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Interlibrary loan

You’re able to borrow literature that is not available in libraries in Düsseldorf via the interlibrary loan system. Fees apply for this service. You’ll need a valid ULB Düsseldorf library card to request interlibrary loans.

Alternatively, you’re welcome to submit a purchase suggestion.

Each interlibrary loan request costs €1.50, regardless of whether the interlibrary loan request can be positively processed or not.
The request charges are stored on your HHU Card or the library card. You can pay the fees at the automatic pay station in the entrance area of the Central Library.

Log in to the interlibrary loan portal and you’ll be directed to the interlibrary loan order form for books. Search for a particular monographic publication, then select the publication you need and click on “To ILL order form”. Now set the desired delivery conditions and click on “Order now”. You’ll find an overview of your active requests including your order history at the top (“Account” tab).

For multi volume works, you’ll need to order each volume separately.

Log in to the interlibrary loan portal and click on the “Journal Articles” tab. Search for a particular journal article, then select the journal you need and click on “To ILL order form”. Now enter the article details, set the desired delivery conditions and click on “Order now”. You’ll find an overview of your active orders including your order history at the top (“Account” tab).


As a rule, book orders take approx. 10–14 working days and journal articles are made available within approx. 2–5 working days.

You can use the “Free (to be completed) Order” function to enter the bibliographic details of the item you’re looking for. Please enter as many details as possible in the order form. Free (to be completed) orders may take longer, as they must be processed manually by the library staff.

No, you cannot.

  • Literature available at the location of the library, i.e. items listed in Düsseldorf libraries
  • Items that are more expensive to obtain as interlibrary loans than they are to purchase (limit: €15)
  • Works of special value, especially older works from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries
  •  Loose-leaf editions and unbound journals
  •  Works in a poor condition
  •  Dissertations (for Diplom, Magister, master’s and bachelor’s degrees) and exam papers
  •  Norms
  •  Patents
  •  Television recordings
  •  Articles from newspapers and popular magazines
  •  New publications
  •  Data media (CDs, DVDs, etc.)
  •  Complete volumes of journals

When you request an interlibrary loan, the system first attempts to find available copies. If the item is on loan from all of the libraries it’s available at, we can ask for the item to be held for you. Under “Order – Your Comments” you can enter a date by which delivery is reasonable for you, as longer processing times are to be expected.

You can view your active interlibrary loan orders (books only!) in your library account in the ULB catalogue. You can learn more about the loan periods of your borrowed items here, too.

We’ll notify you via email as soon as your order arrives at ULB Düsseldorf and is ready for collection or viewing. We’ll also notify you via email should we be unable to obtain the item you requested. Please always provide an email address for this!

You can also see your article orders in your interlibrary loan account.

[From February 2024: Essay orders may be delivered electronically again. You will receive your article order at the email address provided. For licensing reasons, paper copies may be delivered to the Central Library in individual cases].

Interlibrary loans and copies are available for collection in the interlibrary loan pick-up area. This is located in the Central Library, on the ground floor next to the Central Service Desk. You can access the pick-up area during the library opening times. Please check out your books here!

You do not need to check out copies – you may keep these.

Some media are available at the Central Service Desk during the service hours.

Interlibrary loans that cannot be borrowed can be viewed in the Special Reading Room during the service hours.

Therefore please note the pick-up location indicated in the notification email and the corresponding service hours.

You can return interlibrary loans to the interlibrary loans return machine in the Central Library foyer.

The flags enclosed with interlibrary loans provide guidance:

  •     Red flag: Return to the Central Service Desk
  •     Green flag: Return to the interlibrary loans return machine


The library providing the loan sets the loan period. As a rule, it is six weeks, however the loan period may be shorter in certain cases. It is not possible to renew interlibrary loans. You can see the loan period in your library account.

The library providing the loan may set certain conditions for the use of its media. In the case of older literature, rare literature or literature worthy of protection, it may be that it can only be used in the reading room and/or copying is prohibited.

Works published abroad that are not available in German libraries can be ordered via the international interlibrary loan system.

International orders will only be placed following consultation with you, as you must expect considerably longer delivery times and, in some cases, high additional costs.

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