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Frequently Asked Questions

Policies & Procedures

Access to Resources

Policies & Procedures

I am trying to obtain a book that I know is in the Library's collection.  Will the Library mail it to my home address?

The library does not mail books if you are temporarily away from campus and the Urbana-Champaign area (i.e., for a summer break or study abroad).  However, for a fee, the Library's DocExpress service will scan and email book chapters.  Please note that DocExpress will not scan entire books.  Log in to your ILLiad account to request specific book chapters, or see our DocExpress Guide for more more information and instructions.  If you don't know the page numbers, please ask us to send you the table of contents using the DocExpress forms. After examining the table of contents, you can then select your pages and send in another request for the actual material. It is extremely important that you fill out the notes field in the online request form. A good note would be "I am residing off-campus until XX, loan delivery not available, please send T.O.C. and I will resend with exact pages."

I need an article from a journal that the library has, but it's not available electronically.  Will you scan it an email it to me?

DocExpress is available to copy, scan, and email articles and book chapters that the library only owns in print. To get started, log into your ILLiad account or see our DocExpress Guide.

Can you send a book to a library near my home so that I can pick it up there?

If you live in or near Illinois, you may have access to an I-Share member library. I-Share books will not be delivered to your own mailing address.  If so, you can order books and have them sent to that library free of charge.  You may also return books to I-Share libraries free of charge. To find out if this is a convenient option, see this map of I-Share libraries.

See our instructions for placing an I-Share book delivery request, and use I-Share Catalog to request book delivery to an I-Share library.  You may also call Central Access Services toll-free at 1-866-262-1510 for assistance requesting and specifying an I-Share pick-up location.

I need an article or chapter from a journal or book that the library does not own.  How can I get it?

The Library's Interlibrary Loan service can try to obtain a copy of the article you're looking for.  Log in to your ILLiad account to place your request, or use our guide to obtaining material that isn't at the University of Illinois.  If we can obtain the article or chapter, it will be scanned and emailed to you when it's ready.

I need a book that the library does not own.  How can I get it?

You can place a request for this book via Interlibrary Loan and the library will attempt to obtain the book for you.  Log in to your ILLiad account to place your request, or use our guide to obtaining material that isn't at the University of Illinois.  This service is available to all University affiliates; however, the library will not mail Interlibrary Loan books to your home, nor will it send Interlibrary Loan books to an I-Share institution for pick-up.  You must come to the library to pick up Interlibrary Loan books.

I am not currently enrolled or employed at the University of Illinois.  Can I use any library services?

For information about the library's borrowing privileges, see the Borrowing Policies page from Central Access Services or our Visitor's Guide.

How do I know if I qualify for services for distance learners?

You must be enrolled in or be an instructor for a course administered by Online & Continuing Education. If this is the case, use our Guide for Distance Learners or our Guide for Distance Faculty for more information about the services available.


Access to Resources

Why do I need a NetID and password?

The NetID is how the Library verifies that you are affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  The University of Illinois Library uses a proxy server system that enables remote users to access the Library's restricted electronic resources. If you click on a link that requires access via the proxy server, you will be prompted for your University NetID and password.

What do I do if I can't remember my NetID or password?

Your NetID is printed on your I-Card and it is the phrase associated with your @illinois.edu email address.  You can also check your entry in the online campus phonebook.

If you have forgotten your NetID password, visit the CITES Managing Your Accounts and Passwords page.

I am having a problem getting into an online database or e-journal, but it was fine last week--what happened?

Affiliated users can access online resources from on-campus computers or from off-campus via the proxy server. However, if a publisher changes something like a password and forgets to tell us, access to that resource can be cut off. Often we don't know about the problem until someone like you cannot get in. Please email us about your problem or contact us via Ask a Librarian.

What if I'm informed a resource has reached the maximum number of users?

Some resources only allow a limited number of users to connect simultaneously. If your connection is initially unsuccessful, try again at a later time.

Why am I sometimes unable to connect to an online resource?

Besides reasons listed above, there may be net congestion, depending on the time of day you are trying to access the resource. Databases can sometimes go down due to technical problems. Most importantly, make sure you are using the correct NetID and password! You can also check the Library's System and Services Alerts page and the CITES Status of Services page to see what library/campus systems problems have been reported.

Why am I asked to pay for reading a full text article in an electronic database?

If you believe you are being asked to pay for an article in error, email Electronic Resources Support about the problem.  Be sure to give the complete citation for the article you want to access and the URL of the website that is prompting you to pay for the article.

Many journal publishers impose delayed access (known as "embargoes") for their online versions to help maintain print subscriptions. Because of this, users are sometimes not able to access full text articles published in the most recent months or years from some journals. To find out if an article is "embargoed," use Online Research Resources (ORR) to look up the journal title and view its coverage dates. If the coverage period shown in our ORR record is not accurate, please email us or use the Ask a Librarian service.

Why don't my bookmarks to "http://proxy.library.illinois .edu/..." work?

URLs are automatically generated by the proxy server and they are variable. If you make a bookmark, and later reuse it, you may get an error, or be taken to the wrong server. Don't create bookmarks if the browser shows a URL beginning with "http://proxy.library.illinois.edu". Rather than using bookmarks, try to get into the habit of accessing online library resources via the Online Research Resources page.

What if my network has its own HTTP proxy server?

Ours should still work with it. Unlike a standard HTTP proxy server, the Library proxy presents web pages that appear to come from normal web server. It does this by searching the content of the pages it retrieves on your behalf, and rewriting the URLs so they refer back to itself instead of the remote servers it proxies. Therefore, you should not change your web browser's proxy settings to use our service.