Document Delivery supports the scholarship, teaching, and research of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn campuses by providing book loans and article scans from a wide selection of materials owned by the University of Michigan Library, and through interlibrary loan by borrowing materials from libraries worldwide when those are not locally available.

Faculty, graduate students, staff, faculty assistants (proxies), and undergraduates can use standard Document Delivery services free of charge.

Placing Requests

Patrons may place requests online via “Get This” or by logging into their Interlibrary Loan account. Requests should not be submitted on behalf of another person; patrons are responsible for items requested in their name, and are responsible for paying any costs issued by U-M Library or a lending library. Please do not loan your items to others.

Request Processing and Loan Periods

Processing time for Document Delivery requests can vary widely depending on the nature and availability of the item. Article and loan requests for locally owned materials are typically processed within 1-4 business days. Loan periods vary depending on the local library from which the material is borrowed. See more on U-M Library loan periods.

Here are our current processing times for materials requested through interlibrary loan, listed by format:

Filled within 3 Days 75% 4%
Filled within 7 Days 91% 63%
Filled within 14 Days 96% 91%

Interlibrary loan always tries to find the longest loans and/or renewal options that best suit our patrons’ needs. However, loan periods can be highly variable, as they are set by the lending library; the average loan period generally ranges from 2-6 weeks (though books received from our Big Ten Academic Alliance Partners are due in 12 weeks). Loan periods are shorter for audiovisual materials. Patrons should consult their Interlibrary Loan account or the book band accompanying the item for additional information regarding due dates.


We deliver materials to over 200 locations throughout the UM-Ann Arbor campus. Most items are delivered within 2-4 business days, but may be subject to delay due to hazardous weather or campus closings. Articles and book chapters are delivered electronically, and can be accessed via the patron’s ILLiad account. Patrons may view delivered PDFs for two weeks or five times, whichever comes first. To set up your library or departmental delivery preference, click here.

Successful delivery of materials is dependent on a patron’s good standing with the U-M Library. Items may also be delayed if patrons have overdue books, or their designated delivery location is unable to receive library items.

Please contact us if you receive an incomplete, incorrect or unreadable article. We will work to provide a new copy from our collection or contact the supplying library to resolve the issue. Placing a new request may generate unnecessary costs for the library and delay the time it takes to receive your article.

Articles and chapters are scanned at a resolution suitable for research and instruction purposes. For publication or preservation quality materials, please contact us directly.

Urgent Patient Care Requests and Microform Copying

Rush service is available to UM Hospital or medical staff needing to place an Urgent Patient Care request. This service is only for articles that are needed due to a clinical emergency, or to assist patients currently in their care. Urgent Patient Care requests are free of charge, but must be placed by contacting our office directly by phone at 734-764-8584 immediately after placing the request so that we can expedite it. If our office is closed, please leave a voicemail message with your uniqname and transaction number, and it will be handled as soon as we open. We attempt to fill these requests within 2 hours.

Document Delivery may also be able to provide copying from our Serials and Microforms Services collection. Contact our staff directly at 734-764-8584 for more information. Please have your Transaction Number (TN) available. Alternatively, patrons may access microfilm and microfiche themselves by visiting Serials and Microforms Services directly at Hatcher Graduate Library, Room 203N.

Book Bands

Interlibrary loan items are circulated with either a yellow (Library Use Only) or dark blue (standard loan) book band. These bands have identifying information on them and should not be removed. Items returned without the book bands are often delayed getting back to our office or misplaced along the way and may result in lost book charges and/or your account being blocked.

Library Use Only Materials

Lending libraries will sometimes restrict an item to "Library Use Only" or "Reading Room Use Only." These items are designated with a yellow book band and must remain in the library where they are being held (or viewed under the supervision of staff in the Special Collections Reading Room). Books must be returned to the information services desk after each viewing. Please do not put Library Use Only materials in drop boxes.

Library Use Only items are held for ten days before being returned to the owning library. If you cannot view your item within ten days, or require a long-term hold, please contact Information Services staff.


Locally owned materials may be renewed through your library account. For interlibrary loan materials, renewals can be requested through ILLiad from 5 days before to 2 days after the due date.  Renewals depend entirely on the lending library. Notification will be sent via email for any approved or denied renewal request. If the item is more than 2 days overdue, email our office to request a renewal. However, some libraries will not grant renewal requests once the item has become overdue.

Items that have been checked-out for more than 9 months may need to be renewed in person at the ILL office.


Recalls occur when another patron requests an item you have checked out, or when the owning library needs their item back on a rush basis. Locally owned items will receive a Recall Notice from Information Services. When an interlibrary loan item is recalled, we will send you a notice via email, giving you 3 days to return it.

Items are subject to recall at any time by the owning library. If you are leaving town for an extended period of time, please return your ILL items or leave them in a place accessible by someone who may return them for you in case of a recall.

Ann Arbor patrons should return their recalled item directly to the ILL office by the new due date. UM Flint and UM Dearborn patrons can return their items to either the Thompson Library or the Mardigian Library. Items not returned by the new due date will result in your borrowing privileges being suspended on the next business day.

Returning Materials

Locally owned materials may be returned to any designated campus library. Interlibrary loan materials returned to the drop box outside Hatcher Room 106 ensure that the item will be checked-in promptly and removed from your account. If you cannot return materials to the drop box, you may return it to a designated campus library. However, materials returned to these locations may take a couple of days to reach us. Patrons will be held responsible for items returned to non-designated locations resulting lost materials.

Items should be returned in the same condition as you received them, along with all accompanying materials (DVDs, CDs, maps, patterns, etc.). Items returned with writing, highlighting, underlining, torn pages, etc. may result in fines or an invoice for the cost of a replacement copy. Patrons are responsible for paying any associated costs or fines, and your library account(s) may be blocked until payment is received.

What should I do if I lose or damage an interlibrary loan book?

Please contact us immediately to avoid having your Library accounts blocked. We will contact the lending library to see what the options are.  Once we hear from them, we will send you an update via your University of Michigan email.

Once you pick up your interlibrary loan item (or once it is delivered to you), you are responsible for taking care of the item and returning it to one of the approved interlibrary loan return locations by the due date. Other libraries lend us their items on good faith, and we want to keep a good relationship with them.  To do this we need to make sure that they get their items back as soon as possible, in the same condition as  when they arrived.  If a book is lost or damaged, you will need to pay to replace the item.

The charge for a lost ILL item is determined by the individual lending library.  Many libraries will accept a replacement copy (if available), often with a small processing fee.  Others will send an invoice.  Invoice amounts vary greatly, usually between $75 and $150 but may be lower or higher. 

Damaged or lost materials owned by the U-M Library are subject to fines

Blocked Accounts

Interlibrary loan privileges will be suspended if an item is 14 days or more beyond its due date or if a recalled item is one or more days overdue. Local borrowing privileges will be suspended if an interlibrary loan item is 30 days or more beyond its due date. Privileges will be restored when the overdue item has been returned, or an invoice has been paid for a damaged or lost item.

For more information about borrowing U-M Library materials, or your local account status, please contact Library Information Services.

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Last modified: 11/05/2018