Before requesting an ILL, please search our collection to make sure we do not already have the item.

First-time users must create an ILLiad account.

Registered users submit or review requests for materials (please provide a complete citation).


Frequently Asked Questions

What is ILL?

When needed research materials are unavailable at SUNY Optometry, faculty, staff and graduate students may request them through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Interlibrary Loan makes it possible for researchers to obtain materials from libraries around the world.

Who is eligible for Interlibrary Loan?

Graduate students, staff, residents and faculty members can use Interlibrary Loan. We regret that we cannot offer Interlibrary Loan services to professional students or persons not affiliated with SUNY Optometry. Unaffiliated users may contact their local public library for this service.

What materials can be obtained via ILL?

The types of materials generally available are monographs (books and other non-serial publications), photocopies of journal articles, government documents and microforms.

What are the costs?

There is no charge for borrowing materials or getting photocopies within the SUNY Optometry Interlibrary Loan’s network, which includes all SUNY campuses, a host of reciprocal libraries and our document suppliers. Whenever possible the Kohn Library will provide ILL services without a charge to the patron. We do not, however, cover copyright fees, purchases of entire items, lost or damaged materials, rush fees, special services fees or repair/replacement costs. If the item cannot be obtained free of charge, the requestor will be notified and asked to specify whether or not he or she is willing to pay the fee. If so, the item will be ordered; if not, the request will be canceled.

Are there copyright issues?

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. Harold Kohn Library reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

In addition, there are further limitations on the number of requests. The Library is limited to requesting no more than 5 articles from the same journal with a copyright date within the past 5 years. Once this limit is reached (first-come, first-served) further articles from that journal are available on an at-cost basis. (See Cost above).


Materials generally not available via Interlibrary Loan are: rare books, audiovisual materials, printed newspapers, some microform collections, some dissertations and theses, reference books and entire issues of recent or bound periodicals. Exceptions for loans of certain materials may be made on special agreements if the lending library is willing.

In addition, the Library will not request through ILL items that the Library owns unless the item is damaged or missing.

What is the best method to request dissertations, videos, DVDs and other media?

Due to their “unique format”, dissertations and multimedia materials are items generally not available via ILL. The Library is willing to request such items, but please keep in mind that these items often take several weeks to obtain and have a limited loan period (sometimes a week or less) if they are loaned at all. Please contact a reference librarian to explore alternative resources.

How long will my ILL request take to be delivered?

Sometimes, articles are available within 3 to 4 days, as many of them are delivered electronically. Items being shipped though the mail, including books, and some journal articles are generally available within a week. However, to be safe, you should count on a 10-day turn around time.

The time depends on the availability of the item, the distance of the potential lending libraries, the method of mail delivery, the accuracy of the information supplied for the requests, the volume of requests being processed by Interlibrary Loan and the notification process. Processing of the requests can be expedited by making sure all the information submitted is complete, correct, and legible. Requests with problems such as abbreviations, missing or inaccurate information or illegible writing may take more time since citations must be verified.

How long may I keep ILL material?

Lending libraries determine any conditions regarding the use of their materials, including the loan period, which is normally 4 weeks for all patrons, usually with no renewals allowed. The loan period begins on the date the material arrives at SUNY Optometry, so you should pick up your requested items as soon as you are notified. Other restrictions may include “for Use in the Library Only” and “Photocopying Not Permitted”. Be sure to leave the identification band on the cover of the book and do not return ILL material to the circulation department or a book drop. All materials borrowed through Interlibrary Loan must be returned to the Interlibrary Loan Office (room 417).

Late return of materials jeopardizes our Interlibrary Loan relationship with other libraries, and we may refuse further Interlibrary Loan service to anyone who disregards due date, lender restrictions, or the Kohn Library’s policy.

How will I be notified and where can I pick up my requested materials?

We will notify patrons by email that materials have arrived, or will send articles requested directly to patrons unless otherwise specified. All returnables (books, dissertations, audios, videos, etc.) must be picked up at the Library’s circulation desk.

How can I read my Electronic Document Delivery article?

In order to view material posted electronically, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 5.0 or higher) installed on your computer. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it by clicking on the following link: Adobe Acrobat Reader Download.

Can I renew ILL materials (book, thesis, etc.)?

You can request renewals through your ILLiad account unless “no renewals” is printed or stamped on the label affixed to the cover of your item.

Keep in mind that many libraries will refuse to renew items that are already overdue, so please do not delay if you think you need the item longer than allowed. Once you have requested your renewal you will immediately receive a temporary due date. This is only a temporary due date. You will be notified by email if your renewal has been granted or denied.

What if I have overdue materials?

Avoid this from happening at all times. The Kohn Library tries very hard to maintain good working relationships with other libraries. Timely return of ILL materials assures that we will continue to be able to borrow from other libraries. Keeping an ILL book beyond the due date jeopardizes our ability to obtain materials in the future, and may make important research materials unavailable to other SUNY Optometry researchers. Borrowers who disregard due dates will have their ILLiad borrowing privileges blocked and will not be able to request materials until all overdue items are returned to the Interlibrary Loan office. In addition, the lending library may impose an overdue fine, which is your responsibility to pay.

Where do I return Interlibrary Loan material?

Please return books, thesis, etc to the Interlibrary Loan office (room 417) whenever possible. If that office is closed or you come at off hours you may return materials to the circulation desk, and let them know that is an ILL.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

The interlibrary loan office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:00 pm
Stop by the Kohn Library
Room 417
Phone: (212) 938-5693