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 you want that are not held at Illinois. This page will explain the options available to you for accessing materials from other libraries in the state and around the world!
The process of locating journal articles online is illustrated in the "Getting Full Text" tab from the Finding Journal Articles for Music Research guide.
For books, scores, dissertations, and sometimes recordings, you have several options to obtain these materials.
First, search the I-Share catalog (or choose the I-Share Catalog option above the search bar in the library catalog) to see if the item is held in the state of Illinois. When you find an item that you want that UIUC doesn't have or that is already checked out, click on the "Request from I-Share Libraries" tab and fill out the form. Make sure to login to the catalog using your NetID and password.
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 or an article database 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 and can be even longer if it is coming from another country.