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Request an Article or Book


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Sign in now to place a new interlibrary loan (ILL) / document delivery request or to check the status of a previous request.

First time users will be prompted to login with your NetID and password and create an account. When creating a new account, Feinberg School of Medicine affiliates should choose "Galter Health Sciences Library" as their primary library in their account. *Students in the MS in Medical Informatics (MMI) and the MS in Clinical Research and Regulatory Administration, and other programs based in the School of Professional Studies, should use the University Libraries' Interlibrary Loan services.

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Types of Materials

Interlibrary Loan service is available to obtain books, articles and audiovisual materials not available in the Galter Library. Requests may include:
  • Articles and books that the Galter Library does not own, including materials located at other NU libraries or off-site storage.
  • Copies of print articles (or chapters in books) that the Galter Library owns. (If the article is already available electronically, please download it from the library website)

Any physical items you have requested will be available for pick up at the Galter Library Circulation Desk during regular library hours. Articles you have requested will be available for download when you log on to your account.

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Interlibrary loan (ILL) and document delivery services at the Galter Library are available to the following groups:

  • currently-affiliated Feinberg School of Medicine faculty, staff, students*, and residents
  • Feinberg School of Medicine faculty at locations other than NMH, RIC, or Lurie Children's Hospital

*Students in the MS in Medical Informatics (MMI) and the MS in Clinical Research and Regulatory Administration programs should use the University Libraries' Interlibrary Loan services. You can still create an ILL account from this page, but you should choose Distance Education as your primary library in the online account profile.

If you are not a member of one of the above groups and you think you should still have access to document delivery services at the Galter Library, please contact Access Services at (312) 503-8126.

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Costs and Timeframe

There is no charge for requests for FSM faculty, staff, students and residents. On your behalf, the library pays any and all fees associated with borrowing an item from another library. High volume or cost-prohibitive requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. We reserve the right to charge requestors to cover copyright and other processing fees. In addition, there may be charges if an item we have borrowed for you is lost or damaged while in your possession. 

Other possible charges are as follows:

  • Interlibrary Loan to a requesting library: $ 20.00

Although the time it takes to obtain an item varies widely depending on its availability, please see the table below for an idea of when to expect your request. The process can be expedited in the cases of emergency patient care or grant deadlines. Please contact the ILL staff directly for emergency requests.

  • Items from other Northwestern locations - 1 – 3 working days
  • Physical items from outside institutions - 6 – 10 working days
  • Articles from outside institutions - 2 – 7 working days
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Contact Us

Hours: 8:30am – 5:00pm | Monday-Friday

In Person: The ILL office is located in room 1-191, on the First Floor of the Galter Health Sciences Library.


Call: (312) 503-1908

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Why don't I see all my older requests when I look at my request history?
From time to time we purge older records from the Interlibrary Loan system. Our policy is to keep requests online for several years in order to comply with record keeping requirements of the copyright law.
How long can I check out an ILL book?
Each lending library sets its own due dates - they are usually at least 4 weeks after the library sends the book or microfilm to NU.
Are there any restrictions, like “no renewals” or “in library use only,” for ILL items?
There may be restrictions placed on items by the lending library. These will noted on the item itself and be strictly observed.
How do I renew an ILL book?
If the lender allows renewals, we can either send the renewal request on your behalf or you can place one yourself.
  • To place a renewal request yourself, login to your ILL account, click on the transaction number for the book listed under your “Checked Out Items,” and then click on the “Renew Request” text that appears in the upper-left section of the page.
  • To have us place a renewal request on your behalf, contact us by email or phone and we will send a request to the lender.

The lender has the option to deny or approve the request. When we then hear back from the lender, we will send you an email to let you know the status of the renewal request.
What about copyright?
Whenever possible, we provide electronic copies of articles. Most documents will be in PDF format. There are times, however, that due to lender restrictions, size, image intensity, or quality we will provide them in paper format.
There also may be copyright restrictions with articles and other electronic documents obtained through ILL. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.
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Updated: March 27, 2024