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Borrow, Renew, Return: Request a Resource

How to request a resource

Can’t find what you’re looking for? The University of Suffolk Library can attempt to source material via our resource request service. We can either: 


Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a service provided by libraries that allows patrons to borrow material from other libraries that are not available in their own library's collection. It enables individuals to access resources that may be rare, out of print, or not held by their local library. 
Please note that we can only request the following resource types via interlibrary loan: 

  • Print books
  • Journal articles
  • Dissertations and Theses 

Journal Articles, Dissertations and Theses will be received electronically and can be retained by the requestor indefinitely. Print books are loaned, and usually must be returned within 5 weeks of the receipt. 

Interlibrary loan requests can be submitted via your library account here. You will be prompted to login using your standard student/staff credentials upon clicking this link. 

You can also submit interlibrary loans by utilising the “Libraries Worldwide” function in Discovery.


The number of interlibrary loan requests you can make for free corresponds with your level of study.

Request allowances are as follows: 

Undergraduate Level 3, 4


Your request must be approved by a course tutor;

please contact with evidence of approval. 

Undergraduate Level 5  


Undergraduate Level 6   

Postgraduate Taught  10
Postgraduate Research 20
Staff Unlimited We may contact you to discuss your research needs if you submit over 20 requests per academic year. 
Partner Students 0 All interlibrary loans should be requested via your home institution’s library.
External Members 0 Interlibrary loan requests can be sourced for a fee.

If you wish to exceed your specified request limit, you will be required to pay a charge.

Charges only apply in the below instances: 

  • You have exceeded the above request limit. 
  • You would like to renew a print interlibrary loan request. 
  • You have damaged or lost an item.  

Where charges are made, these will be at the standard rate charged by British Library. Current rates are:

  • Electronic Article    £5.85
  • Electronic Copy of Print Article    £11.75
  • Book Loan    £17.20
  • Book Renewal     £5.25

If you damage, lose or fail to return a book, the University of Suffolk Library will be charged a replacement fee by the lending institution. The current British Library replacement cost is £179.20; costs will vary across institutions. This charge will be debited to your account. Click here for more information about charges and fines.

We will generally process requests within three working days of receipt. If additional information is required, we will contact you directly. 

We cannot determine the speed at which lending libraries will respond and fulfil requests, though we estimate anywhere between three and ten working days. Where items are rare or difficult to obtain, the request may take longer. We will contact you directly if we experience delays, or if we are unable to fulfil your request. 

You will receive an email to your student/staff account when your request is available. 

Electronic resources will be available for download via our secure portal in PDF format. The library team will provide further guidance as appropriate.  

Print resources will be available for collection from the Library Helpdesk. Please note that we retain the right to offer reference only access to a resource if specified by the lender, or if you attempt to collect less than seven days before the return date. 

If you wish to renew a book loan, please contact us at least one week in advance of the due date via phone (01473 338700) or email ( 

The cost of a renewal is £5.25. This charge will be added to your library account if the renewal is successful. Please note that not all renewal requests are accepted; the return date of all items is determined by the lending library. 

Stock Suggestions

You can also submit a purchase request or stock suggestion. Where possible, the library will purchase items as permanent additions to the collection. All Ipswich-based University of Suffolk students and staff are entitled to submit stock suggestions. Students at partner institutions should direct all stock suggestions to their home library. 

Please note that we while we will always endeavour to purchase stock suggestions, we may not be able to do so: 

  • If the resource is too costly
  • If the resource is out of print, or difficult to obtain 
  • If the resource is likely to have low or limited usage

In these instances, we will usually suggest that you submit and interlibrary loan request. 

Although we do welcome stock suggestions for journals, the likelihood of them being purchased is lower, and it may take some time to acquire them. If you are specifically looking for access to a particular journal article, we typically suggest submitting an interlibrary loan request, as described above. 

To submit your stock suggestion, simply complete the form below.

Stock Request Form (Online Form)


Once you submit your request, a Librarian will contact you within five business days to inform you of the outcome. 

Please note that it may take some time for resources to become accessible after purchase. The processing time varies depending on the format: eBooks are typically available within two weeks of purchase, whereas print books may take up to two months to be stocked. The librarian handling your request will provide guidance on the estimated wait times as appropriate.