you enter, the narrower your search parameters will be and fewer (and more specific) results will be returned. You can use the tabs  to specify a particular type of item (book/eBook, video, etc.) if you so choose.



If you've done all of that, click Search.

Check the search results. Once you've identified which item you're interested in, check to see where it's available.


If you see the name of an FSCJ campus listed and the item next to it shows as Available, that means the college owns a copy that's not currently in
use and you should try to request that one. Items coming from another FSCJ campus library arrive much faster than items being sent by another institution.  (Scroll down to see what to do if there are no available copies.)

To request an available item, click on Place a Hold next to the item you wish to request.


Use the Select Pickup Location dropdown menu to choose which campus at which you would like to pick your item up. Then click Place Request.

The system will let you know if your request was successfully placed. If you wish to check the status of your request, or see a list of all your requests, click Requests next to the My Account button at the top right.

From the Request page, you can check your Request Status or Cancel your request.


If your search does not return any results or all of the copies are showing as Checked Out (and you can't wait until the date it's due to be returned), that means FSCJ does not have an available copy and you'll need to request it through UBorrow InterLibrary Loan. Go to Step Four to see how.

If the specific item you're interested in does not appear in the catalog as being available at FSCJ and there are no results shown as available in UBorrow, stop here and follow the directions in the "What if that didn't work?" box below, which will help you place an OCLC Interlibrary Loan Request.  Please note: many OCLC ILL loans come from out of state, and can longer to arrive.

If your item is not available at any of the FSCJ libraries, place an ILL request for it through UBorrow.

Click the UBorrow button to open up results in the statewide union catalog to see copies of your item that are available at other institutions. Click the Open All Locations button to show the complete list of institutions where an item is held and that they have Available copies. 

Check the list of available copies to make sure that they are copies in Circulation or the General Collection; copies that show as Reserve are ones the owning library will not allow to leave the building, so requesting them will only result in a refusal (the same is true of copies of EResources). Copies that display a Due Date  are checked out by other patrons, and might take a while to become available.

Find the record with the longest list of available copies, and click the UBorrow button beneath that record to place your request. 

Select the campus at which you would like to pick up the item from the dropdown menu, and then click the Place Request button.


A message will appear letting you know that your request has been Successfully Submitted and offering you the option to Return to Searching or View the Requests on your account. To review your active requests and see how you can track or cancel an interlibrary loan request, go to Step Five.


You can track the progress of your ILL.

Immediately after placing your ILL, you can click the View Requests option from the same page showing that your ILL request was successfully submitted.


Or from any page within the catalog you can lick on Requests at the top right of the library's search screen.


The screen that opens will display both your local hold requests within FSCJ's libraries and your interlibrary loan requests. Interlibrary loan requests will appear under the UBorrow Requests tab. Find the title you requested on the list, and then check the Status. Your request could show as Sent to Supplier, Shipped, Returned, or Locate FailedLocate Failed means the request was unsuccessful and that you may want to attempt requesting a copy from a different record, or via OCLC. You can find directions for how to do the latter in the box labeled I tried requesting through the catalog, but my item wasn't available. What do I do now?

At the far left you also have the option to Cancel your ILL request if you decide you no longer need the item.


Once your ILL item arrives at the selected campus, the staff there will contact you. We frequently use your student email, so be sure to check that regularly.


I tried requesting through the catalog, but my item wasn't available. What do I do now?

If you've already used the library catalog to search the holdings of all 28 colleges and were unable to find your item, you still have options. You can place an OCLC interlibrary loan. OCLC loans are filled by libraries and institutions outside the 28 college system, which frequently means libraries and institutions outside of Florida. Since these items often have to be shipped in from other states, they can take longer to arrive than items borrowed within the 28 college system.

Here's how you can place an OCLC interlibrary loan:
You should already be logged in to myFSCJ but if you're not, you'll need to do so now, following Step One instructions in the box above.  If you're already logged in and at the library search page, proceed to Step Two.


1) At the library catalog screen, click on the Library Databases tab.

Library Portal, Library Databases

2) The list of databases the library subscribes to will appear, arranged in alphabetical order. Click on W to
pull up the list of databases beginning with that letter, then click on WorldCat Discovery (OCLC).

Screen shot of library catalog databases A to Z.


Screen shot of library catalog database showing Worldcat listing.

Once the WorldCat Discovery screen opens, you will have the option to use Basic or Advanced searching.

The Basic search screen will work fine if you have the ISBN of the book you are looking for. If you are searching by Title, Author, or Keyword (or are looking for a journal article), we strongly suggest you use the Advanced search. WorldCat's database includes  millions of records, and you'll want to make your search query as specific as possible in order to get the best results.


