Michigan State University

MeLCat Logo​ MeLCat Outage

Due to major system maintenance, you will not be able to request items through MeLCat beginning on November 18, 2015.  Renewals for MeLCat items will still be possible until December 2, 2015.  The system should be available for requesting again in early December.  If you are MSU faculty, student or staff, please try Uborrow.  Our community borrowers will not have access to interlibrary loan through MSU during that time. For more information, please read this MeLCat Server Migration FAQ. We apologize for the inconvenience.

InterLibrary Services: Terms of Use



  • Complete one ILL request form for each item needed.
  • DO NOT abbreviate titles of books, journals, or words in an article title. This is especially important with foreign language materials.
  • Be sure to include the source of the reference (where the item was mentioned or cited) on all requests submitted.

If you need assistance, please ask for help at a reference desk or branch library.


InterLibrary Services are available for:

  • Faculty and staff
  • Adjunct and affiliated faculty and staff
  • Retired faculty
  • Currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students
  • Community Borrowers may use MeLCat services for loans; for Federal Documents, please contact MSU Libraries U.S. Government Documents librarian.


  • Please be aware that we will attempt to borrow textbooks but we may not be successful or a lender may supply but there may not be a long loan period for use.  It is best not to plan on interlibrary loan for textbooks. 
  • Also, our policy is not to borrow a print copy through interlibrary loan if an e-book is available.

An MSU faculty member may request that a research assistant be authorized to check out material in his/her name by completing a Faculty Authorization Request at the Main Library Circulation Desk. To request an application, call (517) 355-2333 or e-mail: CircAdm@mail.lib.msu.edu.

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Process times:

  • Requests are processed on a daily basis.
  • Rush service may be available for medical emergencies, grant application deadlines, or other special conditions.  Please contact us to verify availability at ill@mail.lib.msu.edu or 517-884-6398.
  • The average time required to obtain material is 5 - 14 days, but may take longer. Please plan ahead when requesting materials.
  • Requests that must be sent internationally may take considerably longer than average.
  • The use period for most ILL loans is 28 days, although some may be shorter. There are no renewals allowed.

Picking Up and Using Material:

  • You will receive an email when the item has arrived.
  • It will be at the Main Library Circulation Desk, unless...
    • In ILLiad you asked for a branch pick-up. Then, staff will send the item by the next courier to the branch. Please give enough time for transportation of the item.
    • Or with MeLCat requests, upon receipt of the email, you may request delivery of materials to a branch location by calling InterLibrary Services at (517) 884-6398 or through e-mail at ill@mail.lib.msu.edu.

Due Dates:

  • Return material by due date.
  • Material must be returned in the SAME condition as it was received.
  • DO NOT use a book drop. To ensure that any material returned does not go astray or be damaged, please return the material to a library staff member in person at a circulation desk.
  • Failure to return material will result in overdue fines, a replacement charge of not less than $100 and may result in the loss of library privileges.

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General Information:

  • Books, dissertations, microforms, and older volumes of periodicals can usually be borrowed.
  • Please be aware that we will attempt to borrow textbooks but we may not be successful or a lender may supply but there may not be a long loan period for use.  It is best not to plan on interlibrary loan for textbooks.
  • Our policy is not to borrow a print copy through interlibrary loan if an e-book is available.
  • Photocopies of periodical articles or short chapters of books can generally be obtained, as long as such requests are in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.
  • Items missing or withdrawn from the MSU Libraries collections can be requested. Copies of missing pages may also be requested.
  • The Library reserves the right to limit the number of requests processed to 10 per week to insure that requests from other users can be processed in a timely manner.
  • Books that are owned by the MSU Libraries but are currently on reserve or located in a special collection cannot be obtained.
  • Copies of articles will be sent to the requester via electronic delivery and a notice will be sent through e-mail.
    • The article will be available for 24-30 days unless the user removes it.
    • In the event that you accidentally delete an article from the web page, email us at ill@mail.lib.msu.edu to see if we can reset it.

NOTE: From the holdings of partner libraries, ILL often can obtain books, articles, book chapters, microfilm/microfiche, dissertations, audiovisual material and musical scores needed for research. There is no limit on the amount of requests a patron may place, though during the busy times of the year, ILS staff may limit processing to 10 requests per week. ILS will attempt to obtain the loan of textbooks but there is no guarantee of success. Some materials simply are not available from other libraries or from publishers, including some out of print materials, rare and fragile pieces, e-only resources, unique archival items, or materials for which costs become prohibitive. It is the policy of the Libraries NOT to subsidize the special production of scanned or microfilm copies outside the normal ILL or acquisitions processes.


The purpose of InterLibrary Services is to make available to MSU faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students research material not available at the MSU Libraries. All transactions are between libraries, not individuals. The MSU Libraries must abide by the policies of other libraries in order to ensure the continued availability of research material.

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