Interlibrary Services

Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request electronic materials (articles, book chapters) and print materials not available at Kennedy Library’s PolyCat.

Delivery time:

  • Electronic materials: 2-24 hours
  • Print materials: 3-10 days

Accessing Interlibrary Loan

The Cal Poly login to Interlibrary Loan requires different entry points for different users. Choose a link below based on your membership type.

Click this if for Cal Poly Member entry

» Cal Poly Member

Choose this selection if you are a

  • Cal Poly student
  • Cal Poly faculty
  • Cal Poly staff
  • Cal Poly emeritus

This link opens a special login page in the portal. Enter your Cal Poly Portal username and password and the interlibrary loan page will open.

Click this if for non-Cal Poly membership entry

» Community Member

Choose this selection if you are a

  • Cal Poly alumni association member
  • Community member
  • Corporate member
  • Visiting faculty

You will need to enter your assigned username and password.

How long does it take?

If we don’t own it or it’s checked out to someone else, use Interlibrary Services to get it from another library. At Cal Poly, this service is free to those currently affiliated with the university: students, faculty (including emeritus), and staff.
< Turnaround time is determined by the format of the material and where we get it from.

Cal Poly Students, Faculty, and Staff

How soon do you need it? What do you need? How to get it.
Today All Formats Search PolyCat for materials in the library
1-3 days Journal Articles Submit an Interlibrary Loan request
2-4 days Books, Audio, Video, & Dissertations Search Link+
3-10 days Books, Dissertations, and Other Resources Submit an Interlibrary Loan request

Community Users and Alumni

This service is limited or available for a fee. See Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.

How soon do you need it? What do you need? How to get it.
Today All Formats Search PolyCat for materials in the library
3-10 days Books, Journal Articles, & Dissertations Submit an Interlibrary Loan request
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Interlibrary Services?

Through Interlibrary Services you can borrow materials from another library. At Cal Poly, this service is free to those currently affiliated with the university: students, faculty (including emeritus), and staff.

Most journal articles are delivered directly to your desktop as PDF files. Generally this takes between 1-3 days, though some items may take longer if they’re not held by our partner libraries in the Rapid ILL system.

Books and other tangible materials borrowed from other libraries have limited borrowing periods and renewals may not be possible.For this reason, borrowing assigned textbooks or books needed for extended periods of time is not possible.

Although other libraries will lend many different kinds of materials, some items, such as videos, reference works, rare materials, and textbooks may not be available for loan.

Please consult with the Interlibrary Services staff if you have any questions about availability or the length of time you may borrow materials.

How Do I Request Materials?

First check PolyCat to see if the materials you need are available in the Kennedy Library before making an ILS request.

Who may use ILS Services?

  • Currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff
  • Cal Poly Emeriti faculty and staff
  • Borrower’s Plus: Community users may purchase Interlibrary loan services at the rate of $50.00 per 12 items borrowed per year.
  • Current Cal Poly alumni are eligible for 10 requests per calendar year after they have paid their dues with the alumni office and registered their alumni card with the circulation desk in the library.

How long does it take?

  • Materials are always obtained as soon as possible. You can assist us in this process including a complete citation. In particular, the ISSN number, ISBN number, or the OCLC number, if known, can speed processing. Examples of each:
    • ISBN: 0879305568
    • ISSN: 0360-0025
    • OCLC: 40305568
  • Link+ book requests usually take two to three working days. Books from outside the Link+ network may take from 7-10 working days.
  • Journal articles are usually received within 1-3 working days.

Can I check the status of my request?


  • For Link+ requests, visit My PolyCat.
  • For ILS requests, visit Interlibrary Services and check the status of your own ILS requests with the “View/Modify Outstanding Requests” button. The summary view gives the current status of the item. Detailed tracking information is available by clicking on the request’s transaction number.

How do I pick up materials?

  • You will receive email notification that your material has arrived—keep your information up to date at the University Portal to ensure you are promptly notified.
  • Journal articles will be put on the web in a PDF file for you to view, download, or print. Upon notification, log-on to ILL Services. Then select “View/Download Electronically Received Articles.”
  • Books (and other returnable material) will be available for you to pickup at the Circulation desk in the library lobby.

What is the checkout period?

  • It depends on the lending institution. Each individual lending institution has its own checkout periods.
  • Books and other returnables vary in checkout period from 1 to 4 weeks.
  • Journal articles and other non-returnables are yours to keep, but the system will delete the materials off the web server after two weeks or 15 views.

Are ILS materials renewable?

  • Some ILS books are renewable. Your notification email will tell you, as will viewing the item from your ILS Services Main Menu — click “View/Renew Checked Out Items.” Renewal requests must be placed 2 days prior to the due date. Please keep in mind ILS materials are always subject to recall by the owning library.
  • Link+ books can be renewed online through My PolyCat. Renewal requests must be placed within 2 days prior to the due date. Users will be allowed 1 renewal for 14 days.
  • Link+ renewals are not automatic and users must check their user record to see if the renewal request was approved.

How do I return materials?

Materials may be returned to the following locations:

  • ILS department, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm
  • Circulation Desk
  • DO NOT return ILS materials to the outside book drops
  • We will provide a receipt on request

What are the fines for lost or overdue materials?

  • $1.00/day overdue fines will be added to your user record upon return of late material (ILS and Link+), up to a maximum of $15.00/item.
  • A hold will be placed on your record for lost ILS and Link+ materials. The final charge for lost materials and/or terms of replacement remain at the discretion of the owning institution. The ILS office at Kennedy Library will remain your contact in this case.

How do I contact ILS staff?

ILS Office
Contact individual ILS team members

What are the ILS open office hours?

Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.

Where is ILS located?

ILS is located in Room 103 of Kennedy Library. Access to Room 103 is from the Library Gallery area adjacent to the Atrium under the stairs to the 2nd floor.