Answered By: Steve Runge
Last Updated: Feb 05, 2019     Views: 371

When an item is either not in our collection or in the collection but unavailable, you can either request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL - 2-3 days), or visit another local university library in person to check it out with a Boston Library Consortium (BLC) card (same day).

To request an item not listed in our catalog:

Go to WorldCat, type in the title and author, select the appropriate record from the list, and scroll down until you see a "Request Item" button under the Libraries Worldwide listings:

screenshot of "request item" button from worldcat, under the "Libraries Worldwide" heading.

Click "Request Item," log into Interlibrary Loan, then fill in any missing information about the item, select a "not needed after" date, and click submit. You will get an email within a few days when the item is ready for pickup.

To request an item listed in our catalog but unavailable (checked out):

screenshot of library catalog "Request Book" link

  1. Under the "Find in Library" heading, click the "Request Book" link.
  2. Sign in with your BC username and password.
  3. Make sure all starred fields are filled out.
  4. Click "Submit."

You will receive an email when the item is ready for pickup.

To get an item by visiting another library:

Follow the instructions above for searching WorldCat. Check the "Boston Library Consortium" list for libraries convenient for you. If there is no convenient library in that list, click  "Worldwide libraries own this item." Nearby libraries--including libraries in the Boston Public Library network or Minuteman network--will be listed first.

To check out books from BLC libraries, you will need a Boston Library Consortium (BLC) card. You can get one by filling out a short form at the circulation desk at O'Neill Library. (Please note: Harvard University does not participate in the BLC.) Current Boston College faculty, staff and students may borrow materials from BrandeisBoston University, and Northeastern University by presenting their Boston College ID.

To get a Boston Public Library card, go to any BPL branch with an ID showing your present address.

You might also be interested in a Minuteman Network card for public libraries (and some college libraries) in towns surrounding Boston, such as the Newton Free Library.