Interlibrary Loans (ILL) - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out where a book or article is held?

You don't need to do that - the library staff will locate the item for you.

If you wish to check what other libraries hold, or verify the details of an item you wish to request, the following links may be useful to you:

Top of page

How do I request an Interlibrary Loan?

To place an Interlibrary Loan, search Primo Search for the book/journal you require. If the item is not held by CSU, click on the ILL Request Link and complete the form.

Top of page

How much does an Interlibrary request cost?

  • A standard ILL loan or copy will cost $10.00.
    • Some charges may apply for non-standard services or delivery and these charges will be met by the requestor or by the requestor's School.
  • Academic/Research Staff and PhD/Honours/Masters students are eligible for FRILLS.
  • This service is free (for non-standard services or delivery - charges may apply). The library will contact you in these cases.
  • Mailing an item to a DE student or to an off-campus staff member
  • The student or staff-member is responsible for the cost of returning the item to the CSU Library.

Top of page

How do I make a payment?

  • When your requested item is received by the CSU Library, we will notify you of its arrival and add the charge to your University account.
  • Note that you do not need to pay for your ILL item before it is delivered to you.
  • Information on how to pay, and a link to the CSU secure web payment site, is available at CSU Finance.

Top of page

What are the service level standards?

The Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code recommends a hierarchy of service-levels which provide for turnaround times and charges. The standard or "Core" service-level is for libraries to send out an item (or a negative reply) within 4 working days. You can request a faster turnaround time but this will incur an extra charge. The following table outlines the service-levels:

Delivery Charges
Service type Maximum supplier turnaround time Extra charge
Core 4 working days $16.50
Rush 24 hours $33.40
Express 2 hours $49.50

Please note that these turnaround times apply to the supplying library. The actual time from when you submit the request to when you receive the item will be longer. In addition, items may prove to be unavailable at some libraries and we might need to request from more than one library. This can increase the delivery time.

More information on service-levels and on recommended delivery modes and charges can be found in the Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code, or you can contact your Interlibrary Loans staff.

Top of page

What is Web Document Delivery?

When you request a copy of an article the Library will usually obtain it and deliver it to you in electronic form, either as an email attachment or loaded to a web server. This allows you to retrieve an article direct from any internet-connected computer resulting in a faster delivery time.

To use this service you will need access to the internet, a high speed modem, a web browser, email and Adobe Reader version 6 or higher (this is free software).

For articles loaded to a web server, the copy you requested is stored on a University server and an automated email supplies you with a URL and PIN to access the web page displaying your (PDF) documents.

Click on the URL, then type the email address (to which the message was sent) in the box just above the PIN, then copy and paste the PIN. Please remove the document when you have successfully printed as this reduces congestion on our server.

Note that we now supply most articles electronically via the Web but if an item is supplied to us by post it will be sent in the mail system.

Top of page

Common Desktop delivery problems.

  • When accessing a web-server document check that the email address you type in is the address to which the automated email was sent.
  • For accessing web-server documents, the PIN is in the automated email we send. This PIN should be copied and pasted into the PIN field when you are accessing the document. If you have deliveries from more than one campus the PIN in the email might be different for each campus.
  • If you have a problem with accessing an article sent to you please contact Interlibrary Loans staff for further assistance.
  • Please check that you have Adobe Reader version 6 or higher (this is free software) as some files will not open using older versions of Acrobat.
  • Make sure that popups are allowed. "Ad blocking" or "Popup blocking" features in some Internet software may stop the PDF window from opening. You can overcome this problem by temporarily turning off any ad-blocking or popup-blocking options used in your security software (such as Norton), your Internet browser (such as Internet Explorer), in the Google or Yahoo toolbar, or in Windows XP (Service Pack 2).

Top of page

What other services are available?

Commercial suppliers

If you are prepared to pay for items with your own credit card you may be interested in using a commercial document supplier. You can request and pay for articles, books or dissertations direct from the commercial document suppliers below.

Most charges will be in foreign currency.Use a currency converter to work out the amount in Australian dollars and watch out for copyright and delivery charges which are often added separately. Prepayment is usually required - either by supplying your credit card details or by sending a cheque in the specified currency.

By way of comparison, the CSU charge to obtain an Interlibrary loan or copy is $10 per request.

Commercial Services
Material Name Costs Delivery
Articles Infotrieve Minimum
email average 5 days
(National Library)
Copies Direct AUD$16.50 Internet PDF 5 days
(British Library)
Articles Direct US$12.50
+ copyright fee
PDF, mail, fax
2-5 days
new & second hand
AddALL - New, used & out of print searches worldwide. N/A - various N/A - various
Dissertations & Theses UMI US$46 unbound post - 4-6 weeks

Many more document supply companies are available but this table lists companies that provide a broad subject range of material at a reasonable cost and supply time.

University Library Australia - the National Borrowing Scheme

University Library Australia is a national borrowing scheme that allows all staff and students of participating member universities to borrow in person from any other university in Australia. For more details, click here.

Top of page

What do I need to know about Copyright?

Australian copyright law requires that a copyright declaration be signed (electronic or print) when making any requests for a copy of an item. The Austlii website has a copy of section 49 of the Australian Copyright Act.

The Act specifies that the Library must obtain a separate individually signed declaration for each item requested. This declaration must include statements that:

  • The material is required for the purpose of research or study.
  • The material has not been supplied previously to the person.

The Fair Dealing: What can I use without permission? provisions of the Act (which apply to copies that you can legally make without paying a royalty fee to the author), allow you to request:

  • 10% or one chapter of a book, whichever is greater.
  • one article from an issue of a journal.
  • more than one article from a journal issue if the articles relate to the same subject.

Top of page

How can I contact the Interlibrary Loans staff?

Interlibrary Loan email and phone details for all campuses can be accessed from the Contacts page.

Top of page

What about requests for items held by CSU?

For information on requesting material held by or at CSU Library

Top of page

Ask a Librarian
Website Feedback
Ask a Question: Live Chat
To speak to a Librarian call 1800 808 369