ILL Express! Policies for USC Upstate Library

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Table of Contents

  1. Interlibrary Loan Service and Eligibility
  2. Requesting Materials
  3. Cost
  4. Available Materials
  5. Items Not Available Through Interlibrary Loan
  6. Restrictions
  7. Time Required
  8. Delivery Method
  9. Due Date and Return of Materials
  10. Renewals
  11. Patents
  12. Industry Standards
  13. Dissertations and Theses
  14. Fair Use and Copyright Law

Interlibrary Loan Service and Eligibility

Interlibrary Loan is a service through which books or journal articles not owned by the USC Upstate Campus Library may be obtained from other libraries or commercial document suppliers. This service is available to USC Upstate faculty members, currently-enrolled students, and staff.  

Please check the library catalog to be certain that the material you need is not owned by the USC Upstate Library, or available through the PASCAL Delivers catalog.

The Interlibrary Loan Office is located in the library in the Circulation Department.   The office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  You can contact us by phone at (864) 503-5679 or by e-mail at

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Requesting Materials

Please use ILL Express! to place all of your requests.

You should carefully check the library catalog to be certain that the item you need is not owned by the USC Upstate Library or available through PASCAL Delivers.  If you need an item that is listed as lost on the library catalog, you may order it through interlibrary loan with a note indicating the lost status.

Please check in the library catalog for citations that you find in the electronic databases  to avoid requesting items that are owned by this library.

 If the item you need is found in the library catalog but owned by another USC campus library, please request that item through PASCAL Delivers if it is a book.

Please cite the source of your information if possible. In the case of electronic sources, this may include the name of the database you used or the URL of the web page or database containing your reference. If your citation came from a book or article, please provide the complete bibliographic information, including page numbers. In the case of a journal, giving us the complete title rather than the abbreviation helps us process your request more quickly. If you are unsure of the required information, please consult the Interlibrary Loan Office.

All ILL requests will be made through the ILL Express!

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Interlibrary Loan service is provided free of charge to USC Upstate students requesting course related items.  Faculty and staff working on grant funded research are to supply the grant number.  Any direct ILL charges from lending libraries will be charged back to the grant.  Overdue fines are $1.00 per day with no grace period.

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Available Materials

The staff of the Interlibrary Loan Department will attempt to obtain any materials that you may need for your research.  Usually, these are books and journal articles (photocopies), but may also include microfilm, microfiche, dissertations and theses, and government documents. 

Please contact the USC Upstate ILL Office at (864) 503-5679 if the material you are requesting is owned by USC Upstate but currently checked out.

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Items Not Available Through Interlibrary Loan

The following materials are usually not available through Interlibrary Loan:

Please note that we do not accept ILL requests to borrow textbooks. No item borrowed through ILL may be placed on Reserve.

Contact the Interlibrary Loan office at (864) 503-5679 or by e-mail at if you have questions about what materials are or are not available through Interlibrary Loan.

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The lending library, not our Interlibrary Loan staff, sets the conditions for each loan. We cannot change those conditions, and we ask patrons to honor them. The lending library may restrict the use of materials to use within the library only, or disallow copying or renewal. Any such restrictions are noted on the loan slip.  The lending library also has the right to recall a loan at any time.

The number of Interlibrary Loan requests in progress at one time is limited according to patron category, as approved by the University Faculty Committee on Libraries.  Please plan your research activities accordingly. If there are special circumstances surrounding your research, any of the Interlibrary Loan staff members will be happy to discuss them with you. The limits are as follows:

Faculty: 75 active requests

Graduate students:50 active requests

Staff: 75 active requests

Undergraduates: 25 active requests

A request for the same item may not be placed more than once per semester.

Materials obtained through Interlibrary Loan are for your exclusive use and are your responsibility from the time they are picked up at the Circulation Desk until they are returned. You will be responsible for any late fees, replacement costs of lost material, and cost of damages.

Abuses of the Interlibrary Loan service can result in the loss of the your Interlibrary Loan borrowing privileges, and may result in a suspension of circulation privileges and, if you are a student, a hold on your registration activities. Overdue items must be returned and all late fees paid before a patron may pick up requested items.  Failure to return materials on time may damage our relationship with lending libraries.  USC Upstate observes the National Interlibrary Loan Code unless a local code or some other informal arrangement between libraries applies.

