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Interlibrary Loans

Faculty, staff, and students can request books, book chapters, and articles not available in McMaster’s collections through Interlibrary Loan. Search the library catalogue before making a request to avoid disappointment.

Articles

  • No cost with exceptions. Patrons will be contacted when these exceptions apply prior to filling the request.
  • Usually available within two-10 business days
  • Email notification of arrival. Please ensure racerhe@mcmaster.ca is added to your contacts or ‘safe’ list.
  • Delivered to patrons desktop if publishing license allows.
  • Articles may be picked up at the Service Desk
  • $10 charge per article not picked up within three weeks of email notification.
  • $25 charge per request resubmitted within four months of original submission.

Books and Book Chapters

  • No cost with exceptions. Patrons will be contacted when these exceptions apply prior to filling the request.
  • Usually available within 14 business days
  • Loan period is up to six weeks
  • Email notification of arrival. Please ensure racerhe@mcmaster.ca is added to your contacts or ‘safe’ list.
  • Books are available in print format only, to be picked up at the Service Desk. We are unable to request entire ebooks due to license restrictions.
  • Copies of book chapters may be picked up at the Service Desk or delivered to your desktop if publishers license allows
  • No renewals
  • $10 charge for books not picked up by their due date.
  • Overdue charges from lending libraries and replacement charges for items lost are the responsibility of the patron.

Theses and Dissertations

Very few libraries will lend theses and dissertations. Copies of many North American PhD dissertations can be purchased through Dissertation Express. For more options, see our guide on Theses and Dissertations. If your dissertation isn’t available through any of the above options, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan. Please bear in mind the following:

  • If delivered in hard copy form, your Interlibrary Loan dissertation may have more restrictions than other items (e.g., library use only, handle with care, photocopying restrictions). Please abide by any and all restrictions.
  • Some institutions will not lend or copy their theses. If the owning library is not willing to provide the material via Interlibrary Loan, we will cancel the request.
  • Overdue charges from lending libraries and replacement charges for items lost are the responsibility of the patron.

Rush Service

To make a rush (24-hour) service request call our Interlibrary Loans department at 905.525.9140 x22546 with your RACER order number. All rush requests must be made before 12 noon.

  • Cost is $40 per article
  • Phone notification of arrival
  • Items may be picked up at the Service Desk

Cancellations

Cancellations of requests occur when:

  • The material is held either electronically or in print in any of the McMaster campus libraries. If the item is checked out you can recall it through the library catalogue.
  • The request exceeds the allowances of the Copyright Act or publisher licenses.  Licenses signed by the Library with various publishers supersede the Copyright Act allowances, as well as the AUCC’s Fair Dealing Policy.
  • The citation (reference) is incomplete or incorrect.
  • We are unable to find a location.
  • Web access is available.
  • The requested item is only available in ebook format.
  • Item from the lending library is checked-out.
  • Item from the lending library is not available.
  • Multiple requests (copies of the same article being submitted).
  • The item is non-circulating at the lending library.
  • Privileges have been temporarily suspended.

Service Restrictions

Interlibrary Loan privileges are not available to Mohawk students, alumni, external borrowers, or retirees (with the exception of retired faculty and librarians). Please use services provided by your local public library.