Can I request books and articles from other libraries?
Interlending and Document Delivery – for King’s staff, students as well as staff from affiliated NHS trusts
Yes, if a book, chapter, or journal article is not available via King’s Libraries or Senate House Library, then the material can be requested via the Interlending and Document Delivery service. Library staff will then attempt to source the material as a loan or copy from an external library. Before making a request, please check King’s Library Search and the Senate House catalogue to ensure that the item you require is not already available.
Jump to a section
- Who can use the service?
- What can I request?
- How much does an interlibrary loan cost?
- How can I check if I already have access to the material I need?
- Can I request a thesis from another university?
- Can I use the interlending service for my Systematic Review?
- How do I place an interlending request?
- How long does an interlending request take? How will it be supplied?
- When should I return my interlibrary loan? Can it be renewed?
- Will I be charged for the late return of my interlibrary loan?
- How do I cancel an interlending request?
- Interlending Terms & Conditions
All King’s staff and students, as well as staff from affiliated NHS trusts, may place Interlending and Document Delivery requests.
The Interlending and Document Delivery Service exists to support the personal academic study and research needs of the College community by providing access to resources that are not available via King's Libraries and Collections and Senate House Library. Requests can be placed for copies of book chapters and journal articles, and we can source loans for physical books, theses, dissertations, other publications, and audio-visual media. Material required for non-academic purposes should be requested through your local public library system.
To ensure compliance with Copyright Law, multiple chapters from the same title cannot be supplied, neither can we provide access to entire eBooks – legally, only one chapter per title can be sourced via the interlending service. Requests for multiple chapters from the same work, or multiple requests for individual chapters from the same work, will be cancelled. If you require more than one chapter from a work, please place a request for the physical book.
If you require a resource for teaching purposes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be put in touch with your Collections Liaison Librarian.
Students and staff are allocated a quota of free requests at the beginning of each academic year*. Should you expend your allocated quota of free requests, you will be unable to submit more requests until you agree to extra charges. Please contact email@example.com for assistance.
To ensure that you are not charged unnecessarily for requests, we ask you to check that the material you require is not available through an alternative source and that an interlibrary loan is the last resort.
Staff and students registered with the King's Disability Service are allocated an unlimited number of free requests.
*Annual allocation of free interlibrary loan requests
Staff (including NHS)
Registered with the Disability Service
King’s students and staff are eligible to visit a range of other libraries in London, and are entitled to free membership of Senate House Library, located in Bloomsbury, Central London. It is one of the largest humanities (and social science) focused research libraries in the UK Higher Education community and includes many collections of national and international importance. For the latest information regarding access to Senate House Library physical and electronic resources, please see the Senate House Library membership page. NHS staff are ineligible for Senate House Library membership.
For NHS staff: Your first port of call for searching and locating journal articles is the Knowledge and Learning Hub. Please log in to the Knowledge & Learning Hub using your NHS OpenAthens credentials to ensure you can access all the journals available to you. For more information on accessing journal articles and other eResources, please see our guide for NHS staff.
Full texts of many UK theses are now available online via the British Library's Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS). Other UK and European theses may also be available online in institutional repositories, many of which can be searched via the DART Europe E-theses Portal. You can also search for international theses on ProQuest Digital Dissertations.
UK universities do not usually lend their physical thesis items. If a digital copy of a UK thesis does not already exist, then a digitisation request should be placed using the British Library's Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS). To request a thesis awarded by an international institution, please complete the online request form for a 'book' and we will attempt to source a loan of the item if a digital copy is unavailable.
King’s students and staff (as well as staff from King’s Health Partners) with plans to undertake a systematic review should first contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss their specific interlending needs. This helps to ensure that the Interlending and Document Delivery Team can allocate the necessary staffing based on the anticipated number of requests. An approximate time frame for obtaining the material can also be agreed to ensure that the service to other customers is not adversely affected. Depending on the number of requests, we may also need to discuss the possibility of funding from your department. You should consider including costs for interlibrary loans in your systematic review funding applications.
For more information on Systematic Reviews, please see this guide.
- Sign into King’s Library Search using your King’s ID and password.
- Enter the title of the resource - if the resource you are looking for cannot be found in the King's College London collection, select the 'Expand My Results' option (under 'Tweak your results' on the left-hand side). This will bring up additional content that is not held at King's.
- If you find the resource you are looking for, select the title, and then scroll down to the 'Get It' section.
- Select the 'Inter-Library Loans' option. Clicking this link will display the Interlending and Document Delivery request form – the fields of the form will already be populated with the bibliographic details of your required resource.
- Complete the form with any missing information (required chapter, for instance)
- Read the Copyright Declaration and check the box to confirm you agreement with the statement before selecting 'SEND REQUEST'.
If you cannot find your required resource on Library Search, interlending requests can also be placed using the Interlending and Document Delivery online request form. You will need to log in using your King's ID and password. Please note the following:
- By default, when you first access the form, the request type will be set as 'Book/chapter'. If you require a whole book, please fill in this form.
- If you require a chapter, you will need to select 'I require one chapter (PDF Download)' at the top of the form and ensure that you detail the chapter title in the 'Chapter' field.
- If you require an article, select the 'Article' option at the top of the form. Please provide as much detail as possible. Fields marked with an asterisk are mandatory.
To ensure compliance with Copyright Law, multiple chapters from the same title cannot be supplied, neither can we provide access to entire eBooks – legally, only one chapter per title can be sourced via the interlending service. Requests for multiple chapters from the same work, or multiple requests for individual chapters from the same work, will be cancelled. If you require more than one chapter from a work, please place a request for the whole book, which will then be provided as a physical loan.
We endeavour to supply material as quickly as possible, however, delivery times vary according to the nature of the material requested and the source used for supply.
Physical Book Loans: 1-2 weeks
On average, physical book loans sourced from external libraries will take 1-2 weeks to arrive. Physical material sourced from international libraries will take longer due to shipping times.
You will receive an email notification to your KCL email address when your requested item is available to collect from the Information Point of your chosen pickup location. Interlibrary loans can only be collected and returned during staffed hours.
Note that physical material is occasionally provided as ‘Reference Only’. This means that the item can only be consulted at your chosen pickup location. If a loan has been supplied as ‘Reference Only’ then you will be informed via email before the item is made available.
Journal articles and book chapters: 1-5 working days
On average, material supplied electronically will be available within 1-5 working days. A download link will be delivered to your KCL email address. On clicking the link, you will need to sign in with your King's ID and password. The requested material will then begin to download automatically. Supplied material will remain available for 30 days and can be accessed again in your Library Account under 'My Requests'.
Requests delivered electronically by the British Library
Electronic material supplied by the British Library will be emailed directly to your KCL email address. Please see the British Library On Demand FAQs for troubleshooting advice.
Loan periods for interlibrary loans (ILLs) vary depending on the policy of the external library that has provided the item, however, renewals for ILLs are handled automatically. A week before your ILL is due, we will contact the external library to request a renewal on your behalf - you do not need to request a renewal for an ILL.
If your loan cannot be renewed, or has been recalled by the supplying library, we will email to confirm the final due date. When requested, please return items promptly to a King’s Library Information Point during staffed hours.
There are no fines for overdue interlibrary loans (ILLs), however, if they are not returned promptly when requested, your library account may be blocked, and you may be invoiced for a replacement copy if we are charged by the external library. The British Library's standard replacement fee is £185.50.
The late return of items impacts negatively on our service. External libraries lend us material from their collections in good faith. If items are returned late, we may be unable to source further material from these libraries in future. This means that other staff and students will not have the same opportunity to obtain items that they require for their research or studies.
Please contact email@example.com if you would like to cancel an interlending and document delivery/interlibrary loan request. Your message will be routed to the appropriate team.
- Material held by King's or available to King’s users at Senate House Library cannot be requested through this service.
- Material supplied electronically will be delivered to your KCL email address as a download link and will remain available for 30 days.
- You may print out and retain a single paper copy for your own use.
- You must delete the digital file once a satisfactory paper copy has been created.
- You may not make or distribute any further copies, either in paper or digital format, without the permission of the copyright owner.
- To ensure compliance with Copyright Law, multiple chapters from the same title cannot be supplied, neither can we provide access to entire eBooks – legally, only one chapter per title can be sourced via the interlending service. Requests for multiple chapters from the same work, or multiple requests for individual chapters from the same work, will be cancelled. If you require more than one chapter from a work, please place a request for the whole book, which will then be provided as a physical loan.
- Physical interlibrary loans can only be collected during staffed hours and will remain available to collect for two weeks from the date of the arrival notification email.
- Physical material is occasionally provided as ‘Reference Only’. This means that the item can only be consulted at your chosen pickup location. If a loan has been supplied as ‘Reference Only’ then you will be informed via email before the item is made available.
- External libraries lend items on the understanding that they can be recalled at any time. While renewals are usually possible (unless otherwise stated), an external library may recall an item unexpectedly. You will receive a notification if you are expected to return an item.