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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Using the Library Catalog

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


The 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 libraries on campus, from I-Share partner libraries, or you may be able to have it sent to your campus office mail address.

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. Depending on where it is available, follow the steps outlined below. In this case, the book in only available in print at the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library but it IS available in other I-Share libraries: 

shows where to look in the catalog record for i-share availability and where to click to request the book from i-share

  1. Check to see if it is available in other I-Share libraries; if so, verify that it is available by clicking on the "available in institution" link then, if it shows as available, click on the "Request" link.
  2. In the Request box, choose your preferred pickup institution (University of Illinois or another I-Share institution) and choose your preferred library pickup location at that institution (some faculty and graduate students can have circulating library materials delivered to their offices). You can also fill any additional information you would like to provide about your request. 
  3. Click "Send Request" to submit.

shows the options when you click on the request from i-share link in the catalog record

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 your requested pickup location.

Renewing U of I Items

To renew an item online using your account:
1. Log in to your account using your NetID and password (you may have to authenticate with 2FA to get to your account); or, if you are a courtesy card borrower, with your username and password.
2. Once you are authenticated and logged in (check to see that your name appears in the upper right corner of the screen), click on "My Loans" (from your name drop-down in the upper right of the screen) or "Loans" from the Overview page.
3. 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 "Renew all" link if you want to renew all your U of I items at once--the link you see below that says "Renew selected" will say "Renew all" by default. Also, note that you can sort your checked-out items by due date (newest or oldest) or by title.

image of the renewal screen in the library catalog with options for sorting your items and how to check off items you want to renew

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.

When Online Renewals Expire

If you have items checked out from the UIUC Library that have run out of renewals, you can request that we check the items in and check them back out to you. This resets the loan date as though you had checked the items out for the first time. To do this, we first need to verify that the items are still in your possession. As long as the items haven't reached "Lost" status, you can provide that verification through either of the following options: 

  • Bring the items in person to a circulation desk and ask the staff person there to check the items in and back out to you.
  • Email images of the item barcodes to These barcodes have a number that starts with “30112…” and are usually found on stickers on the back of the items. You can include multiple barcodes in each image, as long as each barcode is legible, as seen in the example below:

UIUC Library barcodes on the back of print books

If an item has been overdue long enough to reach "Lost" status, it cannot be renewed by emailing an image of the barcode. You would need to bring the physical item to a circulation desk to have it checked in and back out to you.

Please note that in some situations, we cannot offer this service. This includes items checked out by I-Share patrons and recalled items checked out by any patrons.

If you wish to return your checked-out items instead, the Return Items page has details on how to do that. 

We appreciate your assistance in the stewardship of Library materials. If you have any questions, please contact Central Access Services for assistance. 

Renewing I-Share Items

Renewing items that you have checked out via I-Share is a bit different than renewing U of I items. You begin the same way, by logging into your library account, then clicking on your name in the upper right corner of the screen, then selecting My Account. Here is how the overview page looks when you have I-Share items checked out:

screen capture of library account overview with overdue I-Share item

Click on “Loans” from your overview page to see all the items you have checked out. If you have items from I-Share libraries, the library will have a clipboard icon next to it. If you hover over the clipboard icon, you’ll see the message “Has activity.” Click on the name of the library.

shows clipboard icon

Once you click on the library, you’ll see the items that you have checked out to you from that university or college.

shows that when you click on the library name, the items you have from that library display in a list

Put a check mark next to the “[number] loans” box above your items, then click on the “Renew” button to the right of the item title as showed below. If you have several different items, you can put checks in individual checkboxes if you do not want to renew everything in the list.

shows putting a check mark in

If it successfully renews, you’ll see the message below!

successful renewal message

Oak Street Library [stacks 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.

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. See below for what it looks like when a copy is available from Oak St. but not from main campus libraries:

What the link looks like when an item is available to request from Oak St. but not from anywhere else on the main campus.

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.