Proxy Authorization - Borrowing

Current University of Illinois patrons and courtesy card patrons may authorize another library borrower to check out library materials for them.

This authorization is usually extended to students who are assisting a faculty member or a graduate student with their research. A spouse, staff member, etc. can also be designated as a proxy patron. If you have any questions about proxy authorization, please contact Central Access Services.

How to Apply

To obtain authorization, both parties must complete and sign a Proxy Request Form. The form may be filled in online but must be printed and signed by both parties and include both of their library account numbers. Completed forms may be brought to the Circulation Desk on the second floor of the Main Library. Alternatively, they may be scanned in and emailed to

Proxy authorizations do not expire unless the proxy’s account expires or there is a request to end the authorization. Please contact Central Access Services to end a proxy authorization.

Borrowers are responsible for all library materials charged to their accounts.

Instructions for Proxy Patrons

Check Out

Once you are authorized as a proxy, you can check out library materials for the person who authorized you (the authorizing patron). Present your i-card or courtesy card at the Circulation Desk and tell the staff member that you are checking out materials for another library borrower. Note: proxies with expired accounts or blocked accounts won’t be allowed to pick up items for another patron until the proxy’s account is in good standing.

Library materials checked out by proxy will appear on the library account of the library borrower who authorized the proxy. These items will receive the loan period for which the authorizing patron is eligible. For example: if a graduate student who is a proxy for a faculty member checks out material for the faculty member, those items will appear on the faculty member’s account, and will have the loan period for which the faculty member is eligible.


To renew items checked out on the authorizing patron’s library account, contact Central Access Services. Inform them of your proxy status and give the name of the authorizing patron. Central Access Services can then renew the items.

Request Books

You can’t use your proxy authorization to request books through the Online Catalog or the I-Share Catalog for the authorizing patron. However, if the authorizing patron uses their own account to request items through the library catalog, you can pick those items up at any library location for them.

When requesting I-Share items, please keep in mind that I-Share items can only be checked out to the account from which the request was placed.

Request Articles

You generally can’t request articles online from the library collection for the authorizing patron. The exception is the Library’s DocExpress service, available through the Interlibrary Loan Office. DocExpress allows you to request PDF photocopies of articles the library owns in print. There is no charge for faculty, graduate students, or staff, but there is a fee for undergraduate students.

Interlibrary Loan

You can’t place Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests for the authorizing patron. However, you can pick up ILL requests that the authorizing patron placed themselves.

Placing Materials on Reserve

You can place materials on reserve for a professor by filling out a Physical Reserve Request Form, available on the Reserves Guide for Instructors. On the form, fill in the professor’s name and course number(s). If you are going to be the contact person for these reserves, you can use your own telephone number and email address. If you do this, indicate that you did so in the “Notes” section of the form, along with your name and position with the professor. See the Reserves Guide for more information.