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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Using the Library Catalog

This guide explains how to create an account, search the catalog,and how to renew and request items.


The local catalog allows you to place a request for items currently available in the University of Illinois Library or a library associated with I-Share. You can request to pick up the item from any library on campus, or you can have it sent to your campus office mail address if you have one.

To Place a Request:

  1. Search the Library Catalog or I-Share Catalog.
  2. When you have found the item you want to request, check if it is available.
  3. Click the “Request Item” tab.
  4. Log in to your account using your library account username and password.

screen capture of where the request item tab is located in catalog record

  1. Once you are logged in, choose where you would like to pick up the item and click “Request” or "Request 1st Available." Some faculty and graduate students can have circulating library materials delivered to their offices
  2. You will be sent an email when your request is available for pickup. Requested items will be held for two weeks after they arrive at the desk.

screen capture of library pickup options


To renew an item online using your account:
1. Log in to your account using your library account username and password.
2. Click on "Checked Out Items" on the right-hand side of the page.
3. Here you will see a list of items you have checked out.
4. Select the items you would like to renew by putting a check into the box by each item as indicated below or click on the Select All link if you want to renew all your items at once.

screen shot of where to click to renew items

5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen where your checked-out items lists end and click on the Renew Selected Items button highlighted below.

screen shot of renew button

You can also renew items by calling the circulation desk (217-333-8400) or by coming to any campus library in person. If you receive an error when you try to renew an item, contact the circulation desk.

Oak Street Library [request online]

The Oak Street Library at Oak and Daniel Streets serves as the high-density storage unit for the University of Illinois Library. This library is not browsable because the items are stored in trays according to size and shelved on 40-foot high racks of industrial shelving. An item’s location on the shelves is tracked through a special inventory program by barcode. To retrieve items from these industrial shelving units, Oak Street staff determine where each piece is located based on its barcode and then use a lift to access the appropriate location.

photo of oak street library's high-density storage stacks

Requests for materials at Oak Street Library are made online via your library account and can be delivered to your preferred campus library where you can pick them up in 1 to 2 business days. Alternatively, you can use Oak Street’s Reading Room (see their homepage for hours), which is particularly useful for consulting a large number of items, such as multi-volume sets. You can check out and return books there. More information about requesting items is on Oak Street Library’s requesting materials webpage.

Learn more about Oak Street Library and their services by visiting their homepage.