InterLibrary Loans: Borrowing materials from other libraries


The InterLibrary Loan (ILL) Service supplements resources at the Simon Fraser University Library by obtaining materials from other institutions. The InterLibrary Loan service borrows material according to national and international codes of practice. The co-operation and goodwill of lending libraries is dependent upon our observance of these codes.

Libraries wishing to borrow material from SFU should consult our ILL guide for other libraries.

Place an interlibrary loan request

To place an ILL request see Request items from other libraries.

Contact InterLibrary Loans

  • Email:
  • Telephone: 778.782.3625
  • In person: Room 2019, 2nd floor of the W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby)
  • InterLibrary Loans Supervisor: Shirin Shad,, 778-782-5596

Types of material available

  • books
  • book chapters
  • journal and newspaper articles
  • newspapers on microfilm
  • theses
  • government documents
  • conference proceedings
  • etc.

 The following items are seldom available for loan:

  • A complete volume or issue of a periodical
  • DVDs or videos
  • Rare and valuable books
  • Books difficult or expensive to mail
  • Reference material
  • Books published very recently

Please discuss requests for such material with the Interlibrary Loan staff. Other options, such as purchasing a copy of the item, may be possible.

Eligibility for the service

Faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, emeriti and adjunct faculty may use the ILL service.

Alumni and external borrower card holders are not eligible for ILL service.

Requesting material using interlibrary loan

Check the Library Catalogue to ensure that the item is not at SFU. Many government documents, technical reports, etc. which are available in microform sets, are not listed individually in the catalogue. If in doubt, please ask a librarian for help.

Requesting from the Library Catalogue or databases

You can often request an interlibrary loan within your search results:

  • From many journal article databases , you can click on the Get@SFU link to order articles from other libraries.
  • From the Library Catalogue, you can also select Interlibrary Loans in the Get It section of the item record.

Requesting using ILL forms

You can also use one of the ILL forms to search for and order material.

When inputting the form you should provide as much information as possible, including your source of reference. Lack of information can cause a request to be delayed or cancelled.

Requesting videos or DVDs for classroom bookings

When requesting a video or DVD (that SFU does not own) for classroom booking use the Video/Film online request form.

Also use the Video/Film online request form if you want to book a SFU owned video/film/dvd for a classroom showing.

Pick-up location

When placing your request, it is important that you indicate the pick-up location where you wish to receive the material. Books will be held at the at the W.A.C. Bennett (SFU Burnaby), Belzberg (SFU Vancouver) or Fraser (SFU Surrey)  libraries (whichever you indicate). You will be notified by e-mail when the item arrives.

Articles are delivered to you using a secure Post-to-Web service. You will be notified by an email that the item is available and the message will contain a secure link to the document. You have five days to access the article, after which time it will be deleted. Once you access the document you will need to print off the document.

If you are eligible for Telebook service, you can specify Telebook as your pick-up location, and books will be sent to you via Canada Post. Articles will be delivered using the Post-to-Web service described above. For more details on ILL service for distance education students, please see the Guide to Telebook Services.

Waiting time for requested material

Books will arrive between 3 and 14 days, depending on the supplying library. Most book requests arrive within one week.

Articles and book chapters are delivered digitally and will arrive between 1 and 14 days, depending on the supplying library. Most article/chapter requests arrive within one week.

Checking the status and history of your ILL requests

You can check the progress of your ILL requests by logging in to "Citation Finder"; watch How to find a list of Interlibrary Loans requests to learn how to find InterLibrary Loans request records and the status of those requests.

You may also email to get a status update of your requests.

Requesting a renewal

Renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending library.

Because renewals are rarely given by the lending library, you should plan to be finished with an ILL book in the time period allotted when you first receive it.

You can request a renewal by sending e-mail to or phoning 778.782.3625 during office hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm).

Lending libraries do not entertain requests for renewal until very close to the due date. For this reason, please do not place a renewal request until a few days before the item is due.

Borrower's responsibilities

Borrowers are notified via e-mail when interlibrary material arrives and is ready for pick-up. Articles and chapters are delivered to you digitally.

All ILL books must be picked up at the Check Out Counter / Holds Pick-up area of the SFU library which you requested for pickup. Items can be returned to any SFU Library in the same way that you return SFU Library books.

ILL periods (set by the lending library) will vary, although the norm is 3 to 6 weeks from the date of receipt. Any restrictions on use imposed by the lending library must be observed.

Processing and replacement costs will be assessed and charged for lost or damaged materials.