Interlibrary Loan

If our library does not own the item you need it can usually be obtained for you from another library through interlibrary loan (ILL). This service is available to SLC students, faculty and staff only. Alumni and Friends of the Library must use their local public libraries for ILL services.

What can I borrow?

Each library sets its own policies regarding the loan of its materials. In most cases books are readily available as are photocopies of journal articles.

Some libraries will not lend video or audio materials; most will not lend reference books, rare, or valuable items.

Dissertations can be obtained, but often with some difficulty. A photocopy of a dissertation may also be purchased. The cost is $12.00. The copy does not need to be returned; it is yours to keep.

Requesting materials

You must first check the Sarah Lawrence Library Catalog to see if we own the item. If we own it but it is checked out to another patron, you must place a recall for that item. You cannot use ILL to secure items that we already own, including items on reserve or reference items.

Do not request articles available in journals that we own or are available through our full-text databases. If you need assistance searching the library catalog or databases please ask a Reference Librarian.

Please use the ILL Request Form to request an item via ILL. It is important that you fill these out as completely and accurately as possible to avoid delays.


The minimum is usually 10 working days, however the process may take weeks if several libraries need to be contacted. Advance planning on your part is essential.

Books and videos will be held for you at the circulation desk. You will be notified via your SLC e-mail account when they arrive.

Journal articles will be sent to your campus mailbox, otherwise emailed if received as a pdf.


The due date is specified on the item sleeve. ILLs do NOT circulate for the entire semester. You may renew the item once. Please contact the ILL department to arrange a renewal.

If you require additional time, we will try to borrow another copy for you from a different library; you are required to return the original item upon receipt of the newer copy. We shall do the same if an item is recalled by the lending library.

Journal articles are yours to keep.