Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Interlibrary Loan FAQs

Answers to the most commonly asked questions about ILL.

Alternatives to ILL & Consortium Loan Service

N.B.: Many libraries still have limited or restricted services as they continue to address issues related to COVID-19. The suggestions below apply to pre-pandemic circumstances only. Therefore, please research the most current access policy and restrictions of any library prior to visiting.

Though ILL Borrowing can try to accommodate more urgent requests, the office is not staffed 24/7 at this or other ILL libraries. Though Consortium Loan Service (CLS) at some of the Washington Research Library Consortium academic libraries may operate throughout the week, it cannot accommodate any rush service.

Here are tips for the occasions where you need something urgently, especially after business hours and over the weekends.


  1. Check the catalog under "Georgetown U. + Local Academic Libraries" in the catalog.
  2. Find a library that has a copy of the book or print journal volume that has a status of "Available"
  3. Visit the library.
  4. Retrieve the book from the shelf and check it out with your GULC ID.
    • If you want the book held by the owning library, you must call that library's circulation desk and ask if that is possible. You cannot place holds for specific libraries through the catalog.
    • If you need scans of pages, you may do so without checking out the book. Ask that library's circulation desk about public photocopying and scanning options.
  5. Or, retrieve the print journal volume and make copies on-site.
    • You will not be allowed to check out print journals.
    • Ask that library's circulation desk about public photocopying and scanning options.

Local law libraries are not full members of WRLC and may not allow you to enter even with a GULC ID. You do not have borrowing privileges at local law libraries. Please contact that law library's access services department, or consult our Reference Services, before visiting.

Library of Congress (LOC)

  1. Check the Library of Congress catalog to verify that it owns the title and, in the catalog record, see which of its Reading Room will allow you to use the material on-site.
  2. Check the LOC Reading Rooms schedule.
  3. If you do not have a LOC Reader's Card, you must register for one.
  4. Read LOC's Requesting Materials in the LC Online Catalog guide.
  5. You cannot remove the material from the Reading Room. No one from GULC has direct borrowing privileges at LOC. But you may make scans as necessary.

Electronic Access to Databases

For electronic materials, like articles, off a database not subscribed to by the Law Library, check a local academic library's A-Z list of databases usually provided on a library's website. If local academic library is a WRLC member and has the database you need (and it covers the dates or volumes of your citation), then using your GULC ID visit that library. It would be best if you contact the reference desk at that library to make sure you can access the database on a public computer station and that it is not restricted to their school or individually assigned credentials. Like our library, local academic libraries may have databases that cannot be freely accessed on-site by those who are not directly affiliated with the school.

The Law Library does not know the sign-on credentials belonging to other libraries.