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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

IFSI Library Website Guide: Search the Catalog

This is a guide intended to walk a new user through the process of using the IFSI Library website.

IFSI Library Lending Policies

Local Lending (Illinois Residents Only)

  • The checkout period is 4 weeks.
  • Extensions are considered individually.
  • Pick up requested materials at the library circulation desk.
  • Bring your photo ID to set up a lending account.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

  • The checkout period is 6 weeks.
  • IFSI can send materials directly to your local public library through Interlibrary Loan.
  • You must have a public library card.
  • It may take up to two weeks for items to arrive.

Search Our Catalog Here

Tip: Advanced Search

If you know more information about the specific material (book, audiobook, article, etc.) you are looking for, such as the exact title, publisher, author, or type of material, you may use the advanced search (located immediately beneath "Search Library catalog"). From this page, you may enter in as much or as little information as you know about your material to narrow down your results. Be aware that entering incorrect information might exclude your material from the search results, so only input what you know.

Tip: Word Choice

When searching the online catalog about a subject, it might be helpful to try different keywords that mean the same thing. For example, if you are looking for materials about dogs being used to sniff out accelerant in arson investigations, swapping the term "dog" for the term "canine" in your search can yield additional useful results.

How to Search:

At the Illinois Fire Service Institute website (, click on the library tab.

At the library website, click on "Search and Request Materials."

Login to your account. In order to do an online request of materials from the library, you must be logged in. If you do not have a library account, you may register for one at this webpage. (You may see a step-by-step guide for registering on the previous LibGuide tab.)

Once you have logged in, you are ready to search the IFSI Library online catalog. At the “Search Library catalog” field, you may simply type in the item or subject for which you are searching, and click "Go" or press "Enter" on your keyboard to perform the search.

To request items, simply click on “Place hold” beneath the item.

Click on the “Place hold” button to finalize your request. The IFSI librarians will be notified so that they may find your materials. You will be notified once the materials you requested have been found and processed.

You may also click on "Show more options" before you submit your hold request to set specific start and end dates for your hold. (For example, this can be useful if you want to make sure you get a hold on your material before you forget but won't need it for a while.) You can also use these additional options to write a note to the librarians. For example, you may ask the librarians to find other items related to your search. Or, you may request the item(s) be interlibrary loaned to you through your public library. For interlibrary loan, you will need to provide the name of your public library and your public library card number.

Once you click on “Place hold,” you will have the opportunity to suspend or cancel your request until a later date.

If you have questions about this process, please ask! You may contact us by emailing the IFSI Library at or by calling us at (217) 333-8925. You may also stop by the library any time between 8am and 5pm on weekdays.

IFSI Library Information

Library Hours:

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Monday - Friday

Special operating hours may be held during events.

IFSI Library Website


Need Help? For Information, Assistance, or User Training, Contact Us!

Phone: (217) 333-8925



IFSI Library Staff:

Lian Ruan, Head Librarian:

Diane Richardson, Reference & User Training Librarian:

David Ehrenhart, Archivist and Metadata Librarian:



Libguide Author

Kyle Huizenga