On the advanced screen you can use the dropdown menus to select what criteria by which to search. For books, always use the ISBN if you have it. If you don't have the ISBN, searching for the Title and Author of the book will get you the most accurate search results. Other search criteria like Keyword are available if you are looking for a specific topic but not a specific item. If you wish to use more than two search criteria, you can click on Add Row to create a third (or fourth...or fifth...) search field. 


If you are looking for an article, you'll need to to search for the Title of the magazine or journal in which it appears and select the format Journal/Magazine.

Check the search results to locate the item you're interested in.

Each result will have the item's title, author, publication date, and format, which can help you decide if it's the item you want. 




If you are searching for the Title of a journal or magazine, the listing will contain the year in which the publication started publishing.



Items that are owned by FSCJ will have a notation underneath the title reading Held by Florida State College at Jacksonville. If you see this on the record of the item you're looking for, you may want to go back and check the library catalog to ensure you didn't miss an item you can get immediately from us.


If you think you've found a title you're interested in which is not available through FSCJ, click on the title to look at the full record.

Once you have the specific record open, click on Description to see more details about the item.

Each book record will contain the ISBN, the book's Table of Contents, and a Summary of the book.



If you're looking for a textbook, be sure you check the record to make sure you've chosen the edition that your instructor is requiring.



If you're looking for a journal or magazine title, you can look at the subject headings to be sure that this record is for the title you're looking for and not a publication with the same name that covers a different subject.

Once you're sure you've selected the record for the item you want, you can place your ILL request.

Click either the Request Item button.


Enter your contact information in the ILL Request form.

You must enter your First Name, Last Name, Need Before Date and Email in order to submit your request. If any of these are left blank, the system will not allow you to click Submit. For the Need Before Date, please choose a date one month from today. Choosing a date sooner than that will not make your request come faster, and it may cause some institutions to refuse your request if they believe they cannot fill your request in time. 

You also need to provide your Telephone Number and tell us at which campus you wish to pick up your item. Specify your campus in the Comments field.  If you leave out any of this information, we will not be able to get your item to the correct campus for you, or reach you when it arrives.

Note: If you're requesting an article from a journal or magazine from the general record of the journal or magazine, please place the article's name along with the volume and issue number and the date of publication in the Comments field. (If you place your request from the specific article record, all of that information should already be included in your request.) If you have any difficulties, contact a librarian at your local campus, or email for help.

Once you've entered your information, click Submit.


A green box will appear letting you know that your request has been successfully placed and providing you with your request number, which you should keep a copy of in case you need to check the status of your request.

OCLC ILLS are not trackable the same way as loan requests placed directly through the library's catalog.

You will receive an email to your student account or a phone call when your item arrives at the campus you requested. If you have any questions about the status of your loan prior to that, you can contact the Downtown Campus Library circulation staff either by phone at 904-633-8368 or by emailing Please have you loan request number when you call.

Remember: interlibrary loans take at least a week to arrive, and often longer if the items have to travel here from out of state. Placing an ILL request does not offer immediate gratification, and requires a bit of planning ahead.

But what if I need it NOW?

As we've mentioned, interlibrary loan does not offer immediate gratification. Loan requests generally take at least a week, and sometimes much longer. If you need something today (or tomorrow, or two days from now) and there's nothing in any of FSCJ's libraries that can help, here are a couple of alternate suggestions:

Jacksonville Public Library

The Jacksonville Publlic Library has twenty-one different branches spread all across Jacksonville. If you have a library card with JPL, you can request items through their catalog and have them delivered to the branch nearest your house for you to pick up. If you don't have a library card with JPL (or your account is blocked for unpaid fines), you will not be able to request items or check anything out, but you can still visit whatever branch owns the item you're interested in and look at it there.

Univeristy of North Florida Library

We frequently request items from UNF's library via ILL, but that takes a few days. If you need something immediately, you can go to UNF directly and check the item out. FSCJ has what's called a reciprocal lending agreement with all of the other public colleges and universities in Florida, which means that as an FSCJ student you can go to any public college or university (in Jacksonville, that means UNF) and check out books using your FSCJ library account. Keep in mind that your account with FSCJ must be in good standing for this to work - if you have overdue or lost items or you're not currently enrolled, you're not going to be able to borrow from UNF, though you could still look at their items there.

Word of warning: parking at UNF requires a purchasing a daily parking pass ($5, they accept cash or credit) if you want to park there M-Th 7a-8p or Friday 7a-5pm. Parking is free from 5pm Friday until 7am Monday (in other words, over the weekend), unless they're having a special event. (You can check to see if they have an event scheduled on their Master Calendar.)