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Alumni Resources

A guide to library resources for Covenant alumni.

Using Your Local Library—Interlibrary Loan

Although your local public library may not have a finely honed theology section, it is still a valuable resource for your research needs. Libraries like to share, so any book or article that you need can most likely be obtained by your public library through Interlibrary Loan—usually at no or little cost. Just take the complete citation (title, author, source, date, pages, etc. as applicable) to the Reference Librarian and ask about requesting the item through Interlibrary Loan. Be aware, however, that an Interlibrary Loan request can take up to two weeks to arrive in most places, so put your requests in early.

Tips and Suggestions

  • Ask about ILL at your library's reference desk, not at the circulation desk (the place where you check out your books). The reference librarians are typically the ones who handle ILL requests for the library.
  • If your local library is part of a library system (e.g., a county-wide public library with several branches), take your requests to the Headquarters or Main Branch. The headquarters is usually the hub through which your ILL items will travel, and it can sometimes take as long for an item to make its way between the headquarters and your branch as it does for the item to get to the headquarters from the lending library. The staff at the headquarters may also be more knowledgeable about the various services that are available to you.
  • Introduce yourself to the librarian that handles ILL at your library. Explain who you are and what you are doing and ask what would make it easier for them. Even this small attempt to get to know them will put a face with your name and often will bring better service from your library.