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Brown Library

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a cooperative effort between libraries to provide better services for their patrons. The purpose of ILL is to allow you to obtain books, journal articles, and other materials that are not available in Brown Library. We will request the item you need from another library that owns it.

Please make your request well in advance of when the item is needed.

Request Forms

Please read the below FAQ before making a request.

As a precaution to aiding further spread of the coronavirus, Virginia Western’s Brown Library is following VIVA guidance in suspending physical Interlibrary Loans. You may still request articles and book chapters to be delivered electronically. Please use the Article Request form linked below. If you need assistance with identifying suitable research materials, you may contact a librarian via email at or utilize the 24/7 chat service available on the library’s homepage. Thank you for your understanding.

For assistance, call 540-857-6693 or 540-857-6941.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to read the answer!

>> Who may request material through Interlibrary Loan?

ILL services are available to currently enrolled VWCC students and currently employed faculty and staff.

Student requests are honored for materials needed to fulfill the reading and research requirements of the College's course offerings. Faculty and staff requests are honored for materials used for work-related inquiry or to support the mission of the college.

>> How do I request an ILL?

Before making an ILL request, please use the links below to verify that Brown Library does not own the book or periodical you need. You may also want to check the availability of the books you need at local libraries or through a website that provides free electronic texts. At times this may be a quicker option than interlibrary loan.

  • Google Books - create an account with Google to download books in the public domain.
  • Periodicals - check to see if we have the periodical you need in print or electronic format
  • Project Gutenberg - over 33,000 electronic books which have been placed in the public domain.
  • WorldCat

To place an ILL request, complete the appropriate online form above. Please provide as much information about the requested material as possible.

If your request cannot be filled, you will be notified as soon as possible via email or phone.

>> Are there any fees associated with this service?

We do not charge for processing ILL requests; however, some lending libraries do have fees associated with supplying requested materials. If the requested material is only available from a lending library that charges a fee, we will contact you to determine if you are willing to pay the fee to receive the material.

>> How many items can I borrow?

You can have no more than five (5) active ILL requests at one time.

>> How long is the loan period?

Copies of articles are yours to keep. Loan periods for other materials vary with and are determined by the lending library. Most academic libraries in Virginia lend materials for 56 days, often with no renewals available. Public libraries and out-of-state libraries typically have loan periods of 30 days.

Due dates will be printed on the cover of the material borrowed. Any borrowed material must be returned to Brown Library by 4:00 PM on the indicated due date. Fines may be assessed for late returns. Renewals should be requested prior to the due date

>> When can I expect to receive my ILL material?

It usually takes 2-7 business days for articles and 5-10 business days for books or other resources to arrive. Please keep these time frames in mind when making your ILL request.

>> How will I be notified when my request arrives and where do I pick it up?

You will be notified via email or phone that the material is available at the Circulation Desk on the top floor of Brown Library. Materials not picked up within 10 days of notification will be returned to the lending library.

If you are a distance learning student who lives outside of the Roanoke Valley and does not have on-campus classes, you may request that the material be mailed to your home. You will be responsible for returning the borrowed material to Brown Library by the due date.

>> What happens if the borrowed material is not returned or is damaged?

You will be charged the replacement cost or repair cost as assessed by the lending library. Additionally, students who do not return ILL materials will have an obligation placed on their student record until the material is returned or the replacement cost paid.

>> Are there any restrictions?

  • Textbooks currently being used in VWCC courses cannot be requested through ILL.
  • Faculty: Materials borrowed through ILL cannot be put on Reserve at the Circulation Desk.
  • Copyright limitations: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified by 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 in excess of "fair use", that use 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 will involve a violation of copyright law.
  • For any periodical published within 5 years of the ILL request, the library can request no more than 5 copies of articles from a single periodical title (not a single issue) during a calendar year.
  • The following materials may be requested, but are typically difficult to borrow due to policies in place at the lending library:
    • Recently published books
    • Reference books
    • Old or rare books
    • Entire issues of periodicals
    • Video and audio tapes and CDs
    • Dissertations
    • Genealogical materials

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Hours of Operation

Library Services
Mon-Thu: 7:30AM-8PM
Fri: 7:30AM-5PM
Sat: 9AM-1PM

College Closure
Brown Library and the VWCC campus is closed. Please see our online support options!

Contact Us

Library Services
(Top Floor - Brown Library)
Phone: 540-857-7303

3095 Colonial Ave. SW
Roanoke, VA 24015