Interlibrary Loan Services FAQ

What is interlibrary loan service?

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a library-to-library loan service for eligible University of Minnesota law students, faculty, and staff. The primary purpose of ILL is to assist scholarly research by obtaining materials not available locally, but there are no content restrictions on requests. If you need an item not available locally, we may be able to arrange a loan from a participating library.

Who is eligible to use the Law Library’s ILL service?

Law students, faculty, and staff of the University of Minnesota Law School (see the FAQ “How to I Request Materials” below). Faculty, students, and staff in other disciplines or affiliated with other University of Minnesota colleges, may use the ILL service at the library that serves your discipline or college, e.g. Wilson Library. Go to for more information.

Which materials may and may not be requested?

Materials that MAY be requested:

  • Materials not owned by any of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus libraries. Check the MNCAT Discovery Catalog to confirm the item is not owned by a library on our campus. See the Law Library Reference Office for assistance in searching MNCAT Discovery.
  • Materials not owned by any of the local law school libraries (Mitchell Hamline or St. Thomas). U of M Law students have borrowing privileges at these libraries and may visit them to check out items directly, (subject to the circulation rules of the lending library). Check the catalogs of these libraries to confirm it is not available at those libraries. See the Law Library Reference Office for assistance in searching these catalogs. Law Faculty Note: U of M Law Faculty may request items held at local law school libraries via interlibrary loan by contacting the ILL office: 625-9534.
  • Materials that have been declared lost, missing, or are checked out to the bindery.

Materials that MAY NOT be requested:

  • Materials needed for law review and law journal cite checking (see your editor for details).
  • Materials owned by a library on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Check the MNCAT Discovery Catalog to confirm the item is not owned by a library on our campus. Note: items owned by a U of M Twin Cities campus library may be requested using the University Libraries’ Get It! service (see description at
  • Items available from any of the local law school libraries (Mitchell Hamline and St. Thomas). Check the catalog of each library to confirm availability. Exception: U of M Law Faculty and law journal staff (for source find purposes) may request items held at local law school libraries via interlibrary loan by contacting the ILL office:

Are some materials difficult to obtain?

Yes, these include:

  • Computer diskettes, videotapes, audio tapes, and other AV materials
  • Reference and rare materials
  • Entire issues/volumes of journals
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Recently published books/journals
  • Newspapers and foreign serials

How do I request materials?

Law School Faculty and Staff
Send requests to David Zopfi-Jordan by any of the following methods:
Phone: ext.  5-9534

Law Students
Use this Online Request Form to borrow books, DVDs, or to get copies of articles, chapters from books and other items from other libraries.

Law Review/Journal Staff - Source Finds
All ILL requests associated with source finds must be coordinated by the journal editor. Editors can submit ILL requests using the Online Request Form.

How much will it cost?

There are no fees for ILL to the patron; the library pays the costs.

How long will it take for my item(s) to arrive?

Typically 1-4 weeks for photocopies; 2 weeks to 2 months for books. Rare, recent, and in-demand items may take longer. Please place your requests well in advance of your deadlines.

What can I do to help expedite processing of my request?

  • Make sure the item is not owned by a library on the U of M campus by checking MNCAT Discovery Catalog (you may find the book or journal is available in hardcopy or electronic format).
  • Check the catalogs of other local law libraries to see if they may own the item. Note: Law students have borrowing privileges at Mitchell Hamline and St. Thomas law libraries
  • Make sure the item is not available from an electronic source such as Bloomberg Law, Lexis, Westlaw, HeinOnline or the web (unless an electronic version is not acceptable).
  • Check with a reference librarian for other databases and resources that may include your item (especially for periodical articles).
  • Include as much of the information described below as possible. Do not use abbreviations if they are not used in the original citation. Contact the Law Library Reference Office for assistance in locating bibliographic information.
Books & Theses
Author or editor
Publication Date and/or edition
Place of Publication
Periodical Articles
Periodical title
Volume number
*Issue number
Date of publication
Pages needed
*Place of publication
Article author(s)
Article title
Government Documents
Publishing agency
Place of publication
Date of publication

Can I check the status of my request?

Contact our ILL staff: email:, phone: (612) 625-9534. Note: It typically takes 1 - 4 weeks for photocopies and 2 weeks to 2 months for books to arrive. Rare, recent, and in-demand items may take longer.

How will I be notified?

We will contact you via e-mail or phone upon receipt of materials or if we are unable to fill your request. Items are held at the library circulation desk for pick-up or delivered to faculty offices.

How long can I keep the material and can it be renewed?

Photocopies of items, e.g. journal articles and book chapters, are yours to keep at no charge. Due date information and any restrictions for loans of original items, e.g. books and theses, will be noted on a book band placed on the front cover of the borrowed material. Items supplied by the Minitex network are not renewable. The loan and renewal periods for materials borrowed from other sources are determined by the lending library. If you need the material for a longer time please contact us approximately one week before the item is due and we will attempt to renew it.

Where should I return the material?

Original items, e.g. books and videos, that have been loaned should be returned to the Circulation Desk in the Law Library. Please leave all bands and paperwork intact. Please do not return ILL items to any other campus library.

Who is responsible for paying overdue fines on ILL items?

You are responsible for overdue fines for items borrowed for you via ILL. You are responsible for fines imposed by both the Law Library’s circulation department through the MNCAT circulation system and the lending library. Please return your ILL materials on time. Failure to do so may result in suspension of ILL services for you and may jeopardize our ILL privileges with the lending library.

What if I damage or lose the material?

If you damage or lose material that has been borrowed through Interlibrary Loan, please contact our ILL staff (phone: (612) 625-9534) right away. We will contact the lending library to determine replacement or repair fees. You will be charged and responsible for payment of these fees.

What about copyright restrictions for ILL materials?

Certain federal copyright laws and guidelines apply to ILL borrowing and lending requests. Under copyright law, ILL photocopy requests are limited to only one article per journal issue or one chapter per book per patron. If you need more than one article from a journal issue, you may be asked to pay copyright fees for the additional article(s). If you need more than one chapter per book, we will likely be able to borrow the book for you. Copyright guidelines also limit us to requesting five articles total from any journal in the previous five years. You may be asked to pay copyright fees if we have already borrowed our maximum number of articles from a particular title. In some cases, we may not be able to determine copyright fees (which range from inexpensive to very expensive), but may instead have to contact the publisher for copying permission.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” If a user makes a request for or later uses a photocopy in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of the copyright law.

Law Library ILL Contact information

Law Library Interlibrary Loan Contact Information

David Zopfi-Jordan
Interlibrary Loan Librarian
Phone: (612) 625-9534
FAX: (612) 625-3478
Address: University of Minnesota Law Library
Interlibrary Loan
150 Walter F. Mondale Hall
229 19th Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-1000

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