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Time Required

We can usually obtain material within two or three weeks of the request date, depending on which library owns it and can send the item. This includes the time required for the request to be placed by us on the OCLC interlibrary loan requesting system. Once a library agrees to provide a loan or photocopy to us, that library has to retrieve the item from its collection, make a photocopy when necessary, process it for shipping,  and ship the item. Time in transit to the USC Upstate Library depends on the method the lending library chooses for shipping. 

Any problems in locating lenders or in mail service may cause considerable delay, so you should allow at least three weeks for the delivery of material.

The Interlibrary Loan Department does not submit requests to other libraries during university and library holidays.

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Delivery Method

For Photocopies:

Students must pick up photocopies at the USC Upstate Library Circulation Desk or the UCG library if that pick-up location is selected on the registration form.  Photocopies will be delivered through campus mail to faculty and staff offices.  The Library mails photocopies to students who are registered exclusively in web/televised courses and who live outside of Spartanburg County.

For Books and Other Loans:

Books and other returnable items  may be picked up at the USC Upstate Library Circulation Desk or the UCG Library if that pick-up location is selected on the registration form.  An ID is required to pick up these materials.

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Due Date and Return of Materials

The due date for loans varies from item to item.  Materials should be returned to the USC Upsate Library or the UCG Library on or before the date indicated on the item.

Please do not remove the ILL Express! identification band or label on borrowed items. We need it to correctly identify and check in your material.

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Items borrowed from non-USC libraries may not be renewed.  Items borrowed from USC libraries (unless stipulated "No Renewal") may be renewed for two weeks from the original due date.  

Renewals may be requested five days before the original due date.  Renewals may be requested by presenting the ILL item at the USC Upstate Circulation Desk.  Any late fees must be paid at the time of renewal.

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You can obtain patents through interlibrary loan.

Requesting a patent:

Please use ILL Express! to request a patent, providing as much information as possible..

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Industry Standards

Industry standards are not usually available through normal interlibrary loan channels; instead, they must often be ordered directly from the organization issuing the standard or purchased from a commercial provider.

Please check to be certain that the standard you need is not already available at the Thomas Cooper Library.

Requesting a standard:

Please use ILL Express! to request a standard, providing as much information as possible.

You may find the information about the standard you want by searching the following standards databases:

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Dissertations and Theses


You may be able to obtain a thesis through Interlibrary Loan as some libraries will lend these materials to us.


American Dissertations:

Dissertations may be available from the university at which the dissertation was completed.  The lending policy of these libraries varies considerably.  If the dissertation is not available for borrowing through ILL then the patron may contact UMI (Bell & Howell) to determine availability.  The USC Upstate library does not purchase dissertations nor does the library staff contact UMI (Bell & Howell) for the patron.  Patrons needing to purchase dissertations can contact UMI (Bell & Howell) at

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Fair Use and Copyright Law

Fair use, as determined by Title 17, Copyrights, section 107, allows for the reproduction of copyrighted material for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research. The categories used in determining fair use are:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

U.S. copyright law, Title 17, Copyrights, United States Code, strictly limits the ability of the Interlibrary Loan staff to obtain journal articles. Under section 108(d), "Limitation on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives," libraries are authorized to furnish a photocopy. 108(d)reads:

"The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section apply to a copy, made from the collection of a library or archives where the user makes his or her request or from that of another library or archives, of no more than one article or other contribution to a copyrighted collection or periodical issue, or to a copy or phonorecord of a small part of any other copyrighted work, if-

(1) the copy or phonorecord becomes the property of the user, and the library or archives has had no notice that the copy or phonorecord would be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research; and

(2) the library or archives displays prominently, at the place where orders are accepted, and includes on its order form, a warning of copyright in accordance with requirements that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation."

If a patron requests more than one article from one issue of a journal, the Interlibrary Loan staff must pay a copyright fee through the Copyright Clearance Center or must purchase the article from a commercial vendor. If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The Interlibrary Loan staff reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in our judgment, fulfillment of that order would involve violation of the copyright law.

The National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) has developed a set of guidelines to assist libraries in fulfilling their duties while adhering to copyright law. CONTU guidelines (or the "suggestion of five") permits the copying during a calendar year of no more than five articles from a single journal title, not owned by the library, dated within the past five years. This means that the Interlibrary Loan staff can order a total of only 5 articles from a single journal title dated within the past 5 years regardless of how many users request articles from the same journal title. For articles obtained in excess of this number, the Library must pay a fee to the Copyright Clearance Center or must purchase the articles from a commercial vendor. The Interlibrary Loan staff reserves the right to restrict such purchases.

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This page was last updated May 12, 2006.
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