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Interlibrary Loan: ILL FAQ

Interlibrary Loan at CNU


If you have a concern, please email us.

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL), and who may use this service?

ILL is a free library service that allows CNU faculty, staff and students to request items not available at the Paul and Rosemary Trible Library. Only current students, faculty and staff of CNU are eligible to use ILL services. Community patrons should check with their local public library for ILL services. (top)

How does ILL work?

ILL@CNU is the automated Interlibrary Loan system that handles all incoming and outgoing requests. We only accept ILL requests through this system and when the proper form is filled out.  Requests are processed in the order that they are received. Anything that is emailed to us will be deleted.  ILL@CNU allows us to keep track of requests, reduce errors, and get items out faster to you. (top)

How much do ILL services cost?

Interlibrary Loan is a free service for the Christopher Newport Community.  It can be an invaluable resource and it expands what resources you have access to. Although there are no fines for ILL, repeated abuse in the form of overdues will not be tolerated and will result in being suspended from using ILL for a semester or longer.  We take overdues very seriously since it can impact other users and result in other libraries blocking our borrowing privileges.  We reserve the right to revoke ILL privileges at any time for the abuse of the service. (top)

How do I register?

As part of the CNU community, you are automatically in the system.  Please use your email address to log in. (top)

What materials may be requested through ILL? What might be hard to obtain?

We are able to receive journal articles and borrow other items such as, DVDs, audio books, microfilm/fiche, etc.  Reference books and textbooks are nearly impossible to get.  We are unable to get any rare or international material.  New books and bestsellers are also difficult to obtain.  It can take up to six months after a title is published for a circulating copy to be found through ILL. (top)

How long does it take to receive materials through ILL?

Articles can take up to a week to arrive.  Books typically take one to two weeks and sometimes longer for special material. Dissertations/theses are normally owned by one or two libraries and we may not be able to obtain them at all. (top)

How do I know what articles and books are available at CNU?

To see if CNU holds the journal article you want, go to Journal Finder on the Library's home page. Type in the name of the journal. If CNU has access to the particular volume and issue of the journal in electronic or print format, you may not request this article through ILL.

To check whether CNU holds a particular book, DVD, CD, etc. please go to the Library Catalog and enter the item's information. If CNU holds that item, and it is available, you may not request it through ILL.

If a book or periodical is available at CNU and you cannot locate the item, please inquire at the Circulation Desk.  Please request the item once a library staff member has deemed it lost and be sure to indicate this in the Notes section of the ILL request form. (top)

Why was my request canceled?

ILL requests are canceled for various reasons.

If CNU holds the item (the journal article or book, for example), the request will be canceled.

If the request form is incorrectly filled out or incomplete, the request will be canceled.

If the request would result in a copyright violation, it will be canceled. Please visit our copyright section for more information.

Finally, if a patron is blocked from using ILL, all requests will be canceled. (top)

Why is my account blocked?

Patrons can be blocked from using CNU's ILL service for various periods of time. Students will be blocked from using the ILL service when they have at least one overdue item. If the item is returned within 15 days and there are no more overdue items, the account will be unblockedItems are subject to being recalled at any time from the lending library.  If the recalled item is not brought back within four days, the student is blocked from using ILL@CNU until the end of the current semester. Patrons with a repetitive delinquent history of borrowed items will be blocked from using the ILL service for one academic semester. (top)

How do I submit an article request?

You must fill out the appropriate form in the system, making sure to fill in the correct information for all required fields. The article below serves as an example of how to take information from a citation and fill out the corresponding fields in ILL@CNU. 

  • APA style citation: Clark, D. (2004). The raw and the rotten: Punk cuisine. Ethnology, 43(1), 19-31.
  • MLA style citation: Clark, Dylan. “The Raw and the Rotten: Punk Cuisine.” Ethnology 43.1 (2004): 19-31.

Required fields: Title (Journal name: Ethnology); Volume number (43); Issue number (1); Year (2004); Inclusive pages (19-31); Article title (“The raw and the rotten: Punk cuisine”).

Other useful pieces of information that will help us retrieve the correct document for you include the Month and Article author.

The required field, Not Wanted After Date, is automatically filled out for you defaulting to one month after the request is submitted. You must change this date if you will only accept an article at an earlier date or if you want to allow a longer period of time before the request might be canceled. The Not Wanted After Date also applies to loans (books, etc.).

If you are searching for an article in one of the library's databases and discover that we do not have full-text access, click on Journal Finder next to the article. If the article is not available at Trible Library, click on the Delivery icon to send the information to an article request form in your ILL account. After you enter your logon information, the system fills out the article request form for you. Please check the information to make sure that it is correct and that no fields have been switched or left out. (top)

How do I submit an loan request?

You can place a request for items directly through WorldCat.  After searching for  and locating an item, click on the item record and you will see a link that says, “Send Request to ILL@CNU”.  If you click on this link, it will open a new tab or window in your browser, asking for your login and password for ILL@CNU.  Once you log in, it will populate the form for you.

Please check item holdings in WorldCat by clicking on the “libraries” button in the top left of the WorldCat Item form.  This will show who has the item you are looking for. Make sure you input the OCLC number in that field to ensure that the ILL staff gets you the exact edition of the item you need.

Please note: when you are in WorldCat, and you request a DVD or CD, ILL@CNU fills out the fields of a Journal Article request form. Just do your best to indicate which edition of the movie or audio recording you need. You may also go directly to New Request: Book or New Request: Other. You will be able to fill out the fields yourself. (top)

How do I renew items I request through ILL?

On the slip attached to the cover of the item, there will be a statement as to whether renewals are allowed or not. If it reads "NO RENEWALS," you may not renew this item. Whether an item may be renewed or not is completely up to the lending library. In general, libraries belonging to the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) consortium, occasionally allow for renewals whereas out of state libraries normally do not. If you would like to renew an item, please contact the ILL department by email ( or by phone (594-8818). (top)

How many article and loan requests am I allowed to make through ILL?

There is no limit to the total number of loaned items you may hold before they are due. Anything that is still outstanding from a previous week does not count against the requests for the subsequent weeks.  We do request that you be considerate to your fellow researchers and only request items you will read or use in the near future.

If you are in a research intensive class, such as a senior seminar, please email ILL to see if we can accommodate you in some way.

If you currently have overdue items when you submit a request, we will not fill it for you until you return those overdue items to the ILL office. (top)

How do I contact the ILL office?

Please feel free to call us at (757) 594-8818 or email us at (top)

Research Links

Search Trible Library's catalog for materials we own.


Interlibrary Loan Librarian

Profile Photo
Jesse Spencer
Interlibrary Loan Department
Paul and Rosemary Trible Library - Room 189
Christopher Newport University
1 Avenue of the Arts
Newport News, VA 23606
(757) 594-8818
Trible Library provides links to other websites to aid in research and is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of those sites.