Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

ILL is a library service allowing you to request books and journal articles not owned by the College of Southern Maryland by filling out a form.  The Library will then locate and retrieve the items for you.  Restrictions are outlined below.

How much does it cost?

ILL materials are free to students, staff, faculty, and members of the College of Southern Maryland community.

What can I request?

Books and articles that are not located at any College of Southern
Maryland campus can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.  Most textbooks, reference books, movies, and archival materials cannot be requested from other libraries.  Please check with the ILL Assistant if you have any questions regarding material availability.

How long can I keep the materials?

Interlibrary Loan materials are usually due one month after they are received.  The lending library sets the due date.  Some materials will have differing loan periods depending upon the type of material and/or the lending library's policy.  The ILL Assistant will contact you as soon as the requested materials have arrived.  CSM Library will include a due date bookmark along with the materials.  Articles are usually sent as  photocopies which do not need to be returned.  ERIC documents are typically on microfiche and need to be used in the La Plata campus library.  Interlibrary loan items cannot be renewed.

How long does it take for my request to be filled?

Processing typically takes from two to four weeks.  If a book can be located at a local library or is part of the Maryland lending system (MARINA), it will take less time.  Libraries outside of MARINA take longer to process and to ship.

How will I receive my materials?

When the materials arrive, you will be notified by email or by telephone.
Materials are held at the Circulation Desk of the campus library specified for delivery.  Materials sent to the Waldorf Center are available at the Main Desk.

What if I lose or damage the loaned materials?

Contact the ILL Assistant immediately.  Customers may be required to pay for lost or damaged items.  There may also be a fine and a processing fee.  Prices will vary depending upon the cost of the material.  Students will be placed on restriction until the fee is paid.  While on restriction, students are not able to check out library material,
receive their grades, or register for classes.

What does unfillable mean?

Requests are not guaranteed to be filled.  Requests may be denied for several reasons--the item may not be available, it could be part of an archive, or it may be against the lending library's policy to loan the type of item requested.  The ILL Assistant will notify you if a request is unfillable.

How can I find materials to request?

Search these Websites to find books that meet your needs.  Do not request items from these sites, but do submit your requests to CSM Library as outlined above.


Articles can be researched using CSM Library databases at any campus library.  Students who are currently enrolled in credit courses can search many of the databases from off-campus by using the link below.


For additional information, comments or questions about this service, please contact the ILL Assistant at (301) 934-2251 X7107 or e-mail