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UCA Library Blog

Tips for Success from UCA Interlibrary Loan!

by Karen Pruneda on 2020-02-19T13:28:00-06:00 in Library Services, Research Tips | Comments

Have you ever stumbled upon the perfect article or book for your research project, and wanted to know how you could access it? Or, have you gotten excited about a research topic, only to discover that the resources you need are only available at  distant libraries? If the UCA Library doesn’t have the resource you need, the UCA  Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Department is here to help!

The UCA interlibrary loan service allows current UCA students, faculty, and staff  to extend their research access and request items only available at other libraries. UCA ILL will then work to borrow the requested items, such as articles, books, DVDs, microfilm, LPs, etc. UCA students must be currently enrolled and classes in session to request. In the spirit of sharing, UCA Interlibrary Loan also lends items to other libraries nationally and internationally.

Karen P

Karen Pruneda, Interlibrary Loan Supervisor

Whether you are new to interlibrary loan or you have used it many times before, here are some tips which will help you get the most out of the service.

Start your research early!

If you need to interlibrary loan items, it will take some time. Physical loans of items like books, DVDS, etc. take an average of 7-10 days to arrive, while electronic items like articles usually take 3-4 days. Students can only request loans of physical items such as books until a particular semester date, which is posted on our UCA Interlibrary Loan website. Sometimes it takes time to find a library willing to lend the item, or variances like weather may affect shipping time for physical items. Stopping by the UCA Library Reference Desk for research assistance in finding UCA Library or local resources is always a great idea. This is especially true if you’re on a tight deadline.

Log into your ILL account before starting your research.

If you’re doing some serious research that may involve requesting items through interlibrary loan, create or log into your account on the UCA Interlibrary Loan website before starting your day’s research. That way you can fill in your requests automatically, instead of laboriously typing or copying/pasting in citation information. If you’re having trouble logging into your ILL account, try clearing the cookies/cache in your browser or try another browser. If that fails or or you have other ILL questions, email us at or call us at 501-450-5205. We’re happy to help!

If you’ve already perused the books, DVDS, or other physical items owned by UCA Library, try searching at! is the most complete catalog of all of the library items in the entire world! When you search for a topic or item at, you can see if UCA Library, Hendrix Library, or other local libraries own the item. If the book is available at the Hendrix Library, you can use your BearCard to check it out there.

An important advantage of using to search for physical items is that you can easily click the Interlibrary Loan link to automatically fill in your request if you’re already logged into your ILL account. This is less work for you and ensures better citation accuracy.

If you’re researching at the last minute, it’s best to find local libraries with items available for checkout using an ARKlink or Faulkner County Library Card, or request an electronic chapter copy instead of the entire book.

Leave us a note in the request if you want a particular edition/volume, print format, or have a special request.

When searching most of our library databases, you can use automatic Request via Interlibrary Loan links for articles or book chapters!

You’ll find that the UCA Library databases on our website provide access to a majority of the articles you happen upon in your searches. For articles or book chapters the UCA Library doesn’t have access to, you can easily click to Request via Interlibrary Loan if you’re already logged into your ILL account. This will fill in the details automatically!

If you’d rather request the entire book instead of just the chapter, switch the request from a “copy” to a “loan” and erase the article title. Then we’ll know you want the entire book!

If you wish to request an article you find online or in a bibliography, you can manually fill in and submit requests in your ILL account. We would suggest adding a note with the website url where you found the item, or for bibliographies, the full article citation. Then, we’re able to “play detective” and attempt to locate difficult items.

How do I learn more tips and tricks on how to use UCA Interlibrary Loan?

Our Interlibrary Loan website includes important dates, a FAQ page, and the full ILL policy.  Email us at, call us, or stop by the ILL Office! We’re happy to assist with any ILL questions or provide request updates. The ILL Office is located on the first floor of the library right next to the Circulation Desk.

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