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Using Other Libraries

When away from the University of Illinois, you may need to work at other libraries. The University of Illinois Library has reciprocal on-site borrowing agreements with selected US libraries. When on-site borrowing is not an option, use of the collection on-site may be arranged. A little advance planning may open doors to other collections.

I-Share Libraries in Illinois

All University of Illinois faculty, students, and staff may use the I-Share catalog to request material and borrow from more than 70 I-Share libraries located throughout Illinois. Present your valid i-card at the I-Share library's circulation desk to borrow materials.  To learn more about requesting I-Share materials, watch a tutorial, use our guide to requesting I-Share book delivery, or Ask a Librarian.

CIC (Big 10 & University of Chicago) Libraries

University of Illinois faculty and academic professionals are eligible to use the library facilities of other CIC Institutions.

Libraries at CIC institutions:

Faculty and academic professionals intending to visit a participating library should contact Central Access Services to obtain a CIC library card.


OCLC Reciprocal Borrowing Program

University of Illinois faculty and academic professionals are eligible to participate in the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program. Check the list of participants in the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program to see if the university you are interested in visiting is listed.  Faculty who intend to visit a participating library may contact Central Access Services to obtain an OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program card. Note that access and privileges vary from institution to institution. The lending library determines whether the card will be accepted for on-site use and/or borrowing.


Other Library Catalogs

Note: You can use these catalogs to identify holdings; however, materials cannot be requested through these catalogs.

Catalogs with holdings in the United States:

Catalogs showing holdings worldwide (may include the United States):


Tips for Using Other Libraries

General Guidelines:

It is a good idea to obtain a letter of introduction if one particular library's collection must be visited and the University of Illinois library does not have a reciprocal agreement in place with that library. Inquire at the Information Desk at the Main Library on the advisability of a letter. If you are not on campus, email us at reflib@library.illinois.edu or chat with us.

Private colleges and universities are generally more restrictive when it comes to allowing visitors to borrow or use collections on site. Start with the closest public state university or college and inquire there about privileges. Often, these libraries will allow the local community borrowing privileges, though the length of stay of a visiting scholar might become a factor. Ask a Librarian for assistance with locating the names and addresses of libraries in the area you're visiting.