Skip to Main Content

Ipswich Library User Guide: Inter Library Resource Requests

Inter-Library Loans

Resource requests allow us to borrow books or receive copies of articles or chapters from other institutions and organisations around the UK. If the library doesn’t own a book or article you would like to use then we will try and source it for you.



Making a request

BL On Demand service

Requests for books

Fill in the request form below and hand it to a member of staff in the Library.

Journal requests

Fill in the request form below and hand it to a member of staff in the Library.  If you have requested a journal article you will also need to follow the steps below and create a BL on Demand account.

How it works

  • When your article is ready you will be sent an email from the British Library that includes a download link.
  • Click on this link to download the article.
  • If this is the first time that have requested an article you will need fill in a brief registration document to access the article.  On intial registration allow 10 minutes processing time between creating your account and accessing the article. 
  • If you are already registered simply enter you username and password.
  • If you have forgotten your username and password follow the link to reset your account.

You can also register in advance here

On Demand conditions of use & checklist:

  • You can print and download your article once and view it on the same computer for up to three years.
  • You can print the article within 14 days of downloading it. 
  • British Library terms and conditions can be found here


  • You can only print or download the document once.
  • Make sure your printer is working before you send the document to print!
  • Once downloaded, you can only open the document again for up to three years on the same computer.
  • It is your responsibility to make sure you can download / print the document within these time frames.

Many national and international academic institutions make their PhD theses available for researchers to access either digitally or through paper / fiche loans. References for PhD theses may be found through database searches. 

UK Theses

UK theses are often made available through the British Library's EThOS service. this should be checked before any requests are made through the interlibrary loans service.

International Theses

North American institutions often have their own online repositories which can be found and searched via their websites.

First steps

When using research databases you may find references to materials which we do not hold at University of Suffolk Ipswich Library. When this happens you should work through the following list of suggestions:

  • read around the subject area - it may be that other articles or books cover the same subject area and can give you the information you are looking for.
  • look at the keywords, read the abstract and explore the bibliography to look at other works cited within the piece of research. Many databases make this available free-or-charge as part of the search results list. This can help you determine how you might find other related articles or books.
  • discuss the article with your lecturer - they have subject expertise and can help you explore the subject area.
  • Schedule an appointment with the Academic Skills Adviser for your subject area. They can help you develop your critical evaluation skills which are needed when making decisions about the appropriateness of content. Information is also available in our Assignment Planning Toolkit.
  • Schedule an appointment with the Academic Liaison Librarian for your subject area. They can help you improve your research skills, and explain how databases index materials and which ones are the most appropriate for the area you are researching. Information is also available in our Assignment Planning Toolkit.
  • look at our workshop schedules and find out when we are holding one which can help you to develop your research and academic skills, or try one of our online courses.
  • collect and manage your references within a reference management tool - so that you can build your own library of resources, found through the internet, database searches or by searching other publisher or institutional catalogues. In doing this you can also save .pdfs and track how your research has evolved and developed.

It is important that you develop all of these skills as part of your academic journey - and they can, of course, help you in your future studies and careers.

If you still need the item you have found, you can request it through our Resource Request service.


Allowances have been set per customer type however these allowances may be exceeded if the customer wishes to pay personally.
Allowances will be verified by the Faculty Liaison Team at the time of request processing, and any need for payment will be checked with the customer before the request is processed.

This is currently set at:

  • First year undergraduate (Level 4) - not eligible to request items unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you believe there are exceptional circumstances please confirm with your tutor and ask them to countersign your request. (this is free of charge for up to 5 requests)
  • Second year undergraduate (Level 5) - 5 requests free of charge
  • Final year undergraduate (Level 6) - 10 requests free of charge
  • Taught Postgraduate - 10 requests free of charge
  • Research postgraduate - 20 requests free of charge
  • Staff - 20 requests free of charge

We generally advise that it will take 5-10 working days to receive a requested item. If we are advised that it will take longer we will let you know.

Charges will only apply if you have used up your request allowance as outlined above.
Where charges are made, these will be at the standard rate charged by British Library. Current rates are:

  • Electronic – standard delivery of a born digital copy (ejournal/eBook) - £7.14
  • Electronic – standard delivery from print - £14.40
  • Book loan – standard delivery - £17.55
  • Book renewal - £5.35*

*Books are issued for around 3 - 5 weeks and must be returned by the due date or a renewal fee will be charged to your account.

If a book is lost or not returned, we may be charged a replacement cost by the lending institution. In the case of the British Library this is set at £182.80, and this charge will be passed on to you.

If you wish to renew an item please try and let us know at least a week prior to the due date. You can call, e-mail or come and see us in person at the Library helpdesk.
The cost of a renewal is £5.35 for an additional five weeks and this will be added to your library account once we have confirmation the renewal has been successful.

We can’t guarantee that we will always be able to renew an item as sometimes it may have been requested by another library.

We will inform you if we are unable to renew an item and you will be expected to return the item on time.


All images included in this guide are available through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0