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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Introduction to Research at the Library: 2. I-Share Catalog

Learn to think like a librarian! This guide is an introduction (or a refresher) to using the library to find books and journal articles.

Books not at Illinois

The diagram below describes the three-step process for finding books.  If a book is not held at the University of Illinois library, the next place to check is I-Share, a consortium of other academic libraries in Illinois. If a book is not available in Illinois, the next step is to use search the WorldCat catalog and request a copy of the book through Interlibrary Loan.

WorldCat logo

I-Share Catalog

I-Share is a network of over 80 academic libraries in Illinois that lend materials to one another. Items that are not available or checked out at U of I can usually be obtained through I-Share. The I-Share catalog can be accessed directly through our local catalog. Simply click on the fifth option at the top of the page, "I-Share Catalog." You can also change the dropdown menu next to the search field to "All I-Share Libraries" from either "Library Catalog" or "Course Reserves."

An item available for request in I-Share will have a list of the institution(s) it is located at, along with an option to request under "How to get it" by clicking on "Request from I-Share Libraries." You must be signed into the catalog to see this option. 

Once you click on the "request" option, a pre-filled form will appear. Select a pick-up location and the date you will not need it after.

Please note electronic resources listed in the I-Share catalog that are owned by other libraries can only be accessed by people affiliated with that library.

Hands on Activity

  1. Search for the item The Black Maria: Poems by Aracelis Girmay in the Illinois catalog. If you can't locate it, repeat your search in the I-Share catalog.
  2. How many I-Share libraries own The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science? At which libraries is it currently available?