Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Interlibrary Loan FAQs

Answers to the most commonly asked questions about ILL.

ILL Services during Law Library's Business Continuity

  • Please continue to submit ILL requests into ILLiad.
  • Copies/Scans for Articles/Pages: We will do our best to process requests for scans or pages out of periodicals, newspapers, books and other compilation works. Turnaround time may be longer than under normal circumstances (which was one to three business days).
    • If we are unable to find a library that can accommodate your request, you will be notified. You may then reach out to the Reference Services to assist you in identifying an alternate source.
  • Entire Books: Requests will be reviewed first for accessible ebook options. If none is available, and if there is an available print copy carried by the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), then you may be asked if you are willing and able to use the Law Library's In-person Pickup Service. If you cannot, then the request will be forwarded to the Associate Director for Research & Collection Development for ebook acquisition consideration.
    • If you need the entire book, or if the amount of pages needed out of the book exceeds Fair Use, and you cannot make use of the In-person Pickup Service, then you may proceed and submit a request for an ebook purchase.
    • We are unable to accommodate requests for books requested for leisure purposes. Such requests will be cancelled while the Law Library remains under business continuity.
  • If the citation you requested through ILL cannot be obtained, please contact Reference Services if you would like help finding alternate, more readily available publications on the same subject.
  • This Guide's content has been updated to reflect continuity, however, our library services continue to change. Please contact ILL Services with questions,
  • Journal Staff: Please see Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Journal Staff guide for continuity-related ILL tips and policies.
  • Research Assistants: Please see Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Faculty RA guide for continuity-related ILL tips and policies.

Locating Required Readings

Please review the Student Resources for Fall 2020 guide to locate your required readings.

More About Textbooks, Assigned Readings & ILL:

  • Requests to obtain entire copies of casebooks and study aids cannot be processed via Interlibrary Loan. 
    • To obtain a copy of a casebook for class, please read about the discount purchase programs in the "Where can I buy print and electronic casebook?" entry on the Law Library's COVID-19 FAQ page.
    • If you are experiencing difficulties getting a casebook in time for your assignments, e.g., backorder or mail delivery delays, please inform the faculty as it may be more of a widespread problem. The faculty may be willing to consider to address the issue by placing a copy of the first few readings on Canvas or TWEN for your class.
  • To access Gilberts, Nutshells, Concepts & Insights, Hornbooks, and Concise Hornbooks study aids, follow the Study Aids instructions in the Student Resources for Fall 2020 guide
  • If you are assigned to read only certain pages out of an entire book, or an article that cannot be accessed through our databases, please ask your faculty to place a copy in Canvas or TWEN for your class. 
  • If you need pages out of a textbook or casebook for anything other than for an assigned reading, i.e., class paper, journal note, source collection assignment, or seminar research, you must include into the ILL request the name of your class / seminar and faculty, or journal. The textbook title may be checked against a required reading list for your class, or the requested citation may be verified with the journal editor.

Locating Resources During Continuity

  • Always feel free to contact the Reference Desk for assistance.
  • Check the Law Library's catalog for:
    • Access to ebooks and ejournals.
    • Available print books at Law Library for in-person, contactless pickup: If a stack copy of the title you find in the catalog has a status as Available, and if you are willing and able to commute to the Law Center, then
      1. "Sign in" to your library account (
      2. Click on "Request for in-person pickup."
      3. Complete the form and "Send Request."
    • Available print books at the local Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), including main campus Lauinger Library: If a stack copy of the title you find in the catalog has a status as Available at a local WRLC library, and if you are willing and able to commute to the Law Center, then
      1. "Sign in" to your library account (
      2. Click on "Request from a Local Academic Library."
      3. Complete the form and "Send Request."
  • Internet Archive: Provides one-hour loans of their digitized books. You may check-out their books by registering a personal account. If a PDF download option is not provided with the check-out, then consider taking snippets of page images.
  • If you happen to come across an article through a web search, try adding the following EZProxy prefix before the URL (i.e., before https://) to see if you have full-text access:
  • If the citation you requested through ILL cannot be obtained, please contact Reference Services if you would like help finding alternate, more readily available publications on the same subject.

In Detail: Libraries' Responses to COVID-19 & Their Impact on ILL

In response to COVID-19, the Law Center campus and the Law Library building are closed and all staff are working remotely. Other universities and their libraries have followed a similar continuity practice and have closed their buildings, reduced their on-site ILL staffing, or closed off access to their physical collections.

This means that

  • No physical items can be borrowed via Interlibrary Loan. (Requests for entire books will be converted to e-book license acquisition if possible.)
  • We cannot recommend that you visit a local library to make scans of materials yourself.
  • It's more difficult to find libraries that may carry a needed title and happen to have the ILL capacity to make scans if no online alternative is available.
  • Scans of citations that only exist in microfilm format (such as older newspapers) would be difficult, or maybe impossible, to obtain.
  • Lengthy scanning requests (more than 10% of content, or 40 pages, whichever is least), which were not accepted under normal circumstances, will still not be considered by potential suppliers (these requests will be converted to e-license acquisitions if available).
  • Other ILL offices, even if staffed, do not have the capacity to perform research on our behalf and cannot accommodate requests to peruse an entire work, or microfilm, in order to locate an obscure citation

Your patience and understanding are appreciated.