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Summit and Interlibrary Loan Borrowing

What is it? Who can use it?

Items that are unavailable or are not owned by the UW Libraries can be requested for free through Summit or Interlibrary Loan borrowing by current UW students, staff, faculty, and retirees.

Interlibrary Loan borrowing of items is also available for a fee to Cascadia College students, staff, and faculty.

Summit utilizes an alliance of Pacific Northwest libraries, while Interlibrary Loan items are sourced from all over the globe.

How long does it take?

  • Summit items:  typically arrive in 3-5 business days
  • Interlibrary Loan items: typically arrive in 2-3 weeks

How long can I keep materials?

Summit 12 weeks for most items

Up to an additional 6 weeks from original due date
Interlibrary Loan 12 weeks for most items
2 weeks for some items
Not renewable

How do I submit a request?

You can find and request items through Summit by searching the UW Library Catalog and viewing request options. Due to licensing restrictions, ebooks are unavailable through Summit. (See Frequently Asked Questions below about multi-volume requests).

If an item is unavailable through UW Libraries and Summit partners, submit an Interlibrary Loan request.

You will receive an email notification when your requested item is available for pickup.

UW Law School users should place ILL requests through the Gallagher Law Library.


Why was my request cancelled?

Libraries staff do their best to fill all requests, but sometimes a request has to be cancelled. See our Reasons for Cancellation page to learn more.

How do I track my requests?

You can view your Summit requests in Your Library Account. Statuses include:

  • Location in process - the request is new and has not yet been placed at the lending library.
  • Request send to partner - Request has been placed at a possible lending library.
  • Shipped physically - The lending library has shipped the requested item.
  • Physically received by the library - We have received the item at the UW Libraries and it is on its way to your requested pickup location.
  • Due date - The item is checked out to you and due on the indicated date.

    You can view your Interlibrary Loan requests in Your ILL Account. After they are checked out to you, they are viewable in Your Library Account.

    Statuses of ILL requests include:

    • Awaiting patron email reply - ILL staff have sent you an email with a question about your request. Please check your email and respond.
    • In process - your request has been received and is being processed.
    • Item arrived - your requested item has arrived at the UW Libraries. Check Your Library Account to see more information about this request.
    • Request finished - this request is complete.

    How do I request multiple volumes of a set through Summit and Interlibrary Loan?

    In Summit, you can request multiple volumes of a set, but each volume must be a separate request. On the request form, note the volume needed in the box labeled "Resource Information:  Volume/part (one item per request)". Example "Volume 1."

    In Interlibrary Loan, you can request multiple volumes of a set by placing one request with a note for the volume(s) you need. On the Request a book/item form, enter the volumes(s) needed in the "Notes" field. Example: "Volumes 1-4". The number of volumes that we are able to borrow will vary depending on the the library.

    How many Interlibrary Loan requests/checkouts can I have?

    You can have up to 100 active requests at a given time. Physical item requests are active from the time they are placed until the item is returned to the UW Libraries.

    May I make requests for other people?

    No. You many not make requests for other users.

    Can I use Summit or Interlibrary Loan items for course reserves?

    No. Summit and Interlibrary Loan items may not be placed on course reserve.

    Am I able to check out items when I visit another Summit institution?

    Current UW students staff, faculty, and retirees may set up Summit visiting patron accounts with their Husky Card while visiting other Summit institutions.

    Summit Visiting Patron accounts created at UW allow for Summit privileges at UW, but not Interlibrary Loan. Accounts created at other institutions may vary in borrowing privileges.

    Can I return a Summit item to the lending library?

    Yes. You can return Summit items to any Summit library. They may still appear on Your Library Account for up to a week after you return them.

    What happens if I damage or lose a Summit or Interlibrary Loan item?

    You may be charged a fee for replacement of the item if it is lost or irreparably damaged. Determinations are made by the owning library, but questions can be directed to Library Account Services.

    What are the copyright restrictions for Summit and Interlibrary Loan items?

    Summit and Interlibrary Loan items are covered by the United States copyright law (Title 17.United States Code.) which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of a copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries, and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy/reproduction is not to be "USED FOR ANY PURPOSES OTHER THAN PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP, or RESEARCH." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes IN EXCESS of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

    For more information, see the Step-by-Step Guide to Copyright Compliance.