Ask a Librarian

What is ILLiad?

ILLiad is the electronic system you use to request an item through Interlibrary Loan. The name ILLiad can be thought of as an acronym for “Inter LibraryLoan Internet Accessible Database”.

Statuses found on your ILLiad account – ILLiad Terminology

  1. Awaiting Copyright Clearance: The requested article has to be reviewed for copyright.
  2. Disavowed: The patron account is inactive or blocked, Contact the Library.
  3. Canceled by Customer: The request was canceled by the patron.
  4. Canceled by ILL Staff: ILL staff canceled the request. An email will be sent to the patron notifying them of the reason for the cancelation.
  5. Delivered to Web: The requested material (article/book chapter) was delivered to the patron’s ILLiad account. The item can be found in the Electronically Delivered Articles section. Articles/Book chapters are held for 30 days, please save the item if you wish to keep it longer than 30 days.
  6. Denied Renewal Processing: The lending library will not allow the item to be renewed. The customer must return the item as soon as possible.
  7. Item Checked In: The requested item has been returned to the circulation desk and checked in, to be returned to the lending library.
  8. Item Checked Out to Customer: The requested item is awaiting or has been picked up by the patron.
  9. Item Recalled: The lending library recalled the material, and the patron must return the item as soon as possible.
  10. Item Returned: The requested item has been sent back to the lending library.
  11. Request Finished: The request was completed, and the item returned to the lender.
  12. Request in Processing: ILL staff are processing the request.
  13. Request Sent: The request has been sent to lenders. We are waiting for a response from the lending libraries.
  14. Submitted by Customer: A patron submitted a request, and it is awaiting processing by ILL staff.

Can I get my textbooks through interlibrary loan?

Though we understand that textbook prices are high, The TMC Library will not order any edition of a book that is required in a course syllabus (in other words, textbook) through Interlibrary Loan for the following reasons:

  • Most libraries do not own textbooks; we often have to request textbooks from out-of-state libraries.
  • The process of requesting, shipping, and receiving the textbooks takes 1-2 weeks.
  • Students are usually allowed to keep interlibrary loan textbooks for about two weeks.
  • The loan periods set by lending libraries and do not allow students to keep a textbook for an entire course.

Interlibrary loan is not intended for ordering textbooks. Interlibrary loan services were established to assist student and faculty with borrowing supplementary materials for research.

How much does Interlibrary Loan cost?

For TMC Library affiliates, routine services are supplied free, subject to the following terms:

A single user is entitled to a maximum of 15 free requests per calendar year. Further ILL requests will be filled @$15.00 each until year’s end.
Duplicate and/or lost requests will be ordered at the expense of the patron. ILL users will be charged a $5.00 service fee for books requested through interlibrary loan, that are not picked up within 14 days of notification.
Fee Schedule for Customers Not Affiliated with a Texas Medical Center Institution.

What if I don’t remember my username and password?

If you do not recall your username and/or password, call 713-799-7105 or 713-799-7147 email Note: Library staff cannot see your password; however, the password can be changed to a generic one, and you will be asked to select a new password once you log in.

What is the quickest way to get an article that the Library owns?

TMC Library electronic resources are accessed with the OpenAthens system. More detailed information on this system can be found in our OpenAthens LibGuide.

What types of items may I request?

We will make every reasonable effort to obtain any library materials requested via ILL. There are some things that cannot be obtained or that can be very difficult to obtain through ILL, including textbooks, popular movies and music, bestsellers, leisure reading material or recently released items, archival materials, and obsolete formats (film strips, VHS, LPs, etc.).

Why have I been blocked/disavowed from using ILLiad?

If you have lost access to ILLiad, the likely issue is that your Illiad registration has expired or a forgotten username or password, Contact the interlibrary loan department at 713-799-7105 or email:

Do I need to update my information periodically?

Absolutely! Unfortunately, our system does not communicate with any campus systems, so please check your profile occasionally to make sure that your email address, mailing address, suite numbers and phone number are still current.

How do I find out if an article is available in a particular language?

If you are in PubMed, and the article title is in [brackets], the article is very likely Non-English. The language of the article will be shown there. When ordering, please check the box that you will accept a non-English article; otherwise we will cancel the request.

Where do I pick up and drop off books I have requested?

All books must be picked up at The TMC Library Circulation Desk located at 1133 John Freeman Blvd, Houston, TX 77030.

I placed a request, but no longer need the article or book. What happens?

If this is the case, please call us at 713-799-7105 or email as soon as possible to try to cancel it. If we have already processed it, then it cannot be cancelled, and you may still be responsible for any charges.

How long will it take to receive the items I requested via Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Delivery times will vary; most articles will be delivered electronically within 3-5 days, many arriving within 48 hours. Book requests will take longer to arrive, usually 7-10 business days or longer.

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