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Interlibrary Loan: Borrowing Policies

Interlibrary loan allows a patron to request through his/her local library materials from, or supplies to, another library. The purpose of interlibrary loan is to make available to patrons upon request, materials not available in the local library.


The University of the West Indies Libraries provide all students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to use the resources and access the services of the Libraries as well as UWI retirees from the academic, senior administrative and professional categories, should these individuals need to use library resources.

How Long Does the Interlibrary Loan Process Take?

  1. Delivery time depends on the availability of items at other libraries and the delivery method used.
  2. Articles and book chapters are delivered electronically in the shortest possible time or at maximum, about three to five working days.. For items only located in a few libraries or overseas, it can up to take 3-6 weeks.
  3. Items that are readily available, usually takes three to five working days.
  4. If you are in a rush, express service can be arranged. 


Items Not Available For Interlibrary Loan

What Can Be Obtained Through Interlibrary Loan?

  Books, circulating copies of theses and dissertations, and copies of periodical articles (not issues or whole volumes) may be supplied to libraries on request.

  • Items will not normally be supplied if the title is in demand or there is only one copy in the collection; however, single copies of circulating materials may be supplied at the discretion of the Head, Loans and Reference or the Librarian, Interlibrary Loans.
  • Items may be supplied from the RBC at the discretion of the Head, Loans and Reference.
  • The library will not normally request or supply non-circulating materials (e.g. items in the West Indies and Special Collections (WISC) and the Reference Collection).  However, Items may be supplied from the WISC at the discretion of the Head, WISC if there is more than one copy in the collection.
  • Journal or Newspaper Articles (limit: 5 articles per journal title, per copyright restrictions)

    What can be requested?


    Book Chapters (limit: 1 chapter per book title, per copyright restrictions)

    Entire Journals

    Dissertations and theses

    Audio/Visual material


Period of Loan

  • Books and other returnable items requested from other libraries are issued for one week to patrons. Loans are renewable only with the permission of the supplying library.
  • Books and other returnable items are supplied to other libraries for two weeks. Allow extra time for mailing. Only books from the open shelves may be renewed.
  • Items that have been scanned or photocopied are classified as non-returnable; therefore, a loan period is not applicable to them.

Subject Guide

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Beverly Burte
Western Jamaica Campus Library,
10 Queens Drive,
Montego Bay

Tel.: 876-885-3446