Check our continuation of services webpage for updates related to COVID-19.

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Library Research Guide

Interlibrary Loan During COVID-19

This page provides current information about interlibrary loan services. For additional information, please visit our Interlibrary Loan website. Last updated: Friday August 14 2020.

As of August 14th, 2020, you may request physical materials from Interlibrary Loan.

Please understand that borrowing may take considerably longer than in past semesters.  We and other libraries are all working with modified staffing and workflows, plus we are quarantining materials because research shows that it takes 3-4 days for the COVID-19 virus to drop to undetectable levels on library materials.  See:

We suggest you allow a minimum of 10-14 days for the deadlines on your requests.


What we can borrow/provide (updated August 14, 2020):

  • journal articles
  • sections of books (such as chapters, specific pages)
  • some ebooks
  • physical books/musical scores/maps
  • physical films (DVDs, VHS, etc)
  • microforms/microfilm/microfiche

Requesting Materials

Q: When can I start requesting physical items?

A: It is dependent on when other libraries start lending materials again. Our Interlibrary Services Department is monitoring what our colleagues at other libraries are doing and we hope to be able to borrow physical items by the beginning of the fall semester.


Q: Can you try to get an ebook for me instead of a physical book?

A: Yes! Your interlibrary loan account now has an ebook form. Complete that if you'd like us to try to borrow an ebook or find one freely available online. If we can't get one for you, we currently forward your request to librarians to consider purchasing an ebook for the Libraries.

Checked Out Items

Q: I have items checked out from interlibrary loan and they are due soon. What do I do?

A: Our interlibrary loan department has been contacting the lending libraries to extend due dates to the start of the fall semester (so, August). We are currently not sending you overdue reminders. We are happy to ask for longer due dates, but the lending library has the final say.

Check your interlibrary loan account for your due dates and contact us ( with questions.


Q: Some of my materials are due and I can't return them yet, will you block my account?

A: We are currently not blocking interlibrary loan accounts.


Q: I am working on a long research project and am worried that I won't be able to get materials if libraries have to close during the fall semester. Can I just keep the stuff that I have checked out until the spring when I'll be done?

A: We know that between Hale Library's fire and now the changes due to COVID-19, research has been upended and it is very frustrating. Libraries in our consortium currently lend for 16 weeks, which is a very long loan period in interlibrary loan world. We suspect that other libraries will not extend due dates until next spring. However, if you have some essential titles, we can contact the lending libraries to inquire whether they will grant a special extension.

Otherwise, we will need you to return materials in order to stay in good standing with other libraries. If we become known for not returning materials, other libraries are less inclined to loan to us. 

Returning Materials

Q: How can I return items that I have checked out right now?

A: We have options for each campus as well as returning items by mail: 

On Campus Options
  • Manhattan: return materials using either of our outdoor book drops or to the help desk on Hale Library's 2nd floor. (Hale's 2nd floor opened July 1st!)
  • Salina: return materials to our book drop outside of the library. When the library reopens (anticipated August 3rd), materials can be returned in the book drop or brought inside and set on the front desk.
  • Olathe: if you are student at the Olathe campus, please contact the Director of Student Services. When the building reopens (anticipated August 3rd), you can return materials in the drop boxes located in the lobby and in the Cat's Pause lounge.



Return by Mail

Otherwise, you can return materials in the mail. If you are not returning to campus for the fall semester, you may contact us for a prepaid UPS mailing label for returning materials. Typically, you are responsible for the cost of returning all items loaned and replacement costs if materials are damaged or lost. Therefore they should be insured and returned using a traceable mail service (UPS or FedEx preferred):

Interlibrary Services
1117 Mid-Campus Drive North
Manhattan, KS 66506