Inter-Library Loans

How to make requests for books, journal articles and theses.

Inter-Library Loans - General information

The Inter-Library Loans service is one way for current Staff and Students of the University of St Andrews to obtain research

material which is not held in the Library.


We aim to provide access to books and journal articles which are held at other libraries in the UK or overseas. Please

search the Library and if it is a resource that we do not have access to, use the Inter-Library Loans service to

request it.

Make a request!

Please allow 24 hours for us to process your request. Times vary for the delivery of articles and books depending on the institution which supplies the material. Books and Journal articles are usually supplied within a week to 10 days, and in most cases they arrive within a few days of the request being made. However, some items take longer to source and

the time varies for each request. You will be notified through your University email for updates regarding your request, as it is not possible to guarantee delivery within a specific timeframe.


It is not possible to renew items through your Library Record. If you would like to renew your Inter-Library Loan or you have any questions about your request, please email 

The first time you use the service you will need to register with BLDSS/On Demand. Register for On Demand

Who can use this service?

Who can request an Inter Library Loan?

  • Undergraduate students

  • Postgraduate students (Research & Taught)

  • Members of staff of the University of St Andrews

  • Retired members of staff undertaking research or work on behalf of the University and who have current membership and borrowing rights

  • External users

  • Visiting scholars

  • Student Societies and Groups

Staff and students of the University each have a quota of Inter-Library Loans per academic year that are provided free of

charge. If you use your quota of free loans, there will be a charge per request for the supply of subsequent loans or renewals.

Please see Costs and Charges section for further information regarding allocations.


What can be requested on Inter-Library Loan?

You can request a range of materials through Inter Library Loan including:

  • Books (and chapters from books)

  • Journal articles

  • Theses

  • Reports

  • Conference Proceedings


What cannot be requested on Inter Library Loan?

There are some items which we will not obtain including: 

  • Material that is only available for purchase from a publisher or organisation

  • Maps

  • DVDs

  • CDs

  • Full issues of a Newspaper

There are also some materials which are difficult to source on Inter Library Loan, including:

  • Pre 1900 material

  • Some Theses (see Theses section for further information)

  • Whole volumes of Journals

  • Material held internationally

Whilst the Inter Library Loan Team will aim to source these materials, this is not always possible and we will contact you via your University email address.

Returning an Inter-Library Loan

Please return books to the Library Service Desk instead of using the return machines.