Even though MPAL is one of the largest music libraries in the country, during the course of your research you are bound to identify items that would be of use that are not held at Illinois. This typically happens if you are "citation hopping," i.e., reading one article and searching for the articles it cites, or if you are searching WorldCat or a journal database to see what potential items exist on your topic.
For books, scores, dissertations, and sometimes recordings, you have several options to obtain these materials.
First, search the I-Share catalog (or choose "All I-Share Libraries" next to the search box in the library catalog) to see if the item is held in the state of Illinois. When you find an item that you want and we don't have or that is already checked out, click on the "Request first available" tab, follow the instructions, and the item will be delivered in about a week.
In order to place a request for an item through I-Share, you must create a user account in VuFind. Click on the "Login" link at the top right of the screen and then click on "Create a new account."
2. InterLibrary Loan
If you cannot locate the item in IShare, the next step is to complete an InterLibrary Loan (ILL) request. To do this, you need complete bibliographic information about an item -- this means author, title, publication information, page numbers (if relevant), etc. If you don't already have this information, search WorldCat, RILM, or Music Index until you find the item you need.
The speed of the ILL process varies depending on several factors -- how many libraries own the item and are willing to lend it, how far away the lending library is, etc. So, don't leave this step until the last minute. While you might be surprised with an item that arrives in 3 days, the average turn-around time is 1-2 weeks.
The process of locating journal articles online is illustrated in "Getting Full Text".