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See Covid Services. Please remember wearing a mask everywhere in the library is required. As an added precaution no food or drink will be allowed in the library.

tools icon  Interlibrary Loan

Borrow from other libraries
What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a free service that enables users to borrow books, other media, and journal articles from other libraries

Who may use this service?

All St. Mary’s University faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students holding a valid SMU identification card. This service is not available to holders of guest cards.

How do I make a request?
  • From a blank form: Use the ILL Request Form to order a journal or a book. You will be asked to log in to MNPALS to bring up the form. Use your St. Mary’s user name and password to log in. Fill in as much information as you can (author, title, edition, date, etc.). All starred boxes must be filled in before the request can be submitted. Be sure to check the copyright restrictions box.
  • From library databases: Follow the links near the article citation to get full text. You will be asked to log in to MNPALS to get a request form. Use your St. Mary’s user named and password. An ILL request form will be created; all you need to do is check the copyright restriction box and then “Submit.”
  • From MNPALS: A MNPALS search gives you access to the catalogs of many Minnesota colleges and universities. Choose ” MNPALS”  from the left hand menu to search. “Check for available services” and then “sign in to request.”  Use your St. Mary’s user name and password to log in.
  • From WorldCAT: WorldCAT searches libraries worldwide. Click on “Find it at SMU” to order books that are not in our library. You will need to log in with your St. Mary’s user name and password to get to the request form. The form will be all filled out, just hit “Submit.”
What can I request?

You may request an ILL if the Fitzgerald Library does not own the item you need. Books, copies of articles in journals or magazines, government documents, conference proceedings typically are available. Movies and dissertations may be requested, but some limitations may apply.   Materials generally not available through ILL:

  • Textbooks
  • Entire issues of magazines or journals
  • Reference books
  • Rare books or original manuscripts
  • Entertainment movies, popular music, and fiction titles that are in constant demand

Items found in our library catalog which are owned by the St Mary’s University Twin Cities are available for interlibrary loan. Check with a librarian to place the order.

How long does it take?

Most books arrive within a week depending on the location of the lending library. Journal articles may arrive within a few days.

How will I know when my request has come in?
  • Books and other media: You will receive a notification by e-mail. Items will be held for you at the Circulation Desk. You will need to present your St. Mary’s ID card to check them out.
  • Journal articles:   Articles will be e-mailed to you directly. If the article comes from Minitex, you will have access to it for 7 days, after which time the access password will expire.
When are books due back?

Lending libraries determine due dates for the materials they lend. Most loan periods are about 3 weeks. Due dates are indicated on the bookmark that will accompany your request and online in the MnPALS catalog in “My Account.


Check my Account
How do I renew a title?

Go to your MNPALS account and then “ILL Requests.” Click on the number next to the item you wish to renew and then click renew. Check back in a few days to see if your request has been okayed. A new due date should appear. Renewal decisions are made by the lending library. While many libraries grant renewals, some may not.


My Account



Can I check the status of my request online?

Yes. Log on to  your MNPALS account and then “ILL Requests.”


My Account

What ILL services are available to distance learners?

Fitzgerald Library provides limited inter library loan services to SMU students who are enrolled as distance graduate students. Journal articles will be e-mailed directly to the student. Books will be ordered for distance students only if they live close enough to pick up and return the books at the Fitzgerald Library. Other distance students may use  the interlibrary loan services of their local libraries to obtain books.

Contact Lauren Leighton for more information. (507-457-1564 |

Whom do I call for more information?

Lauren Leighton

Interlibrary Loan Librarian | (507) 457 1564

Covid-19 Update

Due dates have been extended

See the Circulation Policy page for details

 Book Loaning

Minitex has reinstated some physical resource sharing (books and other media). Expect the service to take more time as only a limited number of libraries are up and running and books will need to be quarantined for three days before release.

Electronic material (articles)continue be available

Quick Order Form

Or You May

Contact Lauren Leighton with any questions:
507 457-1564