What is an inter-library loan?

By means of inter-library loan you can request literature for non-commercial purposes that is not available in libraries in Düsseldorf via the Internet. All you need to use this service is a valid membership card from the Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf. The legal basis for inter-library loans is the undefined Leihverkehrsordnung (LVO; Loan Transaction Order) as well as § 60e of the copyright law (UrhG).

What does a request for an inter-library loan cost?

Requests for inter-library loans are subject to fees (this also applies to requests connected to your official duties); prices are as follows

  • € 1,50 for the request
  • postage for notifications.
    If the library knows your e-mail address  you will be notified via e-mail. In this case, postage fees do not apply.

The legal basis for this is the decree titled "Anwendung der Leihverkehrsordnung vom 19.09.2003 (LVO) und Regelung der Auslagenerstattung" issued on June 8, 2005 by the Ministry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia responsible for science and research.

Please note that the fee is a handling fee, which is charged when the request is submitted, and not a success-based fee!
Articles of up to 20 pages are delivered without additional charges. Separate fees apply to longer articles. In order to avoid delays caused by further enquiries, you will be asked to agree to pay at least € 8 of additional costs if applicable when submitting your request. Of course, it is possible to change this sum; if you wish you can lower it to € 0. Not all material that is available or listed in the holdings of a German library can be provided via inter-library loan (please look undefinedhere)!

How are costs for requests connected to your official duties settled?

If you submit a request in your function as a member of the academic staff of HHU – in this case, your membership number starts with an N – the applicable charges will not appear in your library account. These official requests will be settled (usually quarterly) directly with the institute you work for.


How do you request books?

  • The default setting in the request form is for books. All German union catalogues will be searched.
  • Type in the name of the author (usually the last name will do) and two or three significant words from the title in the respective fields.
  • Do not put in a year of publication unless you are looking for a specific issue or edition of the work in question.
  • If your first search is unsuccessful, please check what you have entered and try searching for different words.
  • Look for the title you want to order and click on Select.
  • The default setting is the ordering of books for loan. You can choose photocopies (Abschnitt in Kopie) of certain pages from it.
  • Define the delivery specifications and click on Order.
  • Finally the system will give you a notification that your request has been successful.


How do you request journal articles?

  • Change the default setting in the navigation bar on the left from Books and Book Chapters to Journal Articles.
  • Type in significant words from the journal title. Do not search for abbreviations – in many cases such searches are unsuccessful. Instead, try to find the full title with the help of a directory of abbreviations or truncate using asterisks (*).
  • You can search for complete journal titles by putting your search terms in quotation marks in the field Title beginning; this can be particularly helpful if you are looking for journals, the titles of which consist of only one or two words, e.g. Nature. Please note: Articles at the beginning of a title can be left out in such searches; e.g. you can search for the periodical Der Betrieb using "Betrieb" as the search term.
  • Select the journal you were looking for from the results list.
    Please be aware that several journals with identical titles may exist and that some journals may have subseries! Make sure the period of publication indicated matches the volume and year you are looking for. If you select the wrong journal here, your request cannot be successfully fulfilled. If you are unsure which journal to select, please contact the library staff by telephone (0211-81-12900), via undefinedE-Mail or via the undefinedOnline-Enquiry to get help.
  • Enter as much information about the article you are looking for as possible. If you do not know the exact pages or title of the article, enter a question mark. However, the year of publication is indispensable!
  • Please select delivery and notification types and change if necessary the sum that you are willing to take over for fees.
  • Check the information about the article and your e-mail address once more.
  • Then click on Bestellen (request).
  • Finally the system will give you a notification that your request has been successful.


What can you do if you cannot find the title you were looking for in the database but still want to request this work?

At the end of the search results you will find links to two request forms free ILL order request for a book resp. for a book chapter or section.

Enter as much bibliographical information on the work you are looking for as possible in this request form. Please note that in such cases handling your request may take longer because it needs to be processed manually by the library staff.

What happens after you have submitted your request?

Once your request has been registered, the inter-library loan transaction system will automatically set a hierarchy among the potential lending libraries. If the first library on this list is unable to provide the material, your request will automatically be forwarded to the next library until it has been positively carried out. You will be notified as soon as the work you requested arrives at the ULB Düsseldorf. If a title cannot be provided because e.g. it is on loan or not available in any other library, you will of course also receive written notification.


How long does it take for an inter-library loan to arrive?

We cannot give exact information about delivery times because various factors (book on loan, book not available for lending, journal at the bookbinder’s etc.) can affect processing times.
In general, it takes

  • about 10–14 working days for a book request
  • about 3-5 working days for an article request if the journal/book is available at a university library in North Rhine-Westphalia.


