Interlending and Document Supply

If you can’t find a book, journal article, conference paper or other item in the library catalogue, OneSearch, let us know the details via the Request a Resource service.

Choose ‘For my research’ if the item is for personal use. If you are requesting a chapter / article for a course you are teaching, choose ‘A course I teach’.

Depending on the item, we will either purchase a copy, preferably in electronic format, or borrow it from another library.


  • How long will it take to fulfil my request?

    Requests for journal articles/book chapters typically take 3-5 days.  Requests for books may take 2-3 weeks to fulfil.  If possible, we will try and purchase a copy of the book for library stock.  

    Due to the pandemic, supply times for book loans may be longer.

  • How will I know when my request has arrived? 

    Journal articles/book chapters are normally supplied asPDFs and are automatically sent to your registered Lancaster e-mail address. It is not currently possible to change this to a different e-mail address. Books will be sent directly to the library and you will be sent a notification when available for collection. Staff service hours can be found on our Opening Hours webpage.

  • How do I open requests sent direct to my e-mail address? 

    Most e-mailed requests are sent from, with the subject line, ‘Your resource request’. You will be prompted to click a link and sign in with your Lancaster username and password. Please note, the document is locked to your username and password, so you cannot forward the e-mail to anyone else.

    Other requests are sent directly from the British Library – from the e-mail address, with the subject line, ‘British Library Order: ********-***, Ready for download’. To download these documents, you need to create an account with the British Library On Demand service. Once opened, the document is locked to you and cannot be shared with anyone else.

    Items supplied by the British Library use a special type of encryption. If you have problems opening them, please download this help document, or contact

    Please download all requests promptly as the links expire after 30 days.

  • Can I take books borrowed from another library home with me? 

    You can take most books out of the library and return them by the due date. However, some material is loaned on condition that you read it in the library. This is generally older, rarer material, along with items borrowed from Oxford and Cambridge Universities and the British Library’s St. Pancras site. You will be informed in advance if there are any restrictions on your requests.

  • Can books be posted to my home address? 

    If you are situated away from Lancaster and cannot travel, it might be possible to post items direct to you.  Please indicate in the ‘Other Details’ section of the request form.  Please note, this will not be possible if the item is loaned for use in the library only. 

  • Can I request a renewal? 

    Yes – please contact the library at at least one week before the due date. Please note, you cannot renew books borrowed from another library via OneSearch or the self-service points.

  • How do I return items borrowed from another library? 

    Please return books to the information point during the staff service hours, which can be found on our opening hours webpage.

  • What if I lose an item borrowed from another library? 

    We do not fine readers for the late return of books borrowed from another library, but we will pass on any charges levied on us for items that are lost or damaged. In the case of books or journals borrowed from the British Library, the charge for a lost item can be in excess of £100.

  • Helpful Links
  • Information for other libraries

    We will lend our books and supply journal articles to other UK libraries on standard British Library terms. Our BL code is LA/U-1.

    We may lend to libraries abroad and accept payment by IFLA voucher (2 for a loan and 1 for a scanned chapter/article).

    Please email requests to

    We are also participants in the RapidILL service.

    What is available?

    Most of our stock is available for loan to other libraries,  with the exception of:

    • material that is in demand by our own students
    • rare books (classes 97, 98 and 99)
    • reference books (classes 1 and 2)
    • theses (we are a member of EThOS)
    • DVDs and Blu-rays
    • maps
    • company reports
    • language-learning kits