Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If you need materials that SMU Libraries do not own, you may request them through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Interlibrary Loan connects our library to thousands of others throughout the United States.

Access SMU's Interlibrary Loan System

Policy and FAQ

The SMU Interlibrary Loan system allows you use to request to borrow an item we do not own at our library.

Service is limited to current SMU students, current or retired faculty, and current or retired staff. The materials requested should be for course assignments and research. Borrowers must have a valid SMU ID.

Undergraduate students, because of their shorter time restraints, should consult with a reference librarian about their research needs before submitting a request.

Interlibrary loan service is also available at your local public library.

In general, anything can be requested. However, the following types of materials are difficult to obtain through Interlibrary Loan:

  • Complete issues of periodicals or newspapers
  • Reference books
  • Compact discs/DVDs/videos/audio tapes
  • Archival materials
  • Rare or old materials
  • Items in Special Collections
  • Best sellers
  • Recently published books
  • Books in overseas libraries

We do not order course textbooks, materials for course reserve, or items that you have already borrowed once through interlibrary loan. We cannot request textbooks or books to be put on course reserve through interlibrary loan because the loan periods given are not long enough for semester use.

When a requested item is received, you will be notified by e-mail or telephone and may pick up the item at the Underwood Law Library Main Desk any hour that the library is open.

Although turnaround times can vary widely depending on how fast the lending library responds to our request, we suggest that you consider the following guidelines concerning delivery times when planning your research:

Books and other loanables: Allow 10-15 days
Photocopies of articles: Allow 5-10 days