What do you need to know about placing holds?

If you submit a request for an inter-library loan, we will first try to find available copies. However, it is possible that a certain work is on loan in all participating libraries. In such cases, we can place a hold on your request. If we do so, however, you should expect the material to take longer to arrive. You can enter a date in the field "Order - Your Comments"  to indicate how long a delivery would be useful to you. We will then check whether placing a hold is likely to be successful.



Is it possible to delete a request for an inter-library loan once submitted?

No, this is not possible!


How can you stay informed about the processing status of your request?

  • Via your undefinedinter-library loan account.
  • Via your library account in the online catalogue; your current inter-library loan requests (books only) will be listed here, if applicable with the end date of the loan period.

If you have further questions about your requests, please contact the undefined inter-library loan office.


How will you be notified when your inter-library loan has arrived?

As soon as the requested material reaches the ULB Düsseldorf and is ready for collection or consultation you will receive notification - either via e-mail if your e-mail address is registered in the online-catalogue (in your library account) or via mail. In the latter case, you will be charged for the postage paid.

What can usually not be provided via inter-library loan?

The regulations for inter-library loan transactions can be found in the undefinedLeihverkehrsordnung (LVO; Loan Transaction Order). Among other things, this order also defines which titles may not be requested. This includes:

  • Literature that is locally available, i.e. material that is listed in the holdings of libraries in Düsseldorf (e.g. in the library of the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf or in Düsseldorf municipal libraries).
    If you try to request material even though it is available in Düsseldorf, you will usually be notified by the system that you request cannot be carried out and given information on where the requested material can be found.
  • Works that are available in bookshops at fairly low prices. In such cases, providing a book via inter-library loan would be more expensive that purchasing it. At present, the price limit is € 15.
  • Particularly valuable works, especially from the 16th and 17th centuries. Furthermore, many libraries exclude all material that has been published before 1800 from inter-library loan. However, in most cases, photocopies or microfilms can be provided against fees.
  • Loose-leaf publications and unbound periodicals.
  • Material that is in a bad state of preservation.
  • Diplom, master, bachelor, Magister and other final theses.
  • Standards
  • Patents
  • Television recordings cannot be lent for copyright reasons.


What is difficult or impossible to provide?

  • Recently published literature; titles are frequently listed in union catalogues even before they have arrived at the libraries or while they are still being processed.
  • Up-to-date literature on economics; this is often on loan from the libraries and several holds have already been placed on them so that this material is not available for inter-library loan.
  • Data carriers (CDs, DVDs, diskettes, videos...); most libraries will not lend these for security reasons.
  • Material that is only available in specialized libraries; this usually belongs to reference holdings.
  • Complete volumes of newspapers are usually not dispatched for reasons of conservation. They can only be provided if microfilms have been made.
  • Articles from newspapers and so-called kiosk magazines (such as Focus, Stern, etc.) may not be delivered via interlibrary loan for copyright reasons (§ 60e UrhG).


Are there restrictions on the use of material provided via inter-library loan?

Lending libraries have the right to impose conditions on the use of material that they put at the disposal of another library, e.g. by permitting the use of old, rare or valuable material only in the reading rooms or by forbidding photocopies to be made.


How long is the loan period?

Loan periods can be set individually by the different lending libraries. It is usually six weeks (counting from the material’s arrival at the ULB Düsseldorf). In certain cases, e.g. for frequently requested literature or volumes of journals, the loan period can also be limited to one week. Renewals are not possible.


Where can I pick up inter-library loans and where can borrowed material be returned?

Inter-library loans that can be borrowed and articles in copy are normally to be found in the pick-up shelves ("Selbstabholbereich Fernleihen") on the right side of the information centre on the ground floor of the central library. The pick-up shelves are accessible during the entire opening hours of the library.
Please check out your inter-library loans by using the self check-out machine in this area!
Copies do not have to be checked-out; they remain your possession.
A few types of media (especially CDs and DVDs) are only available at the central service desk during the service hours (Mon - Fri 9 — 180h).
The borrowed inter-library loans are usually returned at the return-machine for inter-library loans in the central library entrance hall.
Please pay attention to the cards attached to the inter-library loans:

  • Red card: return at the central service desk
  • Green card: return at the self return-machine for inter-library loans

Inter-library loans excluded from usage outside the library can be collected for usage within the library from the staff at the service desk on the second floor. Older and valuable books can only be consulted under supervision in the special reading room.

For where and when to pick up your interlibrary-loan please refer to the details specified in your notification email.


Whom can you turn to with your questions and problems?

If you encounter any problems submitting your requests for inter-library loans or would like to make enquiries about the processing status of your request, please contact us:

Tel: 0211 81-12900 (central service desk)

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