Inter-library Loans

Found a really interesting article that we don't have access to or a book essential to your dissertation that the Library doesn't hold?  We can probably get hold of a copy for you.  However...this is a very expensive service to provide so think carefully before asking for something!

How many interlibrary loans (ILLs) can I have?

  • Undergraduates and PGCE students can make up to 10 requests during the academic year.
  • Masters students can have 25 requests per academic year.
  • If you think you may need more than this, speak to your tutor or your School Librarian.

How do I apply for an ILL?

  • Before you do - check the catalogue and the e-journals A-Z search of electronic journals to make sure that what you want isn't already available.
  • If not, there are forms to fill in that you can access from the Library Homepage
  • All the fields with a red asterisk are compulsory for you to complete.
  • Please note that you won't be able to request an ILL if you are blocked from library privileges because of overdue loans or outstanding debts.

Where does the book/article come from?

  • We usually send your request to the British Library - they have over 3 million books and 50,000 journal titles in stock.
  • It may take a while to arrive, so do apply as soon as you can and not at the last minute!
  • When a book arrives, you will get an e-mail sent to your Bath Spa account for you to come in and collect it from the Desk; journal articles are emailed to you (see below).

How long can I keep loans?

  • We put a bookmark in each book telling you how long you can have it for, showing the due date.
  • Please contact us if you want to renew an ILL.  The British Library may allow a loan to be renewed but they will also charge for it, so we have to count it as another request off your allocation.  All loans are subject to immediate recall once renewed, so keep an eye on your Bath Spa email account for Library notices.
  • If the item is old or valuable, it may be for use in the Library only. Please do not ask Library staff to waive these conditions as they are laid down by the lending libraries and contravening them places the service at risk for everyone.

Can I have journal articles emailed to me?

  • All ILL journal articles are emailed directly to your BSU email address under a service called Secure Electronic Delivery (SED).
  • It means that we will usually be able to supply your journal articles more quickly.
  • Please note that you have to install some (free) software on your computer before you can open SED journal articles. There are also a number of copyright restrictions on SED articles, which make it advisable to print them as soon as possible after they arrive.
  • We strongly recommend you follow the instructions below BEFORE attempting to open your first SED journal article.

What happens if I don't return a book on time or I lose it?

  • After a certain time, if the book hasn't been returned , the lending library will charge for a replacement copy.
  • The BL's charge is currently £141.60 + VAT (unless the item is more expensive). Even if the book is subsequently returned, they will still charge us an administration fee of at least £57.50 + VAT.
  • We're afraid that, if these charges are made, they will be passed on to you, so keep an eye on your Bath Spa email account for any Library notices.

What about borrowing PhD theses?

  •  To request a thesis, you need to go to EThOS (Electronic Theses Online System).  You can search the EThOS catalogue and download a digital version of an available thesis free of charge.
  • If the British Library haven't digitised the one you want yet, they will try and obtain an electronic copy or direct you to where you can get a paper copy.  Where electronic copies have to be made, you may have to pay a fee (you will be alerted to this when you confirm your order).
  • EThOS should always be your first port-of-call when requesting a thesis.  However, where electronic copies are not available, we may still be able to borrow a paper copy on your behalf - please forward to us a copy of your communication with EThOS.

Can I request music scores?

  • Yes, we can supply single study scores. The British Library collection holds more than 130,000 scores.
  • Please note that we are unable to supply sets of parts or vocal scores for performance.

ILLs are a very useful and valuable service that can help you with your studies and research. Please ask at the Reception Desk if you need further information or email