Inter-Library Loans – research materials delivered to you

Are you currently researching a topic for a dissertation? If so our Inter-Library Loan service maybe able to help you! This service brings you material which is not held in our Library giving you access to a wide range of academic books and journals on request.

If you’re a member of staff or a PhD candidate you can make your ILL request online.

If you’re an undergraduate or taught postgraduate you can make your request in a few simple steps:

  1. Fill in a paper Inter-Library Loan form. Get yours from the Information Desk on the Ground Floor of the URS Building, or download and print an ILL form. Don’t forget to get your request authorised by your supervisor/tutor. They can sign your request form or email us from their University email address.
  2. Attach an ILL voucher to your form. This is a blue sticker available from your school. Alternatively, you may pay for your request at the Information Desk on the Ground Floor of the URS building – a loan or article costs £3.
  3. Hand in your form to the Information Desk and we’ll do the rest.

If you have any questions about requesting an Inter-Library Loan please get in touch with us either at the Information Desk at the URS Building or you can send us an email:

Holly Thomas, Library User Services.

Using Library books around refurb work

Here’s an update on accessing Library resources within the Library Building, even though many other areas are closed for Library Refurbishment Project construction work.

Using Library resources

Tall man holds small book, small lady holds large book outside UoR Library

Large size arts & hums books have moved up to our 4th Floor; normal sized items down to the 2nd Floor.

The 2nd and 4th Floors of the Library are open, containing all your books. This includes arts and humanities material, relocated from the now-closed 3rd Floor: normal size material went to the 2nd Floor; larger size and Teaching Practice Collection items to the 4th Floor. If you need any help finding anything, just ask Library staff at 2nd or 4th Floor Information Desks.

A few unique print journals are retained on the 4th Floor, but as most print journals are unavailable until after refurbishment, we encourage you to use our online journals or request an inter-library loan.

Man uses Library Self-Service Point machines of right, computers on left.Although much of the Ground Floor is now out-of bounds, we created a small area at the bottom of the main stairs for you to borrow, return or renew your loans at Self-Service Points or use PCs and catalogues. Just ask at the Help Point by the entrance if you need assistance. Ground Floor toilets are also still available.

Library construction work

White cloth over doors to 3rd Floor from stairsYou may have heard construction work in progress from areas closed-off for your safety (Ground Floor, 1st, 3rd and 5th Floors). Our contractors are demolishing internal walls in advance of refurbishing our 1st and Ground Floors; removing staircase 2 before installing new accessible lifts; and preparing to install new heating, ventilation and toilets on our 3rd Floor; besides installing new windows. Find out more about our plans on our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or visit our URS Building display (2nd Floor landing by Café Libro) for images of future development and previously refurbished floors, which will be reinstated.

URS Building facilities

Lego construction figures arranged around book and large single black Lego brick

Remember! Library Building = books + builders; URS (Lego) Building = study space + services.

Remember to visit the URS Building for Library services and study space, next door at the other end of the orange brick road, further away from potential construction noise. This is also where you will find Cafe Libro, Course Collection material and can collect ‘holds’.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Systems upgrade – just online inter-library loan requests to fix

Computer keyboardWe’ve made more progress with fixing the few remaining issues with the systems upgrade, and it is now possible to login to your online account to view your loans, renew them and place holds.

However, we are still experiencing problems with online inter-library loan requests. If you are a member of staff or a research postgraduate, and you would usually complete an online form to place your request, please print and complete this form and drop it into the Ground Floor Information Desk in the Library. There’s no need to attach a voucher, as we will arrange for payment to be taken from your Department’s inter-library loan account.

Apologies for the inconvenience this will cause.

Jackie Skinner, for Sam Tyler, Systems Manager

Secure Electronic Delivery from Inter-Library Loans is changing…

If you order articles via the Inter-Library Loans service you need to know that Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) is changing!

SEDs emailed to you direct from the British Library Document Supply service will be in a new, more flexible, format for requests submitted from 31 May 2016. The new format means:

  • You can download your article to multiple devices
  • Once downloaded you can save your article in multiple locations
  • There is no need to install additional plug ins to open your article – all you need is Adobe Reader!

student using e-resources

What do I need to do?

To access SEDs in the new format you must create an account with BL On Demandregister on their website. When you download your SED you’ll be prompted for your BL On Demand username and password, then the article is locked to your account. See the Inter-Library Loans webpages for more information.

If you placed your request before 31 May 2016 your SED will be delivered in the Fileopen format – see our instructions on how to download it

If you have any questions please contact the Inter-Library Loans team, either at the Ground Floor Information Desk or at

PhD students – what can Ethos do for you?

Picture of researchers at the British Library using laptops next to the Kings LibraryEthos is the British Library’s online PhD theses service where you can search for UK PhD theses and, where available, download them for free. As well as being the place to find out what researchers in your area are writing about, it’s also a brilliant way to showcase your own research to other scholars worldwide. Find out more

Improved document supply with BLDSS

Student requesting Inter-Library Loan at Library Information DeskCalling all Inter-Library Loan patrons!

We’re moving over to using the British Library’s new managment system for their Document Supply Service which we use to provide the majority of items you request.  It brings some benefits we hope you will like:

  • Colour: Secure Electronic Deliveries (SEDs) and photocopies will now be in full colour unless the original item is black and white
  • No recall: Inter-library loans will no longer be recalled from you early, you will keep your item until the original due date every time
  • Quicker delivery: Faster turnaround of items on loan at the British Library means items we are waiting for arrive quicker

We don’t anticipate your experience of requesting and receiving Inter-Library Loan items to change unduly, but as one of the first six universities in the country to adopt this new system we may experience some minor teething troubles during the first few weeks. We hope you can bear with us while we iron out any issues.


Staff/PhDs/MPhils! Start ordering ILLs online!

Student using Unicorn Library system

Researchers and staff can use Unicorn to request ILLs

All staff and research postgraduates in the University may now start ordering Inter-Library Loans (ILLs) online via their Unicorn Library account!

Taught students, however, must continue to submit paper requests with a blue ILL voucher from their department and a tutor’s signature.

More information

Full instructions are now on the Library’s Inter-Library Loans webpages. See also our previous announcement, Online ILLs for all staff/PhDs begin 1/8/11

Futher enquiries to Nick Hollis, Circulation Services Manager.


Online ILLs for all staff/PhDs/MPhils begin 1/8/11

A quick, convenient online inter-library loan (ILL) ordering system extends to all research postgraduates and staff from 1 August 2011.

Staff/PhDs/MPhils – use Unicorn online

Student using Unicorn Library system

Researchers and staff will use Unicorn to request ILLs

Using your Unicorn Library account, the new system improves on both  previous arrangements: paper-based requests and the pilot online system. You can dispense with:

  • signing additional paper copyright declarations;
  • signing or obtaining signatures of authorisation; 
  • attaching blue ILL vouchers.

Accounting for the nominal £3 contribution to the real cost of each request (the Library bears the rest) will be centrally arranged between departments and the Library.

Taught students – continue with paper requests

We hope to extend online ordering to undergraduates and taught postgraduates sometime in the future. However, currently taught students must continue to submit paper requests with a blue ILL voucher from their department and a tutor’s signature.

More information

From 1 August 2011, full instructions will be on the Library’s Inter-Library Loans webpages. Futher enquiries to Nick Hollis, Circulation Services Manager.