Resource Discovery: Interlibrary Loan (ILL) FAQs

Resource Discovery at Pratt Research Library

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) FAQs

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and how do I get started?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is an interactive system by which libraries share their items. It relies on cooperation among libraries at the national and international levels.

Interlibrary Loan offers access to books and journal articles not currently available within the Edward L. Pratt Research Library or the University of Cincinnati/Ohiolink’s collections. We ask that our users check the Pratt Library, Ohiolink and U.C. Library’s collections prior to ordering an item via ILL. Further information on this process can be found here: Finding & Accessing Pratt's Online Collection; Finding & Accessing UC/Ohiolink's Online Collection.

How do I order a book not available within the Edward L. Pratt Research Library collection?

Ordering a Book from UC online Library Catalog

Ordering a Book from Ohiolink

Book Request Form

Login to the UC Catalog as a CCHMC Employee or UC Faculty

How can I order a book(s) through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) that is not available via the University of Cincinnati or Ohiolink?

You can request book(s) through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) by submitting your request via email:

How long does it take to receive Interlibrary Loan (ILL) books?

The average time to receive books from their home Institution is usually within 3-10 days. The length of time varies depending on availability, shipping and the responsiveness of the lending library. It is best to request books well in advance of any deadlines.

How much does Interlibrary Loan (ILL) cost?

The Edward L. Pratt Research Library includes all costs associated with the majority of  ILL transactions in their budget as a shared service to the Cincinnati Children’s community. ILL cooperative agreements provide us access to these materials at a reduced rate.

Can I borrow my textbooks through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Pratt Research Library staff will request textbooks through Interlibrary Loan. However, we cannot guarantee that you’ll be able to receive textbooks or keep the materials for the entirety of the class term. Please note, many libraries are unwilling to lend textbooks via ILL and as a result, many textbook requests through ILL will be unsuccessful.

How do I renew a book that I have checked out through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

You may request a renewal by calling (513-636-4320) or emailing We will send an email confirming the new due date set by the lending library or letting you know if a renewal was not possible.

How long can I keep the items that I have borrowed?

The length of the loan period is determined by the lending library. Three weeks is a common lending period. Please note: University of Cincinnati and Ohiolink books must be returned immediately when requested by another user.


Can I cancel a book request?

If we are able to stop the request before a lending library receives it, we can cancel it.  If the lending library has already shipped the item it is too late. Please let us know ASAP when you wish to cancel a request. If you receive a notification email regarding the arrival of an item you no longer need, please email us so that we may return the book to the lending library.

How many books can I request?

There is no limit to the number of items you can order simultaneously. Just make sure to keep track of due dates!

Is there a way I can receive books more quickly?

There is no RUSH request for books. However, including complete citation information and the books’ ISBN (International Standard Book Number) in your request email to will speed the ordering process.

Where can I return Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items?

  1. The Edward L. Pratt Research Library Staff office: S9-125.
  2. The Pratt Research Library “Book Drop”, which is located inside the entrance of Location D, directly across from the location T shuttle bus stop.
  3. CCHMC employees working from Outpatient locations can return books via Interdepartmental Mail or Courier Services. Please consider the time it will take the item to travel between sites, along with the item’s due date.

Where do I pick up the books I’m requesting?

The books you’re requesting can be picked up at the Pratt Library location S9-125. Books can be delivered to patrons via Interdepartmental Mail and Courier Services only for CCHMC employees working from outpatient locations.

What is the overdue policy on Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items?

Items are overdue if you do not return or renew it on or before the due date.

Please keep in mind that you are solely responsible for keeping track of library due dates. To obtain due date information refer to the labels on the front and back of your book.

The Edward L. Pratt Research library will email you a reminder notice 4-6 days before the due date and an overdue notice 1 business day after the due date.

If items are not returned 14 days after the due date your Edward L. Pratt Research Library privileges will be revoked and you will be blocked from borrowing or renewing items.

If items are not returned 21 days after the due date the items will be declared “LOST” and you will be charged a replacement fee of $125.00, including a processing fee of $25.00.

In order to reinstate your privileges and have the library waive your fines, you must return the “LOST” or overdue items ASAP.

What is not available through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

The following types of materials are most often not available through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

  • Archival materials
  • Dissertations
  • Entire issues or volumes of journals
  • Rare, valuable, or fragile materials
  • Reserve and reference materials
  • Some textbooks

Further Questions?

Contact Edward L. Pratt Research Library staff via phone (513)-636-4320 or email

Contact Us


Phone: (513) 636-4320

Office Hours S9.125

Mon-Thurs 8:30am-6pm

Friday 8:30am-5pm