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Inter Library Loans

This page provides detailed information about the Library's Inter-Library Loan service. Where the Library does not have a copy of a particular book, journal article, thesis, conference paper, patent or other source – the ILL service will obtain it from another library.

This service is aimed primarily at academic and research staff and students.




Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply and who pays?

Each school is allocated a fund which is managed on their behalf by the School's Library Liaison Officer. Academic staff may apply for inter-library loans under these funds. Research postgraduate students may apply with permission from their supervisor or library liaison officer, and in some cases, taught postgraduate students may request ILLs for their dissertation, subject to approval from their dissertation supervisor. Please contact ILL staff for additional information regarding individual school rules. For all other requestors, charges apply and are payable by the individual upon submission of request. Please email with full details of the required item to confirm the charge. 

How long does it take?

This varies depending on the location of the supplying library, but generally the wait time is about 7 working days. Items sourced from Europe or the US will naturally take longer to arrive. We will contact you if there is likely to be a significant delay or if we need further details about the item required. In these circumstances, if we do not receive a reply from you within one month, the request will be cancelled.

Is there a limit to the number of requests I can make?

Yes, some schools set limits on the number of items individuals may request. This service is expensive so it is important to consider carefully whether the item is essential or not. Please contact ILL staff directly for more information on individual school rules.

How do I make a request?

Applications are now accepted online:   ILL online form

You will need your staff/student ID number and your Library PIN code to log in to complete the form.

Please note: the ILL online form is only accessible by Research Postgraduates, and DCU Staff members. Taught postgraduates, undergraduates and visitors etc. should email or call (01) 700 5457 if they wish to request an Inter- Library Loan

Before completing an ILL application, please check the Library Catalogue and the A-Z of journals, to ensure that the item is not already held in Library print or online collections.  A separate application is required for each item requested. Please enter as much bibliographic detail as you can, as incomplete or inaccurate information may cause delays. All student requests must now include a Thesis/Dissertation supervisor name in the relevant field on the form, to permit eligible students to use their school ILL funds. Applications without this information will not be processed. 

How do I know when an ILL arrives in the Library?

When items are received in the Library notification is sent to the applicant via email. Items should be collected from the Inter-Library Loans Desk in the selected Library as soon as possible thereafter. Outside of the hours the desk is staffed, items can be collected from the Issue Desk. 

Can I take an ILL book home?

Most items are for home reading but some are for use in the Library only. These loans are held for borrowers at the Inter-library Loans Desk in the Library and are available for consultation during Library opening hours. When collecting items 'for Library use only', borrowers should hand in their ID card at the Inter-library Loans Desk and upon returning the item, should indicate whether or not they wish to consult this item again at another time.

How long can I keep an ILL item?

Photocopies of journal articles are yours to keep. The lending library determines the length of the loan period for books, which is usually between one and six weeks. The return date will be written on a slip inserted in the book. All inter-library loans are subject to recall at any time. When an item is recalled by the lending institution, we will inform the borrower of the new date by which the loan should be returned. Renewals are not always possible and application for renewals should be sought before the due date. It is not possible to renew overdue items. Users are requested to return inter-library-loan items on time. We are bound by the conditions of loan imposed on us by the lending institutions. We ask you to respect these conditions which are based on principles of goodwill and a spirit of conscientious exchange of materials between libraries.

Note: The British Library imposes a substantial charge for overdue and/or lost items. This charge will be passed on to the borrower should the item be lost or returned late.





Information for Other Libraries

We are happy to supply material from our collections to Irish/international libraries, with the exception of the following: Reference material, Restricted loan material, Online journal/database content and Special collections.

Irish/UK libraries

Please email with details of the requested item, the request number and a British Library account number (where applicable) for billing purposes. Current charges are £10 for loans and £6.50 for articles/book chapters.

All other international requests

We accept IFLA vouchers in exchange for supplying material to libraries outside the UK/Ireland. Please note the following charges: 3 vouchers due per book loan and 1 voucher due per article request.

Please refer all inquiries to

Contact Us



Telephone: (01) 7005457

Fax: (01) 7005602

Address: Inter-Library Loans Department, O'Reilly Library, DCU Glasnevin Campus, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.


O'Reilly Library
    Aoife Murphy.    Phone: (01) 7005457    Ground floor beside Issue Desk. 

Cregan Library -
   Billy Kenrick.      Phone: (01) 8842180     Information Services, 1st Floor