Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Research Assistants

Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Research Assistants

ILL FAQs for Research Assistants

Questions Answers
What's the turnaround time for ILLs?
  • Copies can arrive in a few hours to 3 working days.
    • Since copies tend to arrive faster than loans, we recommend that copies from books, reporters, dictionaries, etc. be submitted whenever possible.
  • Books can take 3 to 7 working days to arrive.
    • Need a book in less than 3 days?
      • Check for the book title through Georgetown U. + Local Academic Library option in the catalog.
      • If a circulating copy is available, then visit the local academic (non-law) library to check the book out on-site.
      • N.B.: The local academic law libraries do not lend through the local loan service. To borrow their materials or obtain scans out of items housed exclusively in those libraries, you must submit an ILL request.
Who gets notified about requested ILLs?
  • If you submit the ILL, under your own ILLiad account, you will receive all questions about citation clarification and automated notices such as arrival, reminder and overdue messages.
  • If the ILLiad request is submitted by Library Research Services, the faculty will receive all automated notifications.
Where and how do I get the ILLs?
  • If requested under your own ILLiad account:
    • Books are held under your name at the Circulation Desk.
    • Copies are delivered electronically into your ILLiad account.
  • If requested by Library Research Services:
    • Books are delivered to the faculty's office or campus mail folder by Library Research Services.
    • Copies are delivered to faculty (as PDF or print) by Library Research Services.
How long are the loan periods?
  • Loan period varies for each borrowed item, anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks, depending on the lending library.
  • The due date is set by the lender, not the Law Library.
  • Law faculty are not afforded special, extended loan periods by other libraries.
Can ILL books be renewed?
  • Renewals, if allowed by the lender, can be submitted through the ILLiad account used to request the item. You should look for emailed reminder notices.
  • If requested by Library Research Services, then your faculty is responsible for contacting the Law Library to ask for a renewal.
  • Renewal policies and periods depend on the lending library. Not every ILL item can be renewed, especially an overdue loan. Only one renewal is permitted. (Law faculty are not granted exceptions to ILL library policies regarding renewals.)
  • Renewal periods are usually short. Maximize the use of the borrowed item.
  • Submit a new request to borrow a second copy whenever necessary.
Can I transfer my request or loan to my faculty's account or vice versa?
  • No, ILL requests cannot be transferred between different ILLiad accounts. The ILLiad system precludes transaction transfers in order to keep ILL offices compliant with the copyright laws that govern interlibrary loan.
  • If you and your faculty both need to use the same title, submit one ILL request under your ILLiad account and also ask your faculty to email the citation to Library Research Services ( Do this even if you and the faculty need the book at different times. Do not share your ILL book with the faculty.
Where can I or a faculty return ILL books?
  • RAs may return books to the Circulation Desk when it is open. When the desk is closed, books may be returned to the outdoor book drop, located outside the campus iron gates, on the corner of New Jersey Avenue & G Street NW, or into the Library Book Drop box located in the library's foyer.
  • Law faculty may return books to the McDonough 5th Floor Library Book Drop box, or contact Library Research Services to arrange for an office retrieval. We do not recommend that faculty use campus mail service to return library books. It takes several business days for campus mail to deliver returned books to the library. The faculty is responsible for damages or loss incurred while a library book is in transit through campus mail.

Tips for Research Assistants

Just Getting Started?

Source Collection Tips

Difference Between Borrowing Law Library, Local Library & ILL Books

Research Tips

  • Not making progress on your research topic? Make a Research Consultation with one of the Law Librarians.

Technology Tips

  • Check your spam folder in your email account for messages sent from the Law Library (e.g.,, main campus (e.g. and consortium libraries (e.g.
    • If you use auto-forwarding, be aware that if the first email account filters a message as junk, then that message will not be forwarded to the second account.
    • All library services issues arrival notices, reminders to renew or return, and/or overdue or recall notifications. Do not ignore them.
  • The Law Library offers
  • How to take advantage of digitized books available on platforms such as Internet Archive (IA) or found in the "Read Sample" feature on a listing for a book:
    • Use a screen capturing tool to take an image of the book's page. Search on Microsoft Support and Apple support webpages to find the appropriate app or keyboard command to find or activate such tools or apps. Paste the captured image on MS Word. Use MS Word's editing features to circle, highlight or emphasize passages on the pasted image. When saving the document with your pasted images, use Save as Adobe PDF feature under File menu.

Note: These general tips are provided as courtesy only, and do not serve as formal technology support. Technology questions should be addressed to the Law Center's IST department.