Interlibrary Loan


NOTE: The NLC Library does not accept ILL requests for Textbooks or Required Reading materials for courses. For textbooks, check the Course Reserves page for a list by course of textbooks we have on reserve for a 4-hour check out. For book purchases, contact the NLC Book Store at 210-486-5449 or shop online at NLC Book Store. If you are experiencing difficulties in purchasing your course materials, please visit the Nighthawk's Nest Advocacy Center for assistance.

NLC faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students in good standing with the NLC Library may take advantage of our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. ILL is a library to library lending service that is used to obtain circulating materials and periodical articles owned by other libraries including other Alamo Colleges District libraries.

To ensure that we are in compliance with copyright issues, our ILL guidelines follow national protocols and the CONTU (Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works) and CONFU (Commission on Fair Use) guidelines. This restricts us from placing more than 5 requests per title per calendar year for any periodical published within the most current 5 years. The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies and other reproductions of copyright protected materials. Libraries may furnish a photocopy if it is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research."

The NLC Library reserves the right to refuse ILL requests if we judge a request to be in violation of Fair Use guidelines and the Copyright Law. Only materials not owned by NLC can be requested through ILL. If NLC owns the material, you may place the item ON HOLD through the online catalog.

Please read the ILL FAQ information before submitting your requests.


ILL Online Request

 NOTE: After submitting your request, you will receive an emailed copy of your submitted request and an email confirmation that we are working on it. If you don’t receive the email, please contact the Circulation Desk at 210-486-5387 or by email at


What can be requested through ILL? Typically, materials that are part of the lending library's circulating collection and articles from their periodical collections may be requested through this service. Reference items, rare materials, many media items, recently published materials/articles are not usually loaned through ILL.

How do you I make an ILL request? Requests can be made by filling out the appropriate online form for Books, Media, or Periodical Articles. See hyperlinks above.

How long does it take? ILL turn-around time is dependent on the lending library. Typically, items requested from area libraries may take a week. (Requests made to SPC, SAC, PAC, or NVC may take a few days to a week.) When you make your request, always include a "Needed by Date." You can check back with us to check the progress of your ILL requests. Give us a call at (210) 486-5387.

How many items can be requested? NLC students, faculty, and staff will be limited to 15 ILL item requests at a time. Priority will be given to course supportive material requests. ILL requests count toward the total number of items on a patron's record. 

Are there any restrictions to borrowing materials via ILL? Lending libraries may make further restrictions on the loan of their materials. They will set the loan period as well. Be sure to ask about renewing materials BEFORE they are due. Late ILL materials or lost ILL materials will result in fines/lost fees and suspension of borrowing privileges. If the lending library recalls an item, that item should be returned to the NLC Library immediately. Items not returned in a timely manner can result in the suspension of borrowing privileges for the entire college by that lending institution.

Other than by ILL, can I borrow items from other libraries? Great question! NLC library users in good standing may get a TexShare Borrower's Card and directly borrow materials from libraries (academic, public, and medical) who participate in the TexShare Card Program from all over the state. Stop by the Circulation Desk to obtain a card. Cards are good for the semester in which they are issued and borrowers are responsible for returning materials to the owning library.