In order to provide access to books, articles and other materials not located at the MSU-Billings Library, the Library has Interlibrary Loan (ILL) available to MSU-Billings faculty, staff, and students. The MSU-Billings Library cooperates with libraries and vendors to lend and borrow materials to support student and faculty research.

Who Can Borrow Materials

Faculty, currently enrolled students, and staff of MSU-Billings can request materials using request forms available at the Reference Desk or using the electronic Request Form on the Library's Web page. MSU-Billings alumni with current Alumni Gold cards may borrow up to five items in a one year period. Alumni Gold card members need to present their card to Library staff when requesting materials.

Costs of Borrowing Materials

The MSU-Billings Library borrows from libraries around the state, region, nation, and world, or orders from document delivery vendors. The MSU-Billings ILL reciprocates by lending materials to other libraries worldwide. Costs associated with lending and borrowing between libraries can include: copyright fees, mailing, photocopying, rush service fees, and lending fees. National studies show that on average an interlibrary loan costs $29.00 per request split between the borrowing and lending libraries. The MSU-Billings Library pays most fees associated with borrowing of materials.

Borrowing Materials

  1. Search WebCat or the Full Text Finder to see if the MSU-Billings Library owns or has a copy of the materials.

  2. If the MSU-Billings Library does not own the item, fill out an online request form.  Ask the Reference Desk staff for assistance if you are not sure which form to use. You will need to know your student ID and citation information in order to fill out a form. Your request will be verified by Library staff and processed.

  3. The length of time it takes to fill your request depends upon the location of the item requested, availability, and format. See additional information under Time factors.

  4. ILL requests are entered in the order they are received. Large numbers of requests from one patron can monopolize the system. Therefore, the patron, is expected to prioritize their requests and recognize requests will be processed as time permits.

  5. If you have requested a book, the Library will make every effort to contact you when the item is available for pickup at the Circulation Desk. You must present a current valid MSU-Billings student ID card to check out the book.

  6. If you have requested an article, it will be delivered electronically whenever possible to the email address you provide on your Request Form.  If electronic delivery is not possible, the article will be placed on hold for you at the Circulation Desk.  If you have questions about the status of your request, please contact the ILL Office at 657-1666.

Use and Return Policies

The lending library owns and therefore determines the check-out period and conditions of use for materials. The MSU-Billings Library and its patrons must following the lending library's guidelines including:

  • Due date
  • In library use only, if specified
  • Photocopying not allowed, if specified
  • Renewal period
  • Overdue, damaged or lost materials will be subject to fines or replacement fees as determined by the lending library

Books or other returnable materials must be returned to the Circulation Desk on or before the due date. Because the lending library owns the item, the Circulation staff cannot renew ILL materials. Please check with the ILL Office to determine if the item can be renewed. The ILL Office needs 4 days advance notice in order to renew materials borrowed from other libraries.

Fines assessed by the lending library for failure to return items in a timely fashion will be charged to the borrower. The failure to return ILL materials by the date due may result in a processing fee and/or suspension of loan privileges. Interlibrary loan activity is regulated by national, regional and local agreements made by the participating libraries. The ILL service consists of one library loaning materials to another for the use of individuals. Materials may be lent in the original or photocopied form. All other material must be picked up upon notification. Failure to do so may result in suspension of ILL privileges.

Time Factors

ILL requests can usually be obtained in one to three weeks. Materials coming from an MSU or OMNI Library usually will be obtainable in 3-10 days. Materials difficult to locate or inaccurately or incompletely cited will take longer. During peak times of the semester, more time is needed to fill ILL requests. Requesters should note their time constraints on the ILL book or article request form box "I cannot use this item after date."

For More Information Contact:

Questions or comments can be sent to Cheryl Hoover, ILL Coordinator

Fax: (406) 657-2037

Phone: (406) 657-1666


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