Answered By: Sarah Morehouse
Last Updated: May 01, 2015     Views: 86

It's complicated!

We have a service that we call Interlibrary Loan, and from the user's end looks much like Interlibrary Loan, but it's really not. We don't have any print collections, so we have nothing to lend. We pay the University at Buffalo for the use of their books. If they don't have it, we buy it from and it ultimately ends up in the collection at the University at Buffalo. In addition, we have to ship the books to the user and back. Because of the extreme costs of purchasing and shipping involved, we have only been able to extend the service to graduate students, faculty with a half-time appointment or greater, and staff. Every year we revisit the feasibility of extending ILL to undergraduates and adjuncts. We are very aware of how much it is needed. 

For more information and answers to most users' questions on Interlibrary Loan, go to

To create an account and request items, go to

If you are not eligible for an Interlibrary Loan account, you still have some options.

  • Take your college photo ID to a SUNY or NY community college library and borrow books from them. Don't have your ID yet? Request one here. 
  • Most public libraries will interlibrary loan items for you. 
  • Many public libraries will give you a special "regional borrowing card" that gives you borrowing privileges at local college libraries, both public and private.
  • Almost all college libraries will let you use their books in the building even if you don't have any borrowing privileges. It's nice to tell somebody at the Circulation Desk who you are if you're going to be in the building for hours. Sometimes they'll give you a guest login to use at the computers. 

Related Topics

    Contact Us

    Please give an e-mail address so we know where to send your answer. We will not share it.
    Your Question
    Your Info
    Fields marked with * are required.

    Or call us at (800) 847-3000 ext. 2222

    • Sun: 1-9 pm
    • Mon-Thu: 9am-9pm
    • Fri: 9am-5pm