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Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Order books or articles that are not available in our library. You will need a UniCard to place an order.

What do you want to order?

Books / Book Chapters?

Journal articles?

Service details

ILL for Books

1.50 EUR

Delivery Time
5-10 working days

Target group
All registered users of Bielefeld University Library

by e-mail

Pick up / Delivery
Picking up the order at the Service Desk in the Library Service Center

Return the order to the Service Desk in the Library Service Center

1.50 EUR minimum (further costs can arise, if you order more than 40 pages for example

Delivery Time
2-3 working days

Target group
All registered users of Bielefeld University Library

by e-mail

Pick up / Delivery
Usually delivered as a PDF by e-mail. In exceptional cases: Picking up the copy from the self-collection area in U1 during opening hours of entrance U1

no return required

up to 50 EUR (depending on target group)

Delivery Time
less than 24 hours

Target group
researchers and employees of Bielefeld University (including members of university specialist clinics of the University Medical Center East Westphalia-Lippe), students of Bielefeld University

by phone / e-mail

Pick up / Delivery
PDF by e-mail

no return required

Questions About ILL

Interlibrary loan (ILL) offers you the possibility to order literature (whole books, book chapters or journal articles) which is not available at Bielefeld University Library from another library.

Articles from journals and sections from books will be delivered to your e-mail address as PDF files. Books will be delivered to the Service Desk in the Library Service Center, where you can pick them up. You will be notified of the arrival of the book.

Interlibrary loan orders are subject to a fee. The fee (1,50 EUR) is automatically booked to your loan account when you place your order. Please pay the fee within 4 weeks at the Service Desk in the Library Service Center. Please note that the fee is a processing fee that is due when the order is placed and not a "success fee". In the case of interlibrary loan orders initiated on a university employee's UniCard, the university institution at which the person placing the order is employed is generally responsible for the fees incurred.

First, make sure that the book / journal is not accessible in our library on site or online via a search in the In the library catalogue you will find our printed holdings and online access to many books (e-books) and journals (e-journals) purchased / licensed by us, book chapters or journal articles can be found via "Articles and more" or "BASE".

If you have determined that we do not own the title or that it is not accessible, decide whether you would like to order a book or a book chapter or a journal article via interlibrary loan. Which titles can I not order?

The first thing you do is log in to the interlibrary loan system with your ID. How do I log in?

Then search for the title you are looking for using the respective search mask of the order database. You cannot search for chapters from books or articles from journals in the order database, but only for the book title or journal title. The prerequisite is that you already know the bibliographic information (author, title, year of publication if applicable, journal issue/volume and page references) of the title you want to order. If this is not the case, first search for the title using the general search function. From there, you can use the "How do I get it" button to check where and how the title is available. There is a direct link to Interlibrary Loan via the "To ILL Order Form" button.

If you have searched the ILL Books and Book chapters for a book title, the number of libraries in which the book is available and whether the book is also available in our ILL region is displayed for each title. If you have several suitable hits to choose from, you should - if possible - select a hit that is available in our ILL region and/or in several libraries, as in this case the delivery times are usually the lowest. Via the button "To ILL Order Form" you can choose whether you want to order the whole book (lending) or only a chapter / section as a copy. If you select a title that is not available in our ILL region, alternatives from our ILL region will be checked in an intermediate step. Please follow the instructions in the ILL system. An order can be rejected, for example, if the book is available in another library in Bielefeld (e.g. the Stadtbibliothek) or if the price is less than 15 euros. If the title you are looking for is not available in our ILL region or is not listed in the ILL database at all, you will find a link to "free order" at the end of the last hit page. Here you have to enter all bibliographic data into the order form by hand. Please take into account that the processing and delivery of such an order may take longer, because this order has to be post-processed conventionally. Complete information is very important here - please also use the field "Notes to your library" if necessary to give us further information about the book or journal.

If you have searched the ILL Journal articles for a journal title, click on the "To ILL Order Form" button next to the appropriate title in the hit list.

The order form

The order form is divided into different sections:

Order details / Book details / Periodical details

Here you will find the bibliographic data for the title of the book or journal. These are automatically taken from the hit list and cannot be changed.

Article details

If you have selected "Section / Chapter (Copy)" when ordering a book or if you have selected to order an article, enter the complete information about the article here (author, title, page references - for journal articles also year of publication and volume/issue).

