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University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College: Inter Library Resource Requests

Inter library resource request

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 the we will try and source it for you.

First steps

When using research databases you may find references to materials which we do not hold at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College 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.
  •  Take a look at the Assignment Planning Toolkit.
  • Schedule an appointment with the Subject 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.


All students can request materials not held in the College Library through an Inter-Library loan.  These can be obtained very quickly via our on-line link to the British Library and other Libraries.  This facility gives you access to most texts published in Britain.  The following allowances per customer type have been set however these allowances may be exceeded if you wish to pay personally.

  • Level 4 students – 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).

  • Level 5 students - 5 requests free of charge
  • Level 6 (dissertation) students – 10 requests free of charge

  • Taught postgraduate – 10 requests free of charge

If you wish to request an item through this service please click here and fill in the appropriate form.

Please note that on receipt of the Interlibrary Loan,  you are responsible and liable for any costs incurred by renewal or loss of the item. Should you lose the loaned item you will be invoiced for the full cost plus administration charges. 

The request will be be processed within 48 and delivery of the resource is estimated to take around 7 working days if the item is readily available.

Inter library resource requests can be requested by students free of charge according to your level of study (see front page).  Any additional requests will be charged at the full amount of £10.42 per article and £15.65 per book loan, (the full cost to obtain resources from the British Library).

Should you wish to renew a book you will be charged £5.00.

For more information and to place a request please ask at the library counter. Payment will be required on collection of the book.

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 £5.00 for an additional five weeks and this will be charged 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.

Other ways to request resources

To make an Interlibrary loan request please click here and choose Book Request or Journal Article Request


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