Interlibrary Loans FAQ


How does interlibrary loans work?

Interlibrary loans (ILL) is a service that allows Queen’s University members to borrow books from other lending institutions. The library requests materials on your behalf from other Canadian academic libraries as well as institutions in the United States, and further abroad if required.

Can I request material if I do not have access to a Queen’s student card or staff card?

You are required to have an active Queen’s student or staff card to request materials in Racer.

Can I request other materials (aside from books)?

Books, journal articles, newspaper articles, book chapters, theses/dissertations and conference proceedings may be requested. Libraries will not normally lend rare books, reference materials, eBooks, textbooks, DVD’s, or full journals.

Can I borrow electronic books?

Borrowing of electronic books is currently not possible through interlibrary loans. Electronic books are licensed to libraries using restricted access models that frequently prohibit interlibrary loans. Our library is working with other institutions and organizations to seek changes to these restrictions.

If available, we will attempt to borrow a print copy for you.

How long do ILLs normally take to arrive?

Interlibrary loans staff will make every effort to get the material requested in the shortest time possible. Delivery time depends on many factors, such as where the material is located and how quickly a library or supplier can respond to requests. In general, placing a request through Omni for a book owned by one of our Omni partners will be faster than placing a request through Racer.

Can I renew my interlibrary loans item(s)?

Materials may be eligible for renewal with consent from the lending library. Please contact interlibrary loans staff by email at

RACER software

Racer is not accepting my login, what should I do?

Ensure that your login information is correct.
Login: 14-digit barcode on your Queen’s card
Password: last name all in lowercase
Your Library: Queen’s
If you continue to have trouble accessing your account, please contact interlibrary loans staff by email at

I am having trouble navigating the RACER interface, what should I do?

To expediate your request, when searching include the ISSN/ISBN in the search field.
If you are unable to locate your item, fill out the Blank Request Form from the left-hand menu in Racer with as many details as possible and we will do the rest.

When searching for articles, remember that you want to search for the title of the journal, rather than the title of the article. Volume, issue, and article details should be filled in on the request form after you have found the right journal.

What happens if a request is rejected/cancelled?

After all available borrowing locations have been exhausted, our office will notify you that the request could not be filled. Your request will be forwarded to a librarian to assess potential purchase of the item.

Can I monitor my requests?

Yes, you can. Sign into Racer, select My Requests located on the left side bar. If you would like to see all past and present requests, select Show Everything.

How will I know my item has arrived?

You will be notified by email when the material is available. You can pick up your request from the Information Services Desk you specified when submitting your request. (Stauffer, Education or Bracken libraries)

If you request a copy of an article or book sections, you will be sent a web link to an electronic copy, with instructions for retrieving it.

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