Delivery terms

Different edition - if applicable (only when ordering whole books):
Indicate whether or not you agree with other (older or newer) editions or runs.

Make reservation - if applicable (only when ordering whole books):
If you select "Yes" here, we will arrange a reserve for you if the item is on loan in all potential delivery libraries. Please take into account that there may be delays in delivery. If the title you ordered cannot be delivered because it is not available at any library, we will of course inform you.

Pick-up Location (only when ordering journal articles or sections / chapters from books):
Delivery is usually made directly to your e-mail address as a PDF. If it is not possible to send the PDF for licence reasons, it will be sent as a hard copy to the library ("Bibliothek"). The setting cannot be changed.

I will refund copy costs up to a maximum of (only when ordering journal articles or sections / chapters from books):
There may be additional charges for processing your order, for example, if more than 40 pages have to be copied. You can speed up the delivery if you enter here up to what amount you will cover the costs. We recommend that you accept the default setting of 8 euros. Additional costs are normally only incurred for large or valuable deliveries. This declaration of consent should generally make inquiries about the assumption of costs for copy shipments unnecessary.

Order related comments:
You have the possibility to give us information for further order processing, e.g. by which date you need the work.

Purpose of the article to be delivered (only when ordering journal articles or sections / chapters from books):
Confirm, that the article is meant for personal, non-commercial respectively scientific purposes.

Personal Details

Your name and your e-mail address, to which the notification will also be sent, are already entered here. This cannot be changed.

Method of payment

ILL charges will always be debited to your loan account.

Send order / order receipt

Once you have entered and checked all the necessary information, finally click on the "Order now" button. If your order has been successfully submitted, you will receive a response from the system, which will also assign a number to your order. This number can be used to quickly check the status of the order.

As a rule, it takes about 5-10 working days to order a whole book, and about 2-3 working days to order a section from a book or an article from a magazine as a copy. Exact information about the delivery time is unfortunately not possible, since various factors influence the processing time (book on loan, book not available for loan, journal at the bookbinder, title not available in the interlibrary loan region, etc.).

You can Check the current status of your order via the interlibrary loan account.

No, unfortunately this is not possible.

The conditions of German Interlibrary Loan are regulated in the Interlibrary Loan Regulations for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia of March 8, 2004. Among other things, these regulations also specify which titles may not be sent on interlibrary loan. These are for example:

  • Online available resources (E-books, E-journals etc.)
  • Works that are available in bookstores at a low price. This is due to the fact that in this case the processing of the interlibrary loan would be more expensive than the purchase of the book. At present the price limit is 15 EUR
  • Works of special value, especially of the 16th and 17th centuries. Most libraries have also exempted works published before 1800 from interlibrary loan. However, copies or microfilming can usually be made.
  • Loose-leaf editions and unbound periodicals
  • Master's and diploma theses
  • Works in poor condition

You also cannot order entire journal volumes or multiple articles / chapters at once; you must place a separate order for each article / book chapter.

Are there any restrictions on the use of the ordered titles?

As a rule, you can take home books ordered via interlibrary loan. However, the supplying library may impose conditions on the use of its media that it has supplied to another library via interlibrary loan, for example, by only allowing use in the reading room, imposing a ban on copying, etc. Bielefeld University Library must pass on these restrictions to its users.

How long is the loan period?

The loan period is set differently by the individual supplier libraries. As a rule, it is four weeks. The loan period and, if applicable, the special conditions of use can be found on the loan period slip that you receive when you pick up your item. The loan period cannot be extended.

Where do I return the borrowed media?

You can return the media you have borrowed to the Service Desk in the Library Service Center or at the circulation desks. Please leave the enclosed deadline slip in the book. It is not possible to return items to the self-checkout terminals.


If you are having troubles placing an interlibrary loan request, you can get help here:


Library Service Center (BDZ) / Service Desk (Mon – Fri, 8 – 18)
UHG U0 (access via the law library in U1)

By E-mail or Phone

Reference and information retrieval assistance:
+49 521 106-4114 (Mon – Fri, 8 – 18)

Library Cards (UniCards), Interlibrary Loan, Fees and Charges:
+49 521 106-4036 (Mon – Fri, 8 – 16)

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