Interlibrary Loan Policies and Procedures

How to Submit Requests

All material held by CRL is eligible for loan. Member libraries can make unlimited number of requests, request any amount of material to be sent, and allow their patrons to use CRL materials for as long as necessary.

OCLC ILL subsystem

  • CRL catalogs use OCLC;  CRL has completed retrospective conversion for most of its cataloged titles, entering all records into OCLC.
  • CRL’s OCLC symbol is CRL. CRL suggests that members put CRL first in the lender string and asks requesters to enter CRL twice.
  • CRL urges ILL offices to request materials through OCLC when CRL’s holdings symbol is attached to the bibliographic record.
  • For every serial title in OCLC, CRL’s union list details exact holdings statements: after retrieving a record for a serial title, enter the command ulcriu to display CRL’s local data record.

ALA Request Forms

  • CRL accepts requests submitted on the standard American Library Association (ALA) Interlibrary Loan Request form, either sent through the mail or via fax.


  • Requesters can transmit requests by fax, using either the ALA request form or a locally designed form that incorporates all the information required in the ALA form. Accepting a request by fax does not imply that CRL will provide rush service or give priority to the request.
  • Requests can be sent to the Access Service Fax Number: (773) 955-9732


  • CRL will accept requests over the telephone. However, we discourage this method since it affords many opportunities for inaccuracies, misunderstandings, and inconsistent paperwork.
  • ILL offices may telephone to verify holdings before submitting a request through the mail or an electronic system.

Document Delivery and Shipping

CRL sends photocopies when specifically requested and when the requester indicates copyright compliance. Copies are delivered in one of three ways:

  • photocopies mailed by USPS first class mail
  • fax
  • Ariel for Windows
  • Odyssey
  • Email pdf

Sometimes the condition of material or the quality of the printing or graphics means that loan of an item is more satisfactory than a copy; in these cases, CRL will send the original format for loan instead of a copy.

CRL ships loaned materials to most requesters by UPS.

CRL can ship items via a courier such as FedEx if a patron requires expedited delivery. CRL will bill the library or the patron for the delivery charge for expedited service.

Member libraries may return materials by Pony Express, UPS, or USPS library rate. Use the enclosed CRL mailing labels for returns, and use the red labels when returning recalled materials. Member libraries should include a copy of the original paperwork with returned items. Please include a note with returned materials to inform CRL of such problems as torn microform, wrong microfilm reel in box, pages missing from hardcopy materials, etc.