Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan can seem complicated. Get an overview of Interlibrary loan or see our frequently asked questions below.

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Overview of Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

  • What is Interlibrary Loan?

    Interlibrary loan simply means borrowing materials from other libraries outside of Bethel. Usually, this means you send a request for the item to the Bethel library you use, we find another library that has it, they send it to us, and we pass it along to you for check-out.

  • CLICnet: Millions of books even quicker

    We do interlibrary loans with libraries throughout North America. However, a bunch of local Twin Cities college and universities have teamed up to make it even easier and faster. We call ourselves CLIC (rhymes with quick), and our catalog is CLICnet. If you need a book, music score, or other physical item that you can’t get from your Bethel library, the fastest way to request is through CLICnet. If you can’t get it from CLIC, you can request it as a regular interlibrary loan. Fortunately, the library book search can tell what’s at CLIC and what’s not, so you can just make the request and go on with your searching.

  • Bethel's web of online articles

    If it’s an article you’re after, Bethel libraries have millions you can access online in one of our databases. Sometimes you’ll find an article title in one database, but the document (a.k.a. full-text) is really available in another database. The database with just the article title will have a link to search Bethel Libraries for the article’s full-text in another database. If that doesn’t work, you’ll have the option to request the article. And that request will be for, you guessed it, an interlibrary loan.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I request an item?

Interlibrary loan requests are handled through one of your library accounts called ILLiad. Before you can use ILLiad you must set up your account. More info.

The easiest way to request an item is as you find an article or book in our catalog or one of the databases we subscribe to. If you want to request something found while doing research, do the following:


There are many article databases you might be using, but they all follow the same basic rules. Click on the title of the article. This opens the page for the article. Look in the left or right sidebar on the screen for the button which says "Search Bethel Libraries for full-text." If we don't have the article, this link will open a page with a button to request the item through your ILLiad account.

Get full, illustrated step-by-step instructions.


The default library book search is called WorldCat (a catalog of the world's library books). Usually you'll be using this when you need to make a book request. Click on the title of the item you want. This opens a page for that item. Items not at Bethel Libraries will have a blue button to click to put in a request.

Get full, illustrated step-by-step instructions.

If you know the exact information about the item, you can fill out a blank form. Common request types are:

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When will my request come?

Generally, the following is true:

Articles: 1-3 business days
Books: 5-7 business days

Factors that affect this timing are when we or the library that owns the item can send it, and whether it is sent electronically or by mail.  We usually process requests 9 am - 6 pm, Monday - Friday except during holidays.

If the material is not available through interlibrary loan, you will be notified by email and the request will be automatically cancelled.

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What does my request status mean?

Awaiting Request Processing: The ILL department has received the request and is working to find a library that owns the item and can send it to you.

Request Sent: The ILL department has found a library that owns the item and sent the request to that library so that they can fill the request and send the item to Bethel. You can check the comprehensive list of request status' for more definitions.

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How long can I borrow an interlibrary loan item?

The amount of time you can borrow an item depends on the type of item and the library that owns the item. For items that are lost or returned with damage, you may be charged overdue fines or replacement fees.

  • Books can usually be borrowed between 4 - 12 weeks.
  • DVDs, CDs, audiobooks and some other materials usually have shorter loan periods than books.
  • Articles received via ILLiad are typically accessible for three weeks before they are automatically removed from your account.

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How can I renew an interlibrary loan item?

In most cases, you can renew an item before the item's due date. However, the library that owns the item may not allow renewals. An item usually cannot be renewed more than twice.

There are two ways to request renewals:

1. In your ILLiad account under "Checked Out Items," choose the transaction number of the item you would like to renew and choose "Renew Request" at the top of the screen.
2. Call or email your ILL department. For the University Library, call 651.635.8797 or email For the Seminary Libraries, call 651.635.8773 or email Let them know your name and the title of the item or transaction number.

When we hear back from the library that owns the item, we will contact you with renewal results, usually within 1 - 2 days.

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How can I cancel a request?

To cancel a request, log in to your ILLiad account, look under "Outstanding Requests" and click on the item/transaction number and choose "Cancel Request." If you don't see that option, your request may be too far along in the process to be cancelled. You may also contact your interlibrary loan department to request a cancellation. For the University Library, call 651.635.8797 or email For the Seminary Libraries, call 651.635.8773 or email

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How do I know when my requested material comes?

Easy! When your requested material, comes you will receive an email in your account from your ILL department indicating that your material has arrived.

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Where do I pick up my requested material?

If it is digital/online:
Electronic materials come in the form of a PDF. You will be notified via email which includes a link to the article or a link to your ILLiad account where you can view the article.

Articles available through your ILLiad account can be accessed by clicking "Electronically Received Articles" on the left-hand side of the screen. If you are having trouble opening the article, please contact us. For the University Library, call 651.635.8797 or email For the Seminary Libraries, call 651.635.8773 or email

If it is a physical item:
Books, DVDs and most other materials can be picked up from the check-out desk in your library. Articles that are printed instead of sent electronically will be in your P.O. box or at the check-out desk.   
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Connect With Us

Bethel University Library

Picture of Interlibrary loan contact
Call us 651.635.8797
Email us

Bethel Seminary Libraries

Mark Nygaard
Call us 651.638.6184
Email us

Information for libraries borrowing from Bethel