Skip to Main Content

Today's Hours: 

   All Library Hours


Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery

Looking for scholarly articles, research texts, newspaper articles, images, music, or video/film not available at BSU?

Looking for books, audiobooks or DVDs not available at BSU?

  • Use ComCat (Commonwealth Catalog) - Borrow items from Massachusetts libraries.

Need quick electronic delivery of articles, book chapters, and other documents owned by Maxwell Library

Looking for our policies for lending to other libraries?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that allows you to request library materials from other libraries. The service is available to current BSU students, faculty, and staff.

How does it work?

Log into Maxwell Library’s Interlibrary Loan system to submit a request using the online request form. Submit your request and we’ll email you when it is available.

What does OCLC Express Library mean? New Icon

Maxwell Library’s Interlibrary Loan has had the honor to be a part of the Online Computer Library Center's Express Library Program, which connects high-performing libraries committed to delivering digital resources within 18 hours. Maxwell Library has been awarded by OCLC Outstanding Digital Delivery for expedient and efficient ILL.


Can I get anything I want via ILL?

All libraries have certain materials they prefer not to loan. In such cases, most libraries will be willing to photocopy selected pages or microfilm special material for your use. Materials that generally cannot be borrowed include dissertations, journals, and reference and special collections materials. U.S. Copyright Law may restrict how much material can be borrowed in the form of photoduplication.

How long will it take?

The average length of time needed to receive materials is 7-10 days. Requests are sent out in the order received, except when a large number of requests are made by the same individual. These will be staggered to allow other people fair access.

What do I do if I don’t know all the information requested on the form?

When citation information is incomplete or incorrect, please ask a reference librarian if s/he can help you locate the needed information or use our Ask a Librarian service.

Can materials be renewed?

Renewals are determined by the lending library. Online requests for renewals need to be submitted 5 days before the due date. Contact the ILL Office if requesting a renewal past that deadline.

What happens if I don’t return items?

If material with a due date is not returned in a timely manner you will be blocked from further ILL transactions. You will also receive a bill for the material as per the owning library's policy. Transcript, registration, and diploma holds will be placed and the judicial process will be followed for all unsettled transactions.

What is ComCat?

ComCat is the Commonwealth Catalog – a service that lets you discover and request popular books, audio books, movies and more from a wide array of Massachusetts public and smaller academic libraries.

How does it work?

Click on "Please Login" on the right hand side of the page and from the drop-down menu select BRIDGEW: Bridgewater State University. It will ask you if you are Staff or a Patron, when you click "Patron" it will log you in automatically.

What is the loan period?

28 days (non-renewable).


What is MaxExpress?

MaxExpress is a free scanning and delivery service available to BSU students, faculty, librarians, and staff. Library staff will search and process requests for materials owned by the Maxwell Library (articles, books, chapters, ERIC Documents) and process for you. Contact the ILL office for more information.

How does it work?

Log into Maxwell Library’s Interlibrary Loan system to submit a request using the online request form. Submit your request and we’ll email you when it is available. Weekday turn-around time is generally 24-48 hours. If an item is not immediately available, we will notify you by e-mail.

What if my request is urgent?

Please contact the ILL office at or 508.531.1706.

How long are articles available?

Articles remain available for 30 days. You may continue to view an article during this time period, print it, or download it to your computer. When you are finished using the article, you can choose to delete it.

ILL Lending Policy for Other Libraries

The following policies are for other libraries requesting items from the Maxwell Library via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Individuals should contact their own public, academic, or corporate library to make a request. The Maxwell Library lends both domestically and internationally.

Please forward any questions to:

We prefer requests received via OCLC Resource Sharing, but will honor the ALA form or an email request. Telephone requests are not accepted.


Maxwell Library is a member of several consortia and also has several resource sharing agreements. In general, if a library identifies itself as a free supplier or reciprocal lender in the OCLC policy directory, the Maxwell Library will provide ILL services free of charge. Otherwise, we charge based on the borrowing library’s own lending policies. ILL Fee Management (IFM) is the preferred method of payment.


All shipments (beyond our regional courier service) are made via US Postal Service. International shipments are shipped via US Postal Service International mail.

Eligible for Lending

  • Books
  • Audiovisual Materials
  • Dissertations and theses, if a circulating copy is available
  • Certain Reference materials (conditional upon approval by the Access Services Librarian)

Non-circulating Materials

  • Reference (exceptions: see above)
  • Special Collections and Archives materials (unless prior approval is obtained. Please contact the Archives and Special Collections Librarian for assistance:
  • Paper editions of newspapers
  • Maps
  • Microfiche and Microfilm (scanned articles may be shared)
  • Restricted-access Tests (Educational Resource Center)
  • Instructional Aids and Test Prep materials (Educational Resource Center)
  • Reserve Materials

Loan Periods

The typical loan period is four weeks with an option to renew for an additional four weeks. Items with outstanding holds will not be renewed.

Copying/Scanning Policies

Maxwell Library will provide digitized scans of journal articles, book chapters, or other materials in our collection for borrowing libraries provided they do not violate any copyright restrictions. Frail or old items that would be damaged by the scanning process will not be copied.

Lost/Replacement Policy

If an ILL item that we have lent is lost or damaged after leaving our premises, the replacement or repair fees are the responsibility of the borrowing library. We will invoice libraries for materials not returned to Bridgewater State University. A lending block may be placed on institutions that have borrowed items that are more than 30 days overdue.