Interlibrary Borrowing

Interlibrary Borrowing

Obtain articles and books not available at UCSF. Library staff will locate materials from other UC libraries and libraries around the world.

What do I need to place a request?

How do I place a request?

  • If you have a citation, use Citation Linker:
  • If you're searching a database such as PubMed@UCSF, click on the UC e Links button in your search results. Learn how.
  • For non-standard requests or if you need additional assistance, please contact us at (415) 502-4178 or

When will I receive my item?

  • Most articles and book chapters are delivered electronically within 4 working days. When the article is available, you will receive an email with a link to download the PDF.
  • Most books are received within 4-7 days at the Parnassus Campus Library. You will receive an email notice when your item has arrived.

Where do I pick up my item?

  • Parnassus Campus users may pick up their item(s) at the Service Desk.
  • For Mission Bay and SFGH users: items will be processed at Parnassus first, then sent to your preferred pickup location. You will receive a second email when the item is ready for pickup (usually within 2-3 business days).
  • For Laurel Heights users: upon receipt of your pickup notice, please contact (415) 476-1446 to coordinate delivery of your item(s) via UCSF shuttle.

How long can I keep the materials?

  • Unless given a shorter loan period by a lending institution, most books may be kept for 3 months.
    - Note: all materials are subject to immediate recall by the lending library at any time.
  • You may renew your item(s) one time. Use My ILL Requests to renew your item prior to the due date. Learn how.
  • For renewal inquiries, call (415) 476-1446 or email Interlibrary Borrows staff.

How can I renew books or check the status of a request?

Where do I return the materials?

  • Return books and materials to any UCSF Library. 
  • If materials are not returned by the due date your UCSF Library privileges will be blocked (no check-outs, no renewals) and a bill for replacement will be issued.
  • You are responsible for damage to or loss of materials from the time they are picked up until the time they are returned.

Is there a fee for this service?

  • Items within the UC library system: free
  • Items from outside the UC system:
    • Get 10 free article/book requests per fiscal year (July-June) from non-UC libraries
    • Reached the 10 item limit? You will be contacted to authorize pre-payment of $20 per additional request. You will be notified if the cost exceeds $20
    • Requests only sent to a fee-based library when free options are unavailable
  • To Pay:
    • Email your UC department recharge number to OR call (415) 502-4178 to use a credit card
    • You will not be billed if the item cannot be obtained

More Information

For general information, or status of a particular request after 5 working days, email Interlibrary Borrows staff or call (415) 502-4178.