Frequently asked questions about access services


Who may use your interlibrary loan service?

All UVA faculty, staff, and students are welcome to place requests for items not owned by the UVA Library. Non-UVA users may not use UVA Library's interlibrary loan service. Please consult the academic or public library you're affiliated with to find ways to obtain the material you need, or to place an interlibrary loan request on your behalf.

How much does it cost to use your services?

In general, there are no fees for UVA faculty, staff, and students. The usual costs for borrowing, scanning, and mailing are paid for by UVA Library. In the rare cases where the fees are unusually high, we may need to contact you to negotiate payment.

How long may I keep borrowed materials?

The length of a loan is set by each lending library. Most loan periods are between 4 – 12 weeks with some (but not all) libraries allowing one renewal of 1 – 4 weeks. Interlibrary loan materials are intended to fill short-term needs and are not available for an entire semester. (That's why they can't be placed on reserve, either.) If you need materials for a much longer time, you may want to look into placing a purchase recommendation.

Can you get my materials any faster?

We boast a pretty short turn-around time on most requests already, but if you have an emergency and need something now, we may be able to expedite a request. It will depend, of course, on how readily available the material is and whether or not we can find a lending library that can rush the request. In such cases, please contact us at

Can I borrow all of my textbooks through interlibrary loan?

Probably not. Most academic libraries do not circulate current textbooks. If you can make do with an older edition, we may be able to help. Remember, though, that interlibrary loan materials are not usually available for an entire semester.

How do I request a thesis or dissertation?

Dissertations and theses are sometimes unavailable for loan. Interlibrary loan does not pay for copies of these items, but you have the following options:

  • Many US dissertations & theses are available from the library's subscription to 'Dissertations & Theses: Full Text - 1861-present' (see Subject Guides and Databases). Titles not available may be purchased from University Microfilms (UMI). The Interlibrary Loan office can obtain an unbound photocopy for the discounted price of $33 + tax. You must agree to pay the full amount on receipt. The copy will be yours to keep. Contact us at if you wish to buy a copy. UMI also sells paper and hardbound copies. See:
  • Some US dissertations & theses are available only through purchase from the degree institution. In these cases we will provide you with contact information for the institution's photoduplication services.
  • UK dissertations & theses may be ordered and downloaded from the EThoS service of the British Library. You must set up an account and agree to copyright restrictions, but there is no charge for the full-text copy. There may be a waiting period if the item is not already available in the EThoS archive. If an item is not available but must be requested from the degree institution, contact us at To set up an EThoS account,
  • DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses. Their database can be searched here:
  • Non-US and non-UK dissertations & theses may sometimes be acquired through the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), Chicago, IL. There is no charge for this, but the process involves copyright permissions and can sometimes be long or unsuccessful. CRL asks that no status inquiries be made until six months have passed from the initial request. If you wish to pursue this option, contact us at See:

Can you digitize a whole book/dissertation/score for me?

Unfortunately, we are bound by copyright law and we really do have to follow the guidelines.

Can I borrow a DVD or video?

Whenever we receive a request to borrow a DVD or video from another library, we first check with our own staff to see if it's something we might be willing and able to purchase. If so, great! If not, they will let us know and then we will try to borrow it. Many libraries do not lend their audio-visual materials, though, so it can take extra time to track down a circulating copy – if one exists.

I'm a student and I need an item from the Law Library, Darden Library, or Health Sciences Library?

Unfortunately, if you're on Grounds, we don't retrieve items from these libraries for undergraduate students. Graduate students may place requests for items from these libraries.

Who is eligible for Library Express On-Grounds (LEO) delivery?

For faculty and staff, we offer on-Grounds LEO Delivery to department offices of all UVA and borrowed materials. Some graduate students may also qualify for LEO Delivery to departments. Please see our LEO delivery page for more information.

I'm a faculty member going on sabbatical. Can I still get items?

Yes! We will be able to scan articles and chapters for you. If you need to have a book mailed to you, please contact us at

I'm a PhD student and have moved out of the Charlottesville/Albemarle County area to write my dissertation. Can I still get items?

If you have moved outside the Charlottesville/Albemarle county area, please contact us at to learn about your options for item delivery.

Copyright compliance in borrowing

Read the Library's policy on Copyright Compliance in Borrowing for Interlibrary Loan.

Frequently asked questions

Contact information

Interlibrary loan & LEO
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Instructional scanning
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.