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Inter Library Loans

Inter-Library Loan Requests – Delays to delivery (updated 22 November 2023) 

The British Library was subject to a cyber incident over the weekend of 28 and 29 October and most of their systems have been offline since then. This outage includes British Library document delivery and inter-library loans services.

As a result, there may be problems supplying Edinburgh Napier University inter-library loan requests and there will be delays to delivery.
Currently we have no further information about the likely duration of these issues.

We are now able to offer this service to academic staff and all students. Additionally, we can process requests for both electronic and print material. 

Follow the instructions below to submit your borrowing request.  

​Interlibrary Loans  


What is an Interlibrary Loan?


This is a request service that gives you access to materials we don't have in our own stock. The Library service can borrow items and obtain articles from the British Library and other UK libraries.  


How do I request an Interlibrary Loan (ILL)? 

1. Go to LibrarySearch​.

2. Sign in to make an ILL request and to get full search results.

3. Search for the item you need to find out if we have it.

4. Click the 'Interlibrary Loan' tab if you can't find the item.

5. Complete the form, filling in as many fields as possible.

6. Click 'Request'. 


What kind of material is available? 


Academic books, journal articles, conference proceedings and reports are generally available. Market research reports, unpublished reports and papers can be difficult to borrow.


Requests for theses should be done via the Electronic Thesis online service - Ethos.


Who can use our Interlibrary Loan service?


The service is available to all Edinburgh Napier University staff and students within the UK. If you have registered for the Postal Loans service, add 'Postal Loans' to the Comments field of the ILL form. Make sure you return overdue items and pay any fines and charges before making an ILL request. 



How long will my Interlibrary Loan request take?


Requests are usually supplied within 3-15 working days but we can't guarantee delivery within a specified time. Allow at least 3 days to receive a journal article and about 15 days for a book request. We also advise that you don't request a book just before going on holiday as it could arrive when you're away. 



Journal articles delivered to you 


Usually, you'll receive an email from the British Library containing a secure web link to your requested article. You will be given full instructions on how to register and download the article.


The British Library uses DRM Lite electronic delivery method to:

  • supply secure encrypted documents.
  • make sure the item is used only as permitted.
  • protect the rights of the copyright holder. 

If you have any problems downloading your item, check their list of FAQs​.


Journal articles sourced elsewhere will be emailed to you. 



Book loans


The normal loan period is 5 weeks from the date the item arrives at the University. We'll send you an email saying the item has arrived and it's ready for you to collect. You need to specify which campus library you'll collect the item from when you complete the request form, but you can return it to any campus library.  


Recalls – the external lending library can ask us to reurn an Interlibrary Loan before its due date. If this happens, we'll send an email to your University email account asking you to reuturn it as soon as possible.


Lost or damaged items - Edinburgh Napier University Library is charged for items that are lost or damaged by our borrowers. We pass on this charge, plus any administrative costs, to the borrower.​



Contact us

All correspondence about ILL requests will be through your University email account. Contact ill@napier.ac.uk ​or call 0131 455 3500 if you have any questions about the ILL service.​​  ​