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Have a question about the Standish Library? Explore this guide for answers to frequently asked questions.
Last Updated: Nov 18, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Interlibrary Loan Print Page

Who may use interlibrary loan?

The Standish Library Interlibrary Loan Department provides interlibrary loan services for the Siena College academic community. This includes current students, faculty, administrators, staff, and emeritus faculty. By agreement with St. Bernard's Institute, current St. Bernard's Institute students who have paid an optional library fee are entitled to interlibrary loan services, as well.

Courtesy borrowing privileges, alumni borrowing privileges, and Direct Access borrowing agreements do not include interlibrary loan.

Individuals from other academic institutions must use their home institutions' interlibrary loan services. Individuals who are not affiliated with any academic institution are encouraged to contact the largest local library in their area. In the Capital District, among those we recommend are:

Albany Public Library
Bethlehem Public Library
Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library
Guilderland Public Library
Saratoga Springs Public Library
Schenectady County Public Library
Troy Public Library
William K. Sanford Town Library (Colonie)

Please contact Patricia Markley, the Interlibrary Loan Librarian, if you have any questions about eligibility (518-783-4196 or


Where does Siena get interlibrary loan materials?

Materials are obtained from libraries throughout the United States and even abroad, by means of bibliographic databases, Web catalogs, and document suppliers. Siena College participates in a number of resource-sharing agreements, including:

Capital District Library Council – This is a multi-type library consortium, which facilitates interlibrary loan among all types of local libraries: academic, public, school, and special.

ConnectNY – This is a group of academic libraries in New York, which have created a joint catalog and a system of patron direct requesting of each other's books.

LVIS – This is a huge group of libraries – of many types – from all over the United States which have agreed to waive interlibrary loan charges for each other.

RapidILL - This is a national consortium of academic libraries which have agreed to offer each other rush document delivery service free of charge.


What kinds of materials can I get through interlibrary loan?

The Interlibrary Loan Department makes every effort to get all materials requested by our patrons. Experience tells us, however, that materials falling into certain categories are more challenging to obtain, and the success rate for obtaining these types of materials tends to be a little lower.

In general, materials in the following categories are easily obtainable:

• Books printed since 1900 (except for current year imprints)

• Microforms of newspapers and periodicals

• Articles from scholarly journals, magazine, and newspapers

• Government documents

• Patents

• Dissertations

In general, items from these categories are more difficult to obtain:

• Books printed before 1900 and/or rare books

• Brand-new books (out less than 6 months)

• Manuscripts

• Materials published exclusively in some other countries

• Paper editions of newspapers or magazines

• Audiovisual materials

• Computer software

• Reference materials and other non-circulating materials

A request for something from one of these categories may take more time than the average of two weeks to fill, or may be filled with restrictions – such as a shorter loan period, a "no photocopying" restriction, or a "library use only" restriction. Please discuss any special needs with Patricia Markley, Interlibrary Loan Librarian: or 518-783-4196.

There are some categories of materials that we will not order through interlibrary loan:

• Textbooks

• Books or AV intended to be put on reserve at Siena

• Books or AV material available at Siena, either on the shelf or electronically

• Journals, magazines, or newspapers available in paper format and on the shelf in the Standish Library

We will order the following materials -- if they are owned by the Standish Library, but not really accessible to the patron:

• Books or AV that are checked out

• Journals/magazines that are at the bindery

• Pages that are torn out of Siena's print copy

• Any item that isn't checked out (should be on the shelf), but cannot be found

If you need to order something like this through interlibrary loan, please indicate in the notes field of your request why you can't use Siena's copy.


Is there a charge for interlibrary loan services?

In general, there is no fee for interlibrary loan service. There are costs in obtaining materials through interlibrary loan, of course -- in terms of staff time, supplies, shipping, and fees charged by libraries for the use of their materials -- but these costs are subsidized by the Standish Library. The Interlibrary Loan Department tries to fill as many requests as possible through our free resource-sharing partners, but, if necessary, will pay up to $50 to a lending library per request.

A Siena patron will be charged, however, any fees charged by a lending library for damaged, lost, or long-overdue interlibrary loan materials. If the Interlibrary Loan Department receives a bill from a lending library for material you have not returned or returned damaged, we will notify you. We then will pay that bill and charge your Standish Library account that amount. If you return a book undamaged after being charged a replacement fee for it, the Interlibrary Loan Department will refund you whatever the lending library refunds us.

Please contact Patricia Markley, Interlibrary Loan Librarian, if you have any questions about charges connected to interlibrary loan service: or 518-783-4196.


What can I do to get the best results from my interlibrary loan request?

Remember, interlibrary loan is a process by which the Standish Library Interlibrary Loan Department receives your requests from ILLiad or a database, such as the MLA Bibliography, and then gets materials for you. Here are some tips which will save you time and help us get the right materials to you more quickly.

Before placing an interlibrary loan request, check to make sure that the item isn't already here at Siena.

For books and AV, check our online catalog, CYRIL: Title Search

For journals, magazines, and newspapers, use the Search-For-Article button in whichever database you're using or search the Journal Title List

You must register with ILLiad, our electronic interlibrary loan system before ordering something. In the ILLiad customer profile, please keep information about yourself and your contact information (email and phone) current.

In your request, provide as complete and accurate information as possible about the item you want. If you don't have a complete citation, check with the Standish Library Reference Desk – the librarian there will be glad to help you.

