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FAQ about Interlibrary Loans (ILL) & Article Delivery

About the service


Who can use Concordia's ILL service?

All Concordia faculty (including retired faculty), staff and students (undergraduate and graduate) can use the Interlibrary Loans service. Alumni, Continuing Education students, BCI users, and other members of the external community cannot use Interlibrary Loans. If you are from the external community and you need to obtain an item from another library, try contacting your local public library's Interlibrary Loans service. If you're uncertain what class of borrower you are or what privileges you have, check our list of borrower types on the Library information for... page.

How do I access Colombo?
  • NEW: As of July 26, 2016, your Concordia netname and password are required to access Colombo.
  • Access the service using the "Log into COLOMBO" button on the service's homepage.
  • Bookmarking tip: bookmark the service's homepage for future access, NOT the actual login page.
What am I allowed to do with material I receive through ILL?

Material received through ILL is protected by the Canadian copyright law and may only be used for the purpose of private study or research. Any other use may require the authorization of the copyright holder. (R.S.C. 1985, c. C-42, Sect. 30.2 or 30.21). Violation of copyright may result in civil and criminal proceedings. For further information on copyright please see Concordia University’s Policy on Copyright Compliance and Concordia Libraries’ Copyright Guide.

How long does it take to get books or journal articles?

The time taken to fill requests can vary considerably. Some materials might be acquired within 2 days, others may take 2 months. We borrow from libraries within Montreal and around the world, so it's very difficult to guarantee delivery times. However, books generally take at least 1 week to arrive after a request is submitted, and most articles take 24-48 hours to arrive.

If you do not need the item after a certain date, be sure to indicate this on the COLOMBO request form, but please note that indicating a date will not rush your request but will cause it to be cancelled following the date you provide.

Is there a charge for the ILL service?

Most ILL materials are free, including books, media materials and photocopies of journal articles.

There are some exceptions, for example, when lending libraries cannot supply an original document, but instead supply a photocopy. In such cases, the ILL Office charges the full amount of the supplier’s invoice, including currency exchange. These charges usually apply to photocopies of entire reports and/or theses, as well as for microfiche and microfilm reproductions. In case of such a charge, the ILL office will contact you before proceeding with a request.

Fees have to be paid (by cash, debit or credit card, cheque or transfer of funds from research and departmental accounts) before receiving the material.

page last updated on: Thursday 14 September 2017
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