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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Online Learners and Instructors: Library Resource & Services

This guide provides resources for students and instructors enrolled in online programs and courses at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Requesting a Book from the University of Illinois Library

The University of Illinois Library will mail books from our collection to students and faculty members taking part in Illinois Online programs or courses who are living at a distance from campus. Distance learners living in Illinois can also use I-Share to request books. Distance learners living outside of Illinois but near another academic library may want to consider taking advantage of one of our Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements.

If you only need a chapter or two, and want to avoid paying postage to return the book, consider using the DocExpress service. For detailed instructions, see the Request Articles tab in this guide.

To request a library book, follow these steps:

Step 1

Use the library catalog to locate and verify the availability of a book. 

Step 2

Check to see if the book is available. In the example below, this item is not checked out. If the item is available, click on the "Request" link circled.

screen capture of catalog record showing that the book is available and where to click to request

Step 3

Select “ILL Lending Extramural Grad” from the options under the Library Location drop-down menu:

screen capture showing the correct option for distance students

Step 4

Add the course number for the book you have requested and verify your shipping address in the Notes field.

Step 5

Submit your request!

Step 6

After you have placed your request, you will receive the book by UPS within 10-14 days.  Books will be mailed to the address listed in your Self-Service Account. Click on University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to log into the correct system and to see which address is associated with your account. 

Returning Books by Mail

You are responsible for returning books you have checked out and insuring the shipment of books.

Returning Books

You are responsible for the cost of returning books to the U of I Library by the due date listed for the book in your library account. Return books via U.S. Mail, UPS, or FedEx to the following address:

Interlibrary Loan / Document Delivery
128 Main Library; MC-522
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801

Insuring Book Shipments

If you check out a book and it is lost in the mail, you are responsible for the replacement charges. All library books that are not returned or renewed by the 35th day following the due date will be "assumed lost" and the borrower will be billed the average replacement cost for books in the subject area, usually a minimum of $125.00 for books and a minimum of $300.00 for bound periodicals. The Library may assess a higher replacement cost in special instances. Central Access Services can provide more information about circulation and billing policies.

Note:  If you live in or near Illinois, you may have access to an I-Share member library. If so, you can order books and have them sent to that library free of charge. You may also return books to I-Share libraries free of charge. For more information about using I-Share libraries as an Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning student/instructor, please see the I-Share page of this library guide. Here is a map of I-Share libraries.

When a Book is Already Checked Out or Is Otherwise Not Available

  • If you live in or near Illinois and an I-Share library:
    • If our copy of a book is checked out, use the "Click here for availability via I-Share" link to see if the book is available from an I-Share institution. If you do not find the book in our collection, you can check its availability at our partner libraries by searching the I-Share catalog. Both options will allow you to have it sent to the I-Share library near you.
    • For instructions about ordering and picking up books at I-Share libraries, refer to the "Request I-Share Books" tab in this guide.
  • If you do not live in or near Illinois:
    • Consider requesting one or two chapters of the book through the library's DocExpress service. Amazon, Google Books, or the publisher's website may help you determine which chapters or page numbers may be of interest. For instructions about how to request an item via DocExpress, refer to the Request Articles tab of this guide.
    • Use Interlibrary Loan services at a public library near you. There may be charges associated with requesting materials via Interlibrary Loan at public libraries.
    • Consider using a Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement to gain access to the collection at an academic library near you.
    • Request a recall of the book by calling Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery at 217-333-1958 and request to speak with someone who can assist with continuing education needs.
      • The book will be recalled from the person who has checked it out and then mailed to you.
      • The recall process can take at least three weeks.