Requesting books – Provide the full name of at least the first author or editor. Provide the title and, if possible, the publisher, place, and year of publication. If you need a special edition or volume of a set, indicate that in the "notes" field of the request. If you have the ISBN for the book, it is helpful to include it.

Requesting media – Provide the full title, and, if possible, the publisher (label or production company), place, and year of publication/release. If there is a primary artist and/or director associated, please give that information, too..

Requesting articles – Do not abbreviate the title of the periodical, except when your source abbreviated the title. Make sure that you searched Siena's local holdings (a journal title search on CYRIL) for the periodical title, not the article title. If the periodical has a short and common name ("Life" e.g.), include the place of publication and/or publisher, if you can find it. If possible, provide the ISSN of the periodical.

Requesting a dissertation or thesis – Provide the author, title -- plus academic institution and year, if you know them.

If possible, provide the source of your citation, such as the name of the database or the URL where you found the information.

Plan ahead. The peak times of year for ILL work are October-early December and March-April, so the sooner you get your requests in, the more likely it is that we can fill them on time.


What are the limitations of interlibrary loan service?

Loan period:
• Books/media borrowed through interlibrary loan are not to be placed on reserve.

• Items borrowed from other libraries are lent for short periods of time, generally 4 weeks, with possibly one renewal.

• Items borrowed are subject to immediate recall by the lending library, if someone there needs the material.

Local availability:
Before placing an interlibrary loan request, check to see if the item you want is available at Siena. You can find out what books, media, and periodicals are here by searching our local catalog, CYRIL

Materials available in print at Siena will not be ordered through interlibrary loan. If, in our verification process we determine that an item requested is owned and accessible through our collections, we will email you that we are cancelling the request. If you have difficulty locating material at Siena, contact the Standish Library Reference Desk for assistance.

If we determine that a book requested is available through ConnectNY, we will order it in your name, cancel your interlibrary loan request, and notify you by email. You will then receive an email when your ConnectNY book comes in.  If you receive a notice that the ConnectNY request has been cancelled, that means the ConnectNY library couldn't send the book.  Contact us and we'll order the book through interlibrary loan.

Copyright law:
Copyright law of the United States sets limits on reproduction by libraries for interlibrary loan. We are limited, therefore, on the number of copies we can request for certain journal titles and are prevented from requesting systematic or extensive copying of certain types of materials.

Limit on the number of requests that can be made:
There is no formal limit on the number of requests a user can place. If, however, you request an unusually large number of requests at one time, we will limit processing of your requests to 5 requests a day, if we deem it necessary in order to process other patrons' requests in a timely manner.

The focus of the ILL Department is to support research and instruction. For that reason, and because the costs involved in interlibrary loan are absorbed by the Standish Library, we ask that you consider carefully the value of the items you request.


What are the alternatives to interlibrary loan?

Although some interlibrary loan requests (mostly articles) are filled within a day or two, on average interlibrary loan requests take 7-14 days. Requests for obscure materials take even longer. If you do not have the time to wait for interlibrary loan, try these alternatives:

Use ConnectNY – access ConnectNY through CYRIL by clicking on the ConnectNY icon. You can search ConnectNY by subject, keyword, etc. and request books without going through interlibrary loan. Plus, the books should arrive sooner – usually within 3 to 5 days.

Use the Direct Access Program. If you take your Siena ID to the Standish Library Reference Desk, the librarian there can give you a Direct Access Card. Along with your Siena ID, that little green card will let you go in person to most libraries in the Capital District (academic and other types) to check out books. The reference librarian also can show you how to find and search other libraries' online catalogs, CaDiLaC Online, or WorldCat to find out which local libraries own the best resources for your project.


What are the circulation policies for interlibrary loan materials?

Loan Periods
The loan period for materials lent to Siena by another library is determined by that library, not Siena. The loan periods vary, but are typically about four weeks. A paper band or label attached to the item indicates the due date.

It is common for lending libraries to grant one renewal, but no more. Renewals may be made by connecting to ILLiad and choosing View/Renew checked out items. Overdue materials cannot be renewed. If you still need the item, contact us ( / 518-783-2518 or come in person M-F 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). We usually will have you return the overdue item, then we order you another copy from another library.

Interlibrary loan materials are subject to recall by the lending library at any time. A lending library will issue a recall if one of its own patrons needs the material. If you receive a recall notice from us, you must return the item IMMEDIATELY. In this case, too, if you still need to use it, we will find you another copy elsewhere.

Siena does not charge overdue fines itself, but will pass along any fines from the lending library. Replacement fees are charged for grossly overdue, lost, or damaged materials. We will charge you whatever the lending library charges us. If you are billed and then return the material undamaged, we will refund whatever the lending library refunds us.

Interlibrary loan fees are added to your main library account and should be paid as soon as possible at the Standish Library Circulation Desk. If they are not paid within a limited period of time, they are added to your general Siena account. 

Fees that are large enough may result in loss of interlibrary loan borrowing privileges and even a hold being put on your Siena College registration, graduation, and/or transcripts.

If you have any questions about our policies, please contact Patricia Markley at or 518-783-4196.


Contact Information

The Interlibrary Loan Department is located on the 1st floor of the Standish Library behind the Circulation Desk.

phone: 518-783-2518
hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (M-F)


Additional Contacts

Patricia Markley, Interlibrary Loan Librarian
(518) 783 - 4196;

Luann De Cotis, Interlibrary Loan Assistant
(518) 783 - 2518; ldecotis


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