Smithsonian Institution Libraries


  1. Who is eligible?
    Any Smithsonian Institution employee with a current SIL borrower's card is eligible to request materials through interlibrary loan. ILL service is provided to support SI research and/or job-related activities. It is not intended for recreational or personal uses. For information about SIL borrower's card, call any SIL branch library or on the Internet.

  2. How do I request interlibrary loan?
    Fill out the ILL request form and return to the address indicated. ILL request forms are available in any SIL branch or call the ILL OFFICE at 202-357-2158; form can be photocopied if additional forms are needed. You can also submit your ILL request electronically or by fax; call the ILL OFFICE to find out how. Sorry, we cannot take interlibrary loan requests by telephone. Please note there is a limit of 5 ILL requests per customer per day.

  3. Can an item be requested rush?
    Rush requests are processed within 24 hours of receipt. The actual delivery time of rush materials will depend on the library supplying the materials. Please note there is a limit of two rush requests per customer per day.

  4. What are the costs for borrowing?
    There is no cost to customers for borrowing materials which cost SIL less than $50.00 to borrow. If the cost to SIL exceeds $50.00 per item, SIL will notify the customer, who then has the options to pay the amount over $50.00, or to cancel the request to borrow the material.

  5. What is the usual loan period for borrowed materials?
    Typical loan period is 30 days. Loan periods, renewals, and restriction of use of materials are determined by the lending library.

  6. How do I renew a borrowed item?
    To renew materials, notify the ILL OFFICE at least four days before the material is due. The decision to renew an item is made by the lending library.

  7. How do I return borrowed materials?
    Return books to the ILL OFFICE, NHB 27, MRC 154, by the due date. Items must be returned promptly to avoid possible suspension by SIL of interlibrary loan privileges as well as all other library privileges. Call the ILL OFFICE at 202-357-2158 for information.

  8. Suppose a borrowed item is lost?
    Notify the ILL OFFICE immediately. Customers are responsible for replacement costs for borrowed items that have been lost, damaged or not returned. Replacement charges are determined by the lending library and may include processing fees.

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