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Request Material from Other Libraries

Your research goes beyond the walls of NMU. Let us help you find sources that do too.

   NMU Collection

   Always check our catalog first


  • The fastest way to borrow something not available at NMU.
  • Recommended for books, DVDs, CDs

    Interlibrary Loan

  • The best option for articles or book chapters.
  • Can't find the materials you need at NMU Collection or MelCat?
  • Submit an Interlibrary Loan request and we'll search libraries around the world.


To support scholarship, resource sharing services (MeLCat and Interlibrary Loan) are provided to NMU students, faculty and staff. Users outside of those groups are encouraged to contact their primary academic, public, or corporate library to determine resource sharing privileges elsewhere.


Charge for Services

The Lydia M. Olson Library covers the cost of most requests. In regard to ILL requests of physical materials (books, DVDs, etc.), a fee may be charged. The amount is determined by the library that owns the material. In the majority of cases, we are able to find an institution willing to loan material for free. However, if cost is necessitated, the fee is passed on to the user. When submitting a request, users will be asked to enter a maximum amount they are willing to pay. We will advise in advance of any charges.

In all cases, damage to an item or failure to return an item will result in fees being assessed.  


Submission of Requests

MeLCat Interlibrary Loan
  • Visit
  • Search by title, author, ISBN or other criteria
  • After finding the desired material, click "Get this from MeLCat"
  • Choose Northern Michigan University as your library
  • Enter your name and the barcode on the back of NMU ID (14-digit number) 
  • Login to your Interlibrary Loan account.
  • Select “Create Request”
  • Select the relevant type: Article, Book, Other
  • Complete the citation fields with as much information as possible


Maximum Number of Requests

MeLCat Interlibrary Loan
  • Users are allowed to have 50 active requests in the system at any one time.
  • Be realistic regarding the amount of material you can handle.
  • If you have over ten orders, please prioritize them.
  • Prioritizing will enable you to receive the most important materials first.


Fulfillment Time

Fulfillment times differ for each request. Typical fulfillment times are listed below:

MeLCat Interlibrary Loan
  • 2 weeks
  • Articles/Books chapters: 2-5 business days.
  • Physical material: 3 weeks.

There are several factors to consider which may affect how long it takes for you to receive your request:

  • Format (Can the material be sent electronically or does the item have to be shipped? Is the use of the item restricted?)
  • Availability (How many libraries own the requested material?)
  • Staff (Are staff available at other libraries to process your item?)
  • Postal time and location of lending library (How far does the item need to travel?)


Picking Up Material

Loan Periods

MeLCat Interlibrary Loan
  • MeLCat loans are due 3 weeks from the date of pick-up.
  • Media loans are due 7 days from the date of pick-up, with no renewals allowed.
  • Items are held for pick-up for 10 days.
  • The lending library determines the loan period and renewal policy for its items.
  • In most cases, you can expect to keep interlibrary loan items for four weeks.
  • The specific due date will be posted on the material itself and in the email notification.



MeLCat Interlibrary Loan
  • You may renew each item once. *Media items may not be renewed.
  • A renewal will extend your due date by 3 weeks.
  • A renewal must be requested prior to the due date.
  • Instructions:
    • Log in to MyMeLCat
    • Click the link for currently checked out items.
    • You may select “Renew all” or click the appropriate checkboxes and select “Renew selected”.
  • Renewals are allowed at the discretion of the lending library.
  • A renewal must be requested prior to the due date.
  • Instructions:
    • Log in to ILL account
    • Find the request you seek to renew.
    • Select “Renew”.
    • Approval or denial of the renewal request will be sent via email.



Copyright guidelines, Title 17, U.S. Code (, are adhered to by the Resource Sharing staff when providing service.

The lending library establishes the conditions under which the borrowed material may be used, especially if items are rare, fragile and/or extremely valuable. They may have to be used within the library only or photocopying may be prohibited.

Failure to comply with the conditions of a loan could jeopardize one’s interlibrary loan privileges and the University’s ability to borrow from that library in the future.


Returning Material

Please note that borrowed materials are subject to recall by the lending library at any time.

Failure to return material will result in an invoice to NMU from the owning library. Replacement costs and fees will be passed on to the user.

Failure to return material may impact the ability to borrow from that library in the future, either for yourself or for your fellow NMU students, faculty and staff.

Submitting requests:

  • OCLC symbol: EZN
  • RIDES code:  101-ZA008
  • We accept: OCLC requests (preferred), ALA requests, domestic & international requests

Delivery and Payment:

  • Consortium participation: LVIS, Michigan libraries
  • We utilize Article Exchange for article delivery.
  • Payment: we accept IFM (preferred), IFLA vouchers
  • Charges
  Loans Scans
Domestic $10 $10
International $20/2 IFLA vouchers $15/1 IFLA voucher
Rush Service Additional $10 Additional $10

Contact Us

Principal Library Assistant, Billing & MeLCat - Borrowing
Senior Library Assistant, ILL - Lending & MeLCat - Lending
Senior Library Assistant, ILL - Borrowing, Course Reserves
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