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
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
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
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
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:
I-Share Includes over 70 academic and special libraries throughout Illinois
(including the University of Illinois).
Center for Research
Libraries (CRL) is a consortium of North American universities, colleges and independent
research libraries. The consortium acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives
and other traditional and digital resources for research and teaching. These resources are then
made available to member institutions cooperatively, through interlibrary loan and electronic
Library of Congress is the
nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also
the largest library in the world, with more than 130 million items on approximately 530 miles of
bookshelves. The collections include more than 29 million books and other printed materials, 2.7
million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps, and 58 million manuscripts.
Library (AGRICOLA) is a bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature
created by the National Agricultural Library (NAL) and its cooperators. It contains citations to
books, audiovisual materials, serial publications, as well as citations, many with abstracts, to
journal articles, book chapters, reports, and reprints.
National Library of Medicine (NLM LocatorPlus) has
bibliographic records for serials, monographs, audiovisuals, computer software, electronic
resources and other materials are available online via World Wide Web access to NLM
Catalogs showing holdings worldwide (may include the United States):
the combined union catalog of more than 9,000 OCLC member libraries worldwide, with over 61 million
records representing materials in all formats. Includes records for materials in 400
Libraries on the
Web is a directory of 1000s of library websites in over 100 countries.
Tips for Using Other Libraries
- Plan ahead! Try to obtain as much logistical information about the library you want to use in
- Find out about obtaining visitor privileges and whether there are requirements you must meet or
fees you must pay. Perhaps a letter of introduction will help.
- Explore networking before leaving and make contact with one or two people in advance in order
to determine any policy restrictions, such as limits on daily visitors, or temporary limitations
that may hamper research, such as building renovations.
- Ask about the availability and cost of photocopying and acceptable forms of payment--cash might
not be accepted!
- Find out about restrictions on what may be brought into a library or reading room; perhaps
laptops are not permitted.
- Determine library hours and the times that visitors are allowed access.
- Do as much research as possible to locate information about needed materials in advance (search
online catalog of the library you want to use or in the University of Illinois libraries).
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
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.