MeLCat and Interlibrary Loan

If an item is needed that is not held at Mossey Library, Hillsdale College students, faculty and staff may borrow materials from other libraries via our MeLCat and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services. Millions of books and other materials are available from thousands of libraries throughout Michigan, the United States and around the world.


Need Help?


You may phone Pam Ryan (517-607-2407) or email her at pryan@hillsdale.edu. Also, feel free to stop at the ILL Office, Monday - Friday from 8:30 am until 5 pm during the school year and 8 am-4 pm during the summer.

 

MeLCat and ILL FAQs

What is MeLCat?
What is ILL?
When do I use MeLCat and when do I use ILL?
How do I request materials?
How long does it take for materials to arrive?
How will I know when materials arrive and where do I pick them up?
How long may I keep the materials?
How do I renew these materials?
Who may use these services?
What kinds of materials may I request?
Is there a limit on how many items I can order?
How much do these services cost?
What are the fines for overdue materials?

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What is MeLCat?

MeLCat is the state of Michigan's virtual library catalog. Over 400 Michigan libraries have pooled their catalogs to create a statewide system where users of one library can request and borrow items from another. Participating libraries include Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, Calvin College, Albion College, and public libraries such as the Capital Area District Library system, and many more. For a list of the participating libraries, click here.

What is ILL?

Interlibrary Loan is a cooperative system similar to MeLCat, but it involves libraries on a national and global scale. Items unavailable through Mossey Library or MeLCat may be obtained through this service.

When do I use MeLCat and when do I use ILL?

Always check our resources first. If we do not have a book or AV item, use MeLCat. If we do not have an article, or other items are not available through MeLCat, then use ILL.

How do I request materials?

MeL items may be requested directly from MeLCat. A MeLCat button also accompanies every search in the catalog. ILL items must be requested by filling out a form or through encore and databases by selecting the Find Full Text button. Paper forms (available at the circulation and reference desks) must be returned to the circulation desk or ILL office. Electronic forms (available on the right side of this page) are sent directly to the ILL office.

 

How long does it take for materials to arrive?

MeL items generally arrive within 1-2 weeks. ILL items generally come with 1-2 weeks as well, though the delivery time varies based upon the item type and location. Articles generally arrive within the week, but books and other materials may take longer, especially if they are coming from overseas. When using either MeL or ILL, conduct your research at least three weeks in advance to give yourself enough time to receive and use your requested materials.

How will I know when materials arrive and where may I pick them up?

We will email you when your items arrive, and you may pick them up at the circulation desk.

How long may I keep the materials?

MeL items usually check out for three weeks with one renewal, but  some AV materials are restricted to one week with no renewals. ILL items loan for about one month and renewals depend on the lending library. When you pick up the book, a date due slip will be attached to the book. You can also check your library circulation record to keep track of books borrowed from other libraries.

How do I renew these materials?

In most cases you may renew MeL or ILL materials one time. To renew MeL items, simply log onto your library account through the library catalog, select the appropriate items, and click renew. For ILL items, call (ext. 2407), email, or stop by the ILL Office about one week before the due date and we will attempt to renew the items. ILL items that are not available for renewal will be labeled as such.

Who may use these services?

All Hillsdale College  faculty, staff, and students who are currently enrolled may use MeLCat and ILL services, as well as teachers and high school students at Hillsdale Academy. Persons who have been blocked because of fines, overdue books, or other circumstances will be blocked from using MeLCat or ILL services until all accounts have been cleared.

What kinds of materials may I request?

We will try to fill all of your requests, but many libraries will not send fragile and rare books, audiovisual items, microforms, dissertations, reference books,  books recently acquired, and pre-publication articles.

Is there a limit on how many items I can order?

You may have 50 MeL items on hold at one time. For ILL there is currently no limit; we do ask, however, that you use this service carefully and judiciously.

How much do these services cost?

Thanks to tuition fees and other donations, the library does not charge directly for MeL or ILL and other library services. Because the library does incur borrowing and/or shipping costs for ILL however, we ask that you use this service carefully and judiciously. You are responsible for replacement costs for lost or damaged items and for overdue items.  

What are the fines for overdue materials?

Fines for MeL are 50c per day; fines for ILL are 20c per day.

 

Can’t find it on MeLCat?

Please submit one of the following ILL forms and we will attempt to find your items at another library.


Book request

Journal article request

Chapter or portion of a book request

Thesis or Dissertation request