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Interlibrary Loan Policies and Procedures

For individuals not affiliated with MBLWHOI Library,  please contact your local institution or public library and have them request an interlibrary loan for you. The MBLWHOI Library does not lend directly to individuals. Interlibrary Loan Borrowing Information  for other libraries. Interlibrary Loan is available to eligible MBL, SEA, USGS, WHOI, and WHRC patrons.

Requesting books and articles

Patrons should first check the library catalog to see if we own the book or journal volume.  If not, use the ILL form to request items from other libraries, providing as much bibliographic/citation information as possible.

Practices & Guidelines

The conditions of this service are set by the Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association, U.S. Copyright Law, and by the regulations of individual libraries.


Please check with library staff to determine your ILL eligibility. Others are urged to contact their home institution or their local public library.

Limitations on Loans

The following types of materials are generally not available via Interlibrary Loan:

1.     Rare books and archival materials

2.     Material owned by the MBLWHOI library

3.     Journal volumes

Time Requirement & Rush Service

Materials can take from a few hours to a few days to arrive from the time they are requested depending on the lending library. If there is a problem locating a lender then it may take longer. In certain cases articles may be requested on a rush basis. Please bring these requests to the attention of the library staff for processing. Books cannot be rushed.

Loan Periods

Loan periods are set by the lending library. They generally range from 2-4 weeks.


The libraries that lend us materials generally require that a renewal be requested before the initial loan period is up.

Notification & Delivery of Loan Materials

The patron will be notified of arrival by email. Material may be picked up in the MBL Lillie library office or the WHOI Data Library (McLean 114) between the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, unless intercampus delivery is indicated on the request form.