How Long Does an ILL Take?

The Interlibrary Loan department has little control over the delivery date of items ordered. Materials which are available from Canadian libraries through regular interlibrary loan procedures can be obtained within 1-3 weeks. Delivery times may vary during peak periods from September to April. Materials from American libraries may take 4-6 weeks to arrive. Requests which have to be sent overseas may take 3 months or longer. Rush requests are generally not accepted.

Notification and Delivery

  • Email notifications are sent when ILL materials are available for pick up.
  • Interlibrary Loan items may be picked up at the library circulation desk.
  • Faculty can choose to have ILL items delivered to offices via internal mail.
  • Distance patrons will receive delivery of ILL items to their location.
  • Items that arrive after your required date may not be distributed.

Loan Period

The loan period for most returnable interlibrary loan items (books, theses, microfilm) is six (6) weeks.

  • Photocopied articles are yours to keep.
  • The due date for all other items is six weeks from the date we notify you, not from the date the item is picked up. Some exceptions may apply.
  • Renewal of Interlibrary Loan items is determined by the lending library. Please contact us to see if a renewal is possible.
  • All interlibrary loans are subject to recall at any time by the lending institution.
  • Substitutions will not be made for requests which come in microform instead of paper copy.
  • The lending library may impose restrictions on items such as “Library Use Only” or “No Photocopying.” If you violate these restrictions, and loss or damage to an item occurs, you are responsible for paying any replacement charges.


  • Overdue charges of $1.00 per item per day will be applied to your library account.
  • Fees for lost or damaged ILL items are the replacement cost as well as a $30 processing fee.

To ensure the continued co-operation of the lending libraries, please return your ILL items promptly.

Please note that unpaid interlibrary loan charges may result in the suspension of all library borrowing privileges.


The Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Service at UNBC Library operates under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act of Canada and follows established ILL/DocDel customs, practices, standards and policies.  All materials are protected by Canadian copyright law.

Material provided through Interlibrary Loan must be used solely for the purpose of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire or parody. In accordance with standard procedure complete bibliographic